If someone asked me to sum up the year 2020 in two words, I would immediately say Coronavirus and online shopping. This nightmarish year has made the role of technology and the internet abundantly clear in modern society. 

While the number of online stores was already increasing before COVID-19, the shift to online business has been unprecedented since then. As business owners scramble to open eCommerce stores, online competition intensifies by the day. 

With this level of saturation, it can get difficult for an online store to keep growing, expand the business, and see greater sales. Therefore, to keep ahead of the competition, businesses use quite a few marketing strategies, including positive customer reviews.

That is not surprising considering that most customers spend a significant amount of time researching products online before purchase. In fact, research shows that customers spend a median of 79 days researching a product online before they make a major purchase!

Another research shows that 53% of online shoppers read reviews online prior to a purchase, whereas 92% of customers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations from their peers. 

Given this strong correlation, it is hardly a surprise that positive customer reviews lead to increasing sales. Recent research shows that positive customer reviews can increase conversion by 270%. The takeaway? Online reviews, especially positive ones, have the power to boost sales and thereby help an online business expand and grow.

In this article, we discuss 4 simple and easily implementable tips to get more positive reviews for your business in 2021. 

Understand Social Proof and Use it In Your Marketing Tactics 

Social proof is a concept of marketing psychology that assumes that customers are likely to follow the actions and behavior of their peers. Simply put, an individual in a society is likely to conform to the behavior, actions, and choices of the majority. 

We can clearly see this behavior being exhibited in our society; customers are likely to purchase the products that their friends and family are purchasing. The truth is that we are more likely to purchase products recommended by people we trust. For example, we are likely to buy the brand of soap our mom recommended, we are likely to choose a mechanic our friend referred to, and we are likely to buy a fridge we saw in our friend’s house than any other. 

Since shopping has moved online, so has the concept of reviews and recommendations. Social media has brought people closer than ever before, and looking for online reviews is the same as asking for suggestions and advice from your friends and family. As mentioned above, more than 92% of customers trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from their friends. 

Marketers need to understand this customer behavior and obtain positive reviews for their products and services from existing customers to attract new customers. 

If you, as a marketer, have fully grasped the concept and are ready to adopt this useful strategy. Then, here are the top four easy tips to increase positive reviews for your business in 2021!

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Create Platforms for Reviews 

Most marketers only focus on obtaining reviews on their social media platform and official website. They often overlook the importance of third-party review sites such as Yelp, Google, my Business, TripAdvisor, Zomato, and Foursquare, etc. online customers trust these third-party review sites for being authentic and therefore, a business must create and maintain their presence on these platforms. 

There is no doubt that social media is excessively critical, but third-party review sites also play an important role in converting leads. Here is how you can create multiple spaces online for customer to write reviews:

  1. Register your business on relevant and popular third-party review sites and their apps.
  2. Ensure that your business profile is complete, up-to-date, and active.
  3. Ensure that you respond to all reviews quickly; most websites show the average response time of a business, which can play a major role in converting leads. The shorter your average time, the more likely it is for a potential customer to approach you. 
  4. Give polite and satisfying responses to all reviews, even negative ones. A business cannot have 100% positive reviews. In fact, customers are likely to trust you more if you have a mixed bag of reviews. However, not responding to negative reviews shows arrogance and carelessness, which is unappealing to customers. On the other hand, if you address the complaint politely, customers are going to view you as a responsible brand.

Engage the customer by Offering Incentives  

Yesterday I called my bank to activate my credit card. After helping me activate it, the customer sales representative asked me to leave a review after the beep. I am a little ashamed to say that I did not wait for the beep and hung up before the CSR stopped speaking. 

I was calling the bank on my lunch break, I had to go pick up my laundry and drop my kid at piano lessons within 30 minutes, and so I did not have time to leave reviews. The same is true for every customer; everyone is busy, and their time is valuable. Therefore, if you want a customer to leave a review, make it worth their while by offering incentives. 

Here is what you can do:

  1. Discounts and Coupons: You can offer your customers discounts on their next purchase through coupons or direct discounts. Bear in mind, the discounted value should be exciting enough!
  2. Contests and Giveaways: Entice your customers by entering their name in a contest or giveaway of considerable value upon leaving a review. When it comes to giveaways, ensure that you interest your audience by offering worth-it giveaways. For example, if you sell books, you ought to offer a trending title. Or if you sell electronic services or devices, you can offer low-budget gifts like portable tech gadgets.

Make it Easy to Leave a Review 

Like I said before, no one has time to follow a set of complicated steps to leave an online review for your business. So brands should make it extremely easy for customers to leave reviews online by erasing all the pain points. 

Here is what you can do:

  • Give the customer the choice of the platform: create spaces to leave online reviews on multiple platforms so your customer can choose the platform of their choice. 
  • Mention the time it would take the customer to leave a review: immediately tell your customer that it will only take 2 minutes to leave a review, so they are more likely to respond. 
  • Include direct links to the review page: Make sure that the customer lands on the review page directly after choosing to leave a review. Indirect linking discourages customers. 

Value Reviews

Reading the title of this tip, you probably might consider just scrolling down because you know it quite too well already. Isn’t it?

But well, our perception of valuing reviews is slightly different from the traditional view. We don’t refer to merely going through the reviews and acknowledging them so that your audience knows that you noticed them. Rather, we encourage you to go the extra mile and incorporate the suggestions in your work.

If a customer suggests that you should consider adding another color in a certain product range, then why not consider it seriously? Introducing the suggested color and also crediting the relevant reviewer for the suggestion would leave a mark-making impression amongst your clientele. It would not only make the relevant reviewer happy and a permanent client but will also encourage others to leave positive and constructive reviews. Thus, automatically bringing you closer to the attainment of your purpose, i.e., gathering positive reviews.

If the process of tracking down the reviewer’s identity is strenuous and demanding, you can make the job a part of the work cycle of your employees. Although there can be several ways to integrate the two, a convenient way is to set up a commission per review. As your employees will strive towards asking their respective clients to leave a review, they will earn a commission. And this, in turn, will most likely become their motivation towards acquiring positive feedback.

Increasing Positive Reviews for Your Online Store is Easier than You Think 

Creating conditions to invite positive customer reviews is one of the best tactics at a marketer’s disposal. Businesses must continuously create opportunities that increase the chances of customers leaving positive reviews online. 

This article included 4 tips to create such conditions. Firstly businesses must understand social proof and its potential to increase conversion. Secondly, they must create multiple online spaces for the customer to leave a review. Furthermore, they must attract customers by offering incentives, and finally, they should make it easy for customers to leave reviews online. 

We suggest you start with these four simple tips and then gradually make customer feedback a part of your online shopping experience. 

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