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How to get more product reviews for your online store

Product reviews help you and your customers. You get feedback on which products work and don’t work, what can be improved and what are the best parts about the products you offer. As a potential buyer of the product, your customers often want to see what other people thought of them, so will read other comments before making their purchase decision. It is especially helpful if they are trying to choose between two rather similar options. If your site has reviews, and another site with a similar product doesn’t, you are likely to win that war.

Just ask!

You can email your customers a reasonable amount of time after they received their order and ask what they thought of it.  Include a link and any tips for writing a review. It doesn’t occur to most people that they should write a review after purchase since they have sort of moved on a little from the purchase point, or that they now can since that they received it, so a simple reminder is enough to get a certain number of people to write a review for you.

The trick is getting the balance of that timing correct.  If they are shoes or clothes, something that isn’t consumable, so they will want to wear it and wash it a couple of times before they can give a complete review.  However, if you sell candy, or something else easily consumable, chances are they will have tried it within the first few days. But, you can’t leave it too long or they won’t remember the specifics of what they thought of it.  Also, only ask once, no one likes a spammer.


Run a Giveaway

If you want to increase your conversion, you can add a giveaway element. For every review submitted, the customer will be entered into a monthly giveaway to for a gift card or prize pack.

You’ll need to be careful with this that you don’t make people think they can only win with 5 star reviews, or very positive reviews, and that the person has to have purchased the product to be able to review something, or else you’ll be inundated with fake and incorrect reviews, which only boost the numbers, but doesn’t really help in the way that is needed.  Rather than a draw, you could pick a really helpful and informative review, often choosing one that gives constructive feedback. This does come with the man hours of reading the comments though. It’s completely up to you, and you can experiment to find out what gets you the best results.

It’s beneficial to announce these winners, either on social media or on a page on your site. This shows transparency, that people did actually win, and the review they won with to show what sort of quality can win.

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Product reviews help you and your customers. You get feedback on which products work and don’t work, what can be improved and what are the best parts about the products you offer.

Create a loyalty points system

This kind of incentive is similar to the giveaway, but everyone who submits a review receives the benefit. You could create a loyalty system that gives customers a specific number of points for purchasing a product and points for submitting a review, then those points add up to tiers, which give them a permanent certain discount, where they will strive to reach the next tier. Or, once they receive a certain number of points, they get a credit to their account to spend on your site.

This is also an easier way to track who can review what, because you could set up your site that customers can only submit reviews for products they have purchased through their account login. Whether your platform is capable of this is something you’ll need to test though.

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The thing about reviews is that they help people make their decision. So if someone thought one your candies was far too sweet, but another thought it was just right, the person scrolling through your website to find out more will make their own decision based on their own personal sweet tooth. Because of this, you want honest, full, descriptive comments, written reasonably soon after they have used the product. On your actual review submission section, prompt them with a few points in the placeholder text e.g. “style, fit, fabric quality, packaging, colour, true to photos” This will prompt, but isn’t too suggestive. It just sort of gives them ideas of what they can review you on. 

Dabble a little and see what works best for you. Incentives aren’t for every business, so see how you get on before trying them. It’s easier to add one than take it away if you aren’t replacing it with something better.

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