92% of customers report that online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. That means that almost every single customer is looking for online social proof before they commit to your product or service.
That’s why having a large number of positive reviews is so critical for retailers right now. If you don’t have enough reviews or you have a majority of negative reviews, your business instantly loses credibility in the eyes of the consumer.
Plus, reviews are SEO juice. Search engines love to see a high number of positive product reviews because it gives credibility to your brand. The more credible your site and products, the higher search engines will put you in your results. This improves your awareness and marketing impressions, which can lead you to even more sales and reviews.
So how do you get more business-boosting product reviews? It's easy: use your store’s mobile app.
If your customers have your app downloaded on their phones, they already have some loyalty to your business. This means they most likely they already have a positive feeling towards at least one of your products. At the very least, they’ve made a purchase of one of your products. You can optimize this engagement with your brand to increase your product reviews both on mobile and on your site.
1. Send push notifications.
You’re perfectly placed as an on-the-go reminder for product reviews if you are able to get your customers to download your app. Your consumer will feel a buzz in their pocket, and they’ll open their phone to see a request to review your product. After a set period of time after an order is delivered, use the app to send a push notification directly to your customer’s phone. We recommend a push notification that reads similar to this (but in your brand voice):
“Happy Friday! It’s time to leave us your feedback on your recent purchase of [product]!”
Timeliness is important with push notifications. You want your customers to have enough time to learn how to use your product, but not so long that the excitement of getting something new wears away. This means that different products should have different lag times for these notifications. For example, a t-shirt will need much less time to review than a dietary supplement.
2. Create a loyalty program.
With your mobile app, it should be easy for customers to set up some sort of account or loyalty program with your business. This helps you retain customers—which lowers the cost of customer acquisition—and it also helps create deeper relationships with your client list.
But a loyalty program is also a great way to gather product reviews. When customers have an account with you, they can quickly and easily find ways to leave reviews. You can offer them loyalty points, send them emails, or alert them to a pop-up when they log on to their account.
Creating a loyalty program is not only a great way to keep your customers around, but it’s also a strong way to keep them engaged. And engaged consumers are more likely to take the time to leave positive reviews and spread the word to other potential customers.
3. Incentivize users.
In most cases, customers won’t leave product reviews unless they’re really passionate about the product—either that they absolutely love it or absolutely hate it. Even then, they might not “waste” the time or energy to leave a review.
So you want to incentivize people to leave a review. You can do this with deals like a short-term discount code.
The goal is to try to attract positive reviews and weed out the negative reviews. Thus, it’s often best to incentivize in a way that your brand fans would want—and your brand haters wouldn’t care about. For example, a user is scrolling through their Instagram feed. They see a gorgeous picture of your brand’s sunglasses pop up. They click “like” and see that the caption says, “Like this post and leave a review of any recent product purchase using our mobile app for a chance to win these stunning sunnies!”
This kind of sweepstakes, giveaway, or promotion is a great way to incentivize a customer who wants that pair of sunglasses because they already love the other pair they have. It takes a little bit of work to leave the review, but their reward could be great. This does two things for your brand: it attracts more positive reviews, and it also engages your customers with your brand through a new avenue.
4. Encourage user-generated content.
Today’s customers, especially millennials and Gen Zers, love to share their own content. They’ll post pictures of themselves using products and services as a way to “show off” and engage with their favorite brands. You should encourage this user-generated content through your mobile app. Maybe you include a section that shows off recent tagged posts, or maybe you have a “customer highlight” every week.
This helps your customer feel more engaged with and attentive to your brand, but it also gives them a new avenue for reviews. Although you may not directly ask them to leave product reviews on your page, they are naturally sharing their thoughts about your product on their own profiles.
For example, a customer might show a picture of them using your business’s kayak, tag you, and write the caption, “Can’t get enough of my BrandX Kayak!” Although this isn’t an “official” review, it’s an added layer of social proof that can help increase your links, boost your awareness, and create several layers of brand fans.
5. Link your social media.
Most customers use social media on their phones. This makes it easy for you to pair their social experience with your mobile app. It also makes it easy for them to be reminded of your brand on social media, and then quickly flip over to the mobile app to leave their feedback.
For example, you can create social link outs to your mobile app. On certain social platforms, like Pinterest, you can actually advertise your store’s mobile app—and the user can download it right from their social platform. This makes it easy to let them switch from social to store.
You can also use advertisements to solicit product reviews. You can sponsor posts to relevant target audiences to remind them to leave you a review. You can then link out to the mobile app’s review section directly, so they just have to click on the image and they’re instantly brought to the review page.
Remember: you want to make the review process as seamless and frictionless as possible.
Product reviews are the lifeblood of your eCommerce store. They provide invaluable social proof that customers and search engines take seriously.
You should ask for product reviews at every touchpoint for your customers—including your mobile app. You can design your app in a way that asks for product reviews with your brand voice while encouraging customer interaction.
Want to get more product reviews?
Check out our partner Seller's Choice. They can help you optimize your storefront and create follow-up campaigns so you can gather reviews, grow your business, and build a long-term client list. See their solutions here.