We all know how important reviews are in driving online sales. Almost every digital store has this feature, and it’s fascinating to see how marketing and sales techniques have evolved around the power of customer feedback. It just goes to show that reviews can make or break a product.
Throughout this guide, we’ll explore the incredible influence of reviews and uncover some nifty strategies to increase these on your eCommerce store. Plus, we’ll delve into three must-have WordPress (and WooCommerce, naturally) review plugins that will introduce advanced promotion techniques.
Once you finish reading this article, you’ll have a clear picture of what reviews are and why they are crucial for boosting your store’s sales.
First, let’s analyze what reviews are and why they’re so important.
Why are reviews so powerful?
The term “review” can have different interpretations. However, when it comes to online shopping, reviews always refer to customers sharing their ratings and feedback on product pages. So, whenever you come across a review online, you know that it’s someone’s opinion and experience with a particular product.
Reviews initially worked as a way for customers to share their opinions and help others make informed purchasing decisions. However, they have since transformed and grown significantly over the years.
Let’s take a look at how reviews have evolved. Nowadays, you can find them not only on online stores but also on product landing pages (sometimes with fancy testimonials!) and they even get featured prominently in search engines like Google, where those popular “five stars” make products shine.
So, what’s the deal? Are there any studies that prove online reviews actually work?
When it comes to data and statistics, we have plenty of options. This marketing tool is so popular and widely used that many research organizations have focused on it. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- According to research by GlobalNewswire, 95% of consumers go through reviews before completing their purchase, and over 50% of them are open to spending extra on products that have positive reviews.
- In the B2B industry, the reality is no different. As per data presented by G2, an amazing 92% of customers place importance on product reviews before making a purchase. It is interesting to note that reviews are not as commonly found in the B2B sector compared to the B2C sector.
- According to ReviewTrackers, 70% of customers choose to filter their product catalog by displaying only those items with an average review rating higher than four out of five stars.
- According to Bizrate Insights, 55% of customers typically read a minimum of four reviews before making a purchase decision.
Of course, it is possible to find hundreds of other studies that offer similar statistics, but what can we tell from the ones we have included within this list?
First, it is essential to acknowledge the importance of reviews in influencing customer choices. Without reviews, customers are likely to explore alternative websites instead of risking a purchase without the validation of other users.
Additionally, we found that customer reviews have the potential to boost the average value of each purchase. This is because a significant portion of customers are willing to spend more money on their order if it includes products that have received positive reviews.
Finally, similar to a blog, reviews increase the quantity of written content that can be useful for indexing purposes.
With all this information, it becomes clear that you not only need to include a reviews section on your site but also make it more visible and invite your customers to leave their opinions as well.
Let’s see how.
How to get product reviews
Given the value of reviews, it’s natural to wonder how you can encourage more customers to share their opinions. While this is beneficial for sales, pushing customers could have a negative impact.
So what do we suggest? To start off, let’s define the three most common reasons why there’s a lack of reviews:
- Customers forget about it – It cannot be assumed that users will remember to give feedback. Frequently, this only occurs if the experience with the product or service was negative, whereas for positive experiences it is less common. In such cases, simply reminding the customer to leave a review is often enough.
- Customers did not see the reviews – If most of your customers do not provide feedback for your products, you might need to improve the visibility and functionality of the reviews section. If customers fail to notice it, not only will they not leave their own feedback but they will also lack motivation to purchase based on existing reviews.
- Customers do not want to – Another important fact: the average user isn’t interested in spending time on something that doesn’t benefit them. In this case, you can achieve great results by offering a reward for the feedback, or by highlighting its significance to instill authority in customers and encourage them to share their opinions. And always be careful not to push customers who had a negative experience as their review could harm your product.
You can easily solve these three situations by using the right plugins. In fact, with WooCommerce you can integrate advanced functionalities into your store by simply using additional plugins.
Let’s see some of them.
What are the best WooCommerce reviews plugins
With the global use of WooCommerce as a platform for creating and managing websites, it comes as no surprise that there are many plugins available for reviews. In this article, we will explore three plugins that not only cater to the three categories of customers mentioned earlier but also seamlessly integrate with one another, allowing users to use all the tools together for optimal results.
That said, let’s start by talking about “forgetful” customers.
As previously mentioned, a significant proportion of the reviews that are missing after customers place orders can be attributed to forgetfulness. Multiple studies have been conducted in the past to find out how effective pushing customers to leave reviews is.
These studies, such as the one conducted by Harvard Business Review, showed a notable increase in the number of reviews. However, most of these reviews were considered “average” in terms of value. This is because customers who are either extremely satisfied or dissatisfied with a product are more likely to write a review on their own.
In any case, having more reviews is beneficial. It’s no coincidence that leading websites like Amazon frequently send emails to remind customers to submit reviews.
The WooCommerce Review Reminder plugin is the perfect way to replicate such functionality in WooCommerce.
How does the plugin work?
The plugin’s functionality is simple to understand. It allows you to configure automated emails that will be sent to customers at a specific interval, encouraging them to leave a review for their most recent order.
The plugin offers extensive customization options, allowing you to modify the email content and how it interacts with the review.
