Product reviews are one of the greatest sales tools for ecommerce merchants. Over 90 % of consumers say that they read online reviews before making a purchase and 63% note that their buying decisions are influenced by good product ratings and reviews. The reviews help you build loyalty and trust, reduce the number of returns by buyers and increase sales.

But how do you get your customers to review products? You have to motivate them.

There are lots of different opinions about online reviews. We can’t definitively say that reviews are useful for business, although every case study suggests that much.

For instance, Capterra said that negative reviews can create an authentic look. 68% of customers state that they trust more a mix of good and bad online reviews as it shows that the company has nothing to hide. And only 18% of people noted negative reviews made the company look less reliable.

The other general analysis showed that many reviews can lift conversion rates, but there is no certain number of online reviews you should get.

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All we can say is that a product or company doesn’t have a perfect track record. But even cost effective companies have a certain share of mess!

With that in mind, we’re going to go above and beyond with testimonials and product reviews. Here are five tips and tactics to get 5 stars from your customers.

1. Ask your consumers directly

Asking your customers directly is the simplest way to get online reviews.

But before doing that, you should directly contact them and ask whether they are satisfied with their orders. In case they’re having, they will definitely let you know and you’ll have a good chance to help them. If they don’t have any problems, you can ask satisfied customers for reviews.

But it’s important to focus on the way in which you ask for reviews.

Being persuasive with your request can double the number of reviews you can get on your website. Be frank and appreciative with reviewers.

I’ve noticed that many reviewers leave reviews when it’s easy to do so. Here is the solution: do the utmost to make reviewing your product as easy as possible.

Tell them exactly where to go. Be clear about what you are looking for. Suggest certain features to share their opinions on. That can all affect buying decisions such as quality, shipping, service and others.

If you want make customers to make quick buying decisions, you can create a list of review sites that can influence them. Let’s say you buy mattresses online, you can create content where you describe the best mattresses brands, including yours, and promote this online.

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You can also create a blog where you can publish blog posts related to certain holidays. For example, Sleep Junkie made a post about Black Friday Deals on Mattresses.

Using this approach you can increase not only a number of sales, but also build up a good database of clients that can leave reviews about your products.

2. Offer incentives

No matter how impersonal your consumers are, people love knowing that they get something in return. Offering incentives is a good way to make people leave positive reviews.

Neil Patel told that incentivizing reviews can be a gray area. Certainly, you can find some moral reasons. But even if you don’t intend your incentive to look like a golden key, most people will want to leave a good review of your product.

Even small incentives, for example, 5% off the next order, can encourage people to write reviews and boost customer lifetime value.

For example, the Pampers’ company has thousands of reviews, because they offer different rewards programs for each written review and give amazing gifts such as free movies and toys for kids.

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Even you don’t have a rewards programs, you can create other ways to inspire your customers. For example:

  • Give coupons for the next order
  • Offer discounts in return for a review
  • Run contests
  • Gift cards

Today most profitable ecommerce websites use this type of incentive to gain reviews and improve brand awareness.

3. Spotlight your customer

It’s a known fact that people like to be in the spotlight. You can place the client’s name, image and review on the homepage as a way to thank your customers and increase your company’s trust level.

Adding these testimonials can encourage other customers to send their own feedback. For example, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers placed 5-star ratings testimonials on their homepage:

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You can also share these testimonials in your social networks, including a picture of the person who has provided this testimonial.

To sound more persuasive, you can build up a customer’s short video review, it should be around 30 seconds or less.

4. Ask for reviews via email surveys

Asking your customers for reviews via email can be time-consuming. To improve the process, use a survey-style form to collect reviews.

Here is how it would go, along with some useful tips:

  • Create an email template using a personal voice.
  • Use email addresses from real people in the “FROM” name.
  • Create a clear call-to-action link or button to review a product or fill out a form.
  • Choose eye-catching subjects and test them.

5. Ask the right questions

When you are going to ask for reviews, you should ask the right questions. To do that, you should know what type of answers you want to get. You probably don’t want vague, generic review. Here is an example of that:

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I guess you don’t want to get answers that your customers like your product. You want to know what experience they have, how they are using it, who recommends it and how your product can change their life.

Everyone wants to get vital information and details to make a quick buying decision.

When you ask the right questions, you can get not only a reliable review, but also make customers feel confident about your product.

The Bottom Line

Asking for positive customer reviews takes an essential part of doing online business. If you want to get good reviews, you should provide a five-star product. Once you decide to implement the steps listed here, you can inspire customers to share positive thoughts about your products.

Do you get a lot of product reviews? What steps have you used to make shoppers leave reviews? I would be happy to hear about it in the comments below.

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Guest Blogger @Mention

Irina is a marketing specialist, blogger, guest writer and social media expert for SE Ranking. Find her on Twitter at @irinaweber048