Product and service reviews play a really important role in the success of an ecommerce retailer, particularly those that hope to capture the Amazon Buy Box. So what's the best way to get more good (highly rated) reviews?
Establish a process and stick to it (using best practices along the way, of course).
It should not be necessary to explain why reviews are important (they drive unsure customers toward purchase, assure customers of quality and contribute greatly to buyer confidence); but it should be repeated often that Internet retailers need to concentrate on optimizing opportunity to get more reviews. Again, this is about process - establishing a good way to acquire more reviews without alienating users.
Perhaps the best way to acquire more customer reviews is to implement an email follow-up sequence - a series of emails that are delivered to the user following the purchase. Email sequencing requires near perfect timing and messaging but when done well it can make an incredible difference.
PURCHASE CONFIRMATION (SELLER FEEDBACK) QUICK REQUEST: In many ways it seems that Amazon cares as much about the quality of the shopping experience as it does the quality of the product. As a result, once a user has completed their order, it is imperative that sellers follow up with a request to review not the product but the shopping experience itself (i.e., was it fast and flawless, did the buyer encounter any issues, was the selection broad enough and did they find what they were looking for).
Buyers, at this point, are unable to review the product of course (since they have yet to receive it), but since Amazon cares so greatly about the quality of the shopping experience, it servers retailers well to capture information and data on users that have had a positive experience with the seller (and limit the negative exposure too). The idea behind this part of the email sequence is to thank users for their purchase soon after completion (immediately or at least within one day). This email provides a terrific opportunity to provide guidance on using the product and sets up the user to eventually review the product when it arrives..
THE DELIVERY FOLLOW-UP EMAIL: Once a product has been shipped and has been delivered to the user, the second phase of the email sequence is an ideal opportunity to make sure the correct product was received, provide information that offers answers to common questions and directs users on how to get in touch with the seller. It's also a perfect opportunity to formally ask for a review. The product will be new to the user at this point, so capitalize on the excitement of delivery to obtain more positive reviews.
FORMAL PRODUCT REVIEW REQUEST: Once a few weeks has passed after purchase and delivery, it is time for sellers to make one last final formal request for review of the products that have been sold. Since this is the last email in the sequence or series, the focus should be on getting/obtaining the product review while ensuring the buyer still likes the product. Let the buyer know that your success is dependent on product reviews from customers like them and that you're willing to do what it takes to ensure an ideal experience.
There is a handful of other tactics being used by top Amazon sellers today. Many, for example, use traditional print marketing inserts in their product packaging while others swear by recruiting popular reviewers.
What's your best guidance for obtaining more customer reviews? Share your insights with a comment below!
Digital marketing executive with proven experience in all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), performance-based advertising, consumer-generated/social media, email marketing, lead generation, Web design, usability, and analytics. - 20-year Internet marketing veteran, currently serving as the Digital Marketing Campaign Manager at Antenna Group (formerly Chicago Digital). - Former Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine, and a regular speaker on Web technology digital marketing strategy - Author of several books on digital marketing Including Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success; Affiliate 360: The Fundamentals of Performance Marketing; Domains 360: The Fundamentals of Buying & Selling Domain Names, and SEO 360: The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization.