Product reviews are essential if you want to turn viewers into customers when they visit your website. As they explore everything your brand has to offer, it’s important for them to know your brand can be trusted and has been trusted by customers that have come before them. After all, they have plenty of options out there! But just how many product reviews does it take to convert those viewers into customers?
How many reviews are enough reviews?
Matt Moog, CEO of PowerReviews, ran a study at Northwestern University and found that the more reviews the product has the more likely it is that a customer will purchase it. "Around 20 [and running up to 50] is the optimal number of reviews for a product to have to give consumers the confidence that this product has been tried enough by enough people," Moog said to MarketWatch.
In a similar study that was published in Psychological Science, 120 adults were comparing pairs of phone cases on Amazon and the results tell us that people tend to check out a product that has more reviews, even when it has the same low rating another alternative product has. It was concluded that consumers view products with more reviews as being more popular, or more frequently tried. This makes them more comfortable in purchasing the product if it is what everyone else is trying, regardless of quality.
- About 97% of online shoppers say reviews influence their buying decisions
- 92% of consumers will hesitate to buy something if it has no customer reviews at all
- 73% of shoppers say written reviews make more of an impression on them than the star or number ratings
- The average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a business
Why Retailers Should Consider Customer Reviews
Real customer reviews can persuade a new buyer to take action and purchase your brand because they can gather information about your products through these reviews. A potential customer might be interested in a product but hesitant to buy it. That’s where social proofing comes in—if potential customers see others talking about and sharing their experience with your product, they’re more likely to try it out themselves.
Customer reviews can provide the reassurance and trust they need to validate their initial interest and make the decision to purchase from your brand. People are more likely to trust a stranger online than a brand’s word because they’re seemingly “in it together” according to Mandy Yoh from ReviewTrackers.
How to Get More Genuine Product Reviews
In a world of spam comments and fake reviews becoming commonplace, gaining more organic product reviews should be your top priority. Having little to zero reviews on your site or social channels can lead visitors to perceive your brand and products as untrustworthy—and in turn, more hesitant to buy. Here are a few methods to encourage product reviews to convert viewers into customers:
- Create a space for customers to leave reviews
You can’t expect reviews to come in if you don’t have a space for them to live. Whether that be through Facebook, Yelp or Google, make sure you’ve registered your business and updated any relevant info that customers might be looking for such as business hours, location and contact info. You’ll want someone monitoring these channels who will respond quickly and accurately when questions start coming in. Your response time could be what stops potential customers from learning more when they came across your business!
- Incentivize customers to write reviews
This method involves offering your customers something in return for reviewing your products—sometimes a little motivation is all it takes for customers to write them. One way to go about this to offer a discount code that they can use on their next purchase. Smaller incentives can also do the trick. Try offering a free sample-size of one of your most popular products or a code for free shipping on their next order. (Now you’ve got yourself a repeat customer, that’s a win-win!)
- Be responsive
In a study done by Harvard Business Review, companies who actually reply to customer reviews (yes, even the not so good ones) actually start to receive better ratings in the long run. When you show that you’ve taken the time to respond to these in a thoughtful manner, past customers and future ones are likely to feel like their input is being heard. Their experience with your brand and products online matters—so if they took the time to leave a review, you can take the time to reply to them.
- Start a product sampling campaign
A product sampling campaign gets your products into the hands of consumers with the hopes that they’ll share your product on social media. If their experience is positive, this could influence them to create great user-generated content that your brand can benefit from. Be clear with how you want your product presented online and coming up with a simple call-to-action in your gifting note can go a long way. For example, include a specific hashtag you’d like them to use and what handles they can tag your brand at.
- Use influencer marketing
Influencer marketing can open up your brand to new customers and help drive sales in the process. Aligning yourself with influencers who match your brand’s target audience will go a long way in helping you seem appealing to their audience and convert likes into sales. Specifically, product reviews generated by micro-influencers come heavily trusted by their smaller audience due to the fact that they’re viewed as more relatable.
Any of these methods are a great way to create genuine product reviews and give your brand more exposure and potential sales. Communicating with your customers and gaining their trust is the key to a successful consumer base. Strategies like this work hand-in-hand with influencer marketing. To learn more about influencer marketing and how we can help your brand gain product reviews by converting viewers into customers, check out Statusphere.