When it comes to making a well-informed and confident purchase decision, consumers look to ratings and reviews as the most authentic voice about a product. In fact, almost all (95 percent of shoppers) consult reviews before buying.
Typically, review collection focuses solely on gathering insight from the product's end-users, and brands and retailers can miss out on valuable insight from shoppers who have purchased an item as a gift. As brands and retailers continue to make review collection a priority, it's important they expand their efforts to attract all shopper feedback - including gift givers.
Although gift givers can't provide the same depth of insight as the product's end user, they can provide valuable information about why they purchased a product. In the 2015 holiday season alone more than $626 billion was spent on gifts, meaning there's huge potential to generate feedback from this group of purchasers.
Here are some best practices for capturing reviews from gift givers.
Rework your call-to-action
Since 70 percent of consumer reviews originate from post purchase emails, it's essential to implement them as a tactic in your rating and review strategy. However, if you don't ask the right questions, you risk alienating gift givers and missing out on their feedback altogether. Frame your call-to-action (CTA) to capture feedback from all types of buyers, end users and otherwise, by asking questions like, "Why did you purchase [X product]?" and "Who was this for?"
Also consider including a section on the "Thank You" page that appears after an online order is placed, asking why the consumer purchased the product. This makes it easier for shoppers to provide feedback while they're still in your ecosystem and allows you to display that insight directly on the product page.
Keep it simple
Make the feedback process as simple as possible, especially because gift givers have likely already spent a lot of time looking for that perfect present. Too many clickable banners, links and CTAs in your review request may distract -- and even overwhelm - your customers. It's important to keep your ask as short and simple as possible; stick to straightforward messaging and make sure your design is visually appealing.
Consider allowing respondents to provide a couple quick pieces of information -- a star rating or the answers to a few quick questions -- rather than providing an in-depth review. And if you're using a tag-based review system -- which outlines a product's most commonly cited pros, cons and best uses -- consider allowing customers to choose "great gift" as one of the product's best uses.
Keep context in mind
If you aren't asking in-store shoppers for feedback, you're missing out on a significant segment of customers. According to a Total Retail study, 73 percent of shoppers say that while they tend to browse for products online, they still complete their final purchase in-store. While reviews from online shoppers might be easier to collect, don't make the mistake of leaving in-store shoppers out of your review strategy. To solicit feedback from these in-store gift givers, tap into your existing rewards program database or ask customers to share their email addresses at the register by offering additional incentives like coupons and sweepstakes entries.
Ultimately, the more feedback you can obtain to shed light on the motivation for purchase, the better success you'll have in marketing your products and building buyer confidence. Consider reworking your review collection strategy to capture gift givers, as these shoppers hold insights that are just as valuable as the product's end-user.
As Chief Customer Officer at PowerReviews, Matt Parsons' primary focus is client satisfaction. With more than 15 years of client service experience, managing client success, software implementation, technical support, sales operations, customer renewal and content moderation functions in the financial, telecommunications and ecommerce industries, Matt's first foray in ecommerce was at Fogdog.com. Prior to joining PowerReviews, he managed a sales operations team at Qwest Communications and prior to that was a Senior Consultant at BearingPoint.