As previously stated, the plugin offers the ability to modify different aspects linked to its functionality. The plugin panel is divided into four sections.
The first section is “Email Settings”, and it’s where you can change the appearance and behavior of the email that will be sent to customers. You will be able to customize:
- The subject of the email.
- The body of the email, so the content.
- The template to use.
- The link to include in the email, you can set a link to the product page, to the WordPress reviews tabs, or a custom one.
In the second section, “Request Settings”, you can set the rules to send the email. In particular, you can choose:
- The number of days after which the email will be sent to customers.
- Whether to request a review for each product within the order or for specific ones.
If you decide to go with the second choice, there are many different options available for deciding which product will be selected in the email. You have the option to prioritize products that have fewer reviews, products that have more reviews, products with the lowest or highest value, or even based on the order in which they purchased the product.
This way you can create different strategies and apply them in your store.
In the third section, you will find a list of all the scheduled emails. You have the flexibility to delete any number of emails as needed. If you decide that it is not helpful to send an email regarding a particular order, you can choose not to do so.
If this happens to apply to a specific client, simply navigate to the fourth section. There, you will find the option to add that individual’s email address to an exclusion list.
Advantages of using the plugin
An email notification is often enough to convince many customers to share their feedback on your website. Therefore, it is a straightforward, automated, and fast approach to increase the number of reviews without investing a lot of money.
We highly recommend this plugin as a first step in a strategy focused on reviews, given the excellent results it can bring to your site. Its adaptability and customization options allow you to explore different approaches to achieve the best results.
This section of your website should stand out because it encourages customers to share their opinions and takes advantage of the impact of reviews on sales.
To do this, we’re going to use the WooCommerce Advanced Reviews plugin.
How does the plugin work?
The plugin will significantly change the functionality and appearance of the review section. Taking as an example those of leading stores (such as Amazon), your reviews will easily catch the eye of your customers and will be easily accessible and interactive.
In just a few clicks, you’ll be able to transform the reviews section of your store.
To understand the features of the plugin, all you have to do is navigate to its control panel on your website, specifically to YITH > Advanced Reviews. You’ll find several customization options here.
Among these you will find:
- You can have a title added to the reviews to deliver the message to customers who have a lower level of attention.
- You can allow customers to upload attachments, choosing the type, number, and size of the attachments you want to allow.
- You can enable reCAPTCHA to protect your store from spam.
- You can turn old reviews into the new star rating system.
- You can customize the color of the reviews and the general section, and choose to show the percentage value of ratings.
- You can offer advanced evaluation techniques, including the ability to evaluate the reviews as useful or not, and allow unregistered users to also vote on the reviews.
- You can allow your customers to edit their own reviews.
The plugin also supports Google Review snippets so you can show your reviews directly in the search engine results:
Advantages of using the plugin
As mentioned earlier, improving the functions and how to display reviews can only bring good things to your store. At the same time, you can increase the number of reviews you get for your products and make them more engaging, using a visual representation attached to the customer experience — this way, the reviews are just like those we can find on Amazon.
Since so many customers look for reviews before ordering, simplifying this process and making it more engaging can have a huge impact on your total sales.
Lastly, we have a plugin that extends the functionality of Review Reminder, giving a reward to customers who leave a review, like WooCommerce Review for Discounts.
How does the plugin work?
The plugin generates discount codes for customers who meet certain requirements (of course related to reviews). By doing so, you can create an automated system and decide whether and when to offer a coupon to the most active customers in your store.
All this without you having to personally intervene, with the possibility of deciding whether to release the coupon when the review is submitted or when it is approved.
The plugin’s functionality is a bit more complex, but it can still be easily configured within a few minutes.
Once the plugin has been installed, it’s really easy to customize both the criteria for generating promo codes and the content of the emails sent to customers.
These settings are divided into two sections in the dashboard: the “Review Discounts” section and YITH > Review for Discounts.
Let’s see what rules you can set when creating a discount code:
You can customize:
- The name and description of the coupon (useful for you to distinguish them).
- The event that generates the discount code (a single or multiple reviews).
- The products and/or categories that trigger the event.
- The type of discount (fixed or percentage).
- The days of validity.
- Whether or not to include free shipping.
- The maximum and minimum amount spent needed to use the discount.
- The products and/or categories on which the coupon can and cannot be used.
You can customize the function of this review plugin based on your own strategies and profit margin.
Advantages of using the plugin
Implementing a system that requires several reviews and sending email reminders about how many reviews are needed to get a discount will not only greatly enhance the number of customer reviews you get, but also boost sales. Many people will be encouraged to keep ordering from your shop to get the final reward, which is only reachable based on the number of reviews.
And, of course, a discount code can only be used on a new order, which will lead to a chain of events that will fuel itself.
Given that this is a tool that uses promo codes, it is important to have a balance where the increase in reviews does not negatively impact sales but rather enhances them.
After reading this article, you know the hidden potential behind the reviews in your store. You also know what tools to use to immediately increase the number of reviews your customers submit.
Always remember that reviews are a means to instill authority in your store and quickly win customers’ trust. This is crucial for both new and repeat customers, to create a profitable and stable business.