You can’t measure thoughts but you can measure behaviour.
As you invest in your customer review platform and begin to extract customer insight from your reviews it’s important to understand the impact those reviews have (in terms of revenue gained) on conversion.
Put simply, do customer reviews encourage or discourage purchase?
You may be concerned by an influx of 2, 3 or 4 star reviews (incidentally, why do we get so aggravated by the praise-heaping reviewers that still only give you 4 star reviews? What’s going on there?!?) where customers are airing frustrations with delivery times? Will this dissuade new visitors from making a purchase? Should you filter (no.) your customer reviews you present?
With most review platforms, the more you invest (your monthly fee) the greater the level of features that are made available to you;
- better tech integrations with email, loyalty programmes etc
- ability to allow your customers to filter reviews
- syncing reviews across your social media channels
- Google shopping integration
- better levels of reporting and sentiment analysis
- greater levels of customer support and access to new features
So, the more you invest the more concern as to whether you’re seeing any form of ROI. Because… tech, no matter how smart it is, requires justification right?
Yes, integrating your review platform with Klaviyo. Creating flows based on the reviews people leave. Triggering customer support tickets when customers leave 1-star reviews. There’s so much that you could be doing with your customer review platform to deliver your customer a better shopping experience. Is it worth it though if the display of reviews is having a negative impact on sales?
Make sure to measure the measureables
You need to be able to access quantitative data that measures how many site visitors engage with customer reviews on your product pages. For example, if somebody clicks on the review star rating or clicks ‘read more’ within your Product Review widget. Small measurable signs that people are reading your customer’s reviews.
Using event tracking through Google Analytics & Google Tag Manager you can present data that shows;
- the percentage of visitors that engage with reviews (behaviour)
- the impact on product conversion rates
- the conversion rate of visitors that engage with reviews vs those that don’t
- the AOV of customers who engage with reviews vs those that don’t
That data can be easily measured and dates can be compared with Google Data Studio. An example below of a report I created for a early startup brand where customer reviews were crucial to gaining initial traction…
Super useful information. Obviously, this doesn’t take into account the bigger picture as we have no way to measure those that read reviews without engagement (though assumptions can be made through heatmapping aspects of your product page and page scroll percentages to identify those that have at least viewed reviews… but we’ll leave that for another day).
What it does show, in this instance is a 250% increase in conversion for those that engaged with customer reviews. Accounting for 14% of total sales. Handy data to have when it boils down to ROI measurement.
For more established clients I’ve taken this data to a more granular level to look at influence on product and category level. The vast vast majority of times, whether average star ratings are 4 or 4.5, there is always a positive impact when you present reviews. Even in the case where products have less than 10 or even 5 reviews to the product’s credit.
No matter the size of your store, start measuring review impact on your store & product conversion rates now!
Whilst the data is far from perfect, the data is there. The data can present you a representation of the impact customer reviews have on your customer’s decision making process.
It goes without saying that the greater quality the review your customer leaves, the greater impact that review will have on product conversion rates. Even those that offer ‘constructive criticism’.
Your review platform and your overall review strategy is worth investing in whatever stage of growth your ecommerce brand is at right now.
Customer reviews are qualitative data gold – make better use of them
The way your customer describes your product and the impact it has had on their life? It’s precious insight as you review your own product copy. Are you talking the same language? Are you focusing on the same benefits? Honest customer reviews of your products are a hugely powerful tool. You’ll begin to harness your customer’s voice and use it to improve your copy across your store, your email and your social sharing. That’s where you can make massive impact on your site conversions. I see it time and time again.
Which customer review platform is best for your store?
Get in touch. I’m happy to provide an honest view. The platform you select is a key factor in your conversion success. It’s no longer a case of simply presenting reviews on your site. The data and key insight reviews provide you helps you across your work as you deliver your customers a better shopping experience.
One thing for sure, you need to establish a way to measure the impact of reviews. Cheap and cheerful review platforms rarely allow you this level of data interrogation. It’s needed. Make sure you don’t scrimp on your platform and miss out on the opportunity to learn a little more about what motivates your customer to buy what you make.
Want free advice on the right customer review platform for your ecommerce brand? I’m happy to help. Get in touch and we can chat through your options.