Building a positive online reputation for your e-commerce brand is the digital equivalent of traditional word-of-mouth marketing. Ask any sales person and they’ll confirm it in seconds: a personal referral is the best kind of lead you’re going to get!
According to data analyzed by Big Commerce, 69% of online shoppers say that reviews help them find a product they like, while almost a quarter of the same group say the same about social media recommendations. As consumers rely more and more on feedback from others to decide what they buy, online reviews become increasingly important.
To build an e-commerce brand that means understanding where potential customers are searching for what you sell and doing everything you can to add 5-star feedback that attracts new business.
Building 5-Star Reviews for an E-commerce Brand
First of all, let’s accept that 4-star reviews are also a sign that your e-commerce brand is doing something right. Some customers simply can’t bring themselves to rate a company or product as perfect, so a four might be the best that you’ll get. That’s okay!
With that said, the crucial part of building online reviews is to ensure your service and sales teams capture customer sentiment whenever they can. This is particularly important when your business has a customer so excited that they will talk about it with anyone who’ll listen.
Here are five ways we see our clients building eye-catching review profiles that help their e-commerce brand to stand out in a crowded marketplace:
1. Organize Your Online Business Listings
Business directories and social profiles go hand-in-hand with being visible online. Without an easy way to find you when they search, customers can’t leave positive feedback, so get started with Google and work your way down the list.
Check to ensure that listings are complete and consistent across platforms like Google My Business, Yelp for Business, and others that use the address of your business and link to your website. There will also be sites that cater specifically to your industry. Pay extra attention to these, as the referrals are usually more engaged visitors who will end up on your prospects list.
Finding reliable information is the bedrock of any good online presence. Don’t fall at the first hurdle by overlooking this important step.
2. Make the Process Short & Sweet
In an ideal world, you’d have your customers tell everyone they know everything they love about your e-commerce brand. Back here in the real world, attention spans are short (and spare time is even shorter!) That means you need to make your review and referral processes as simple as possible. You can manage this outreach manually, with your own internal system, or use an automated third-party tool such as Trustpilot to handle the heavy lifting for you.
Most websites that integrate reviews ask for just a rating and a brief explanation of the customer’s experience. Take advantage of that fact by creating a short guide to adding feedback on the sites you value most. Reach out to your best customers with these guides and ask them for honest feedback. Remind them that this quick and easy act can be one of the best ways to recommend your business.
It takes only a few minutes but a good review pays your brand back for years to come!
3. Prioritize Your Review Platforms
When it comes to developing a positive online presence, for most brands it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Unless you have a sizeable team dedicated to customer follow-up and outreach, your business will be reliant on its sales team and service reps to ask for reviews in a few key online locations. It pays to let them know up front which you want to focus on. This will align your outreach and get everyone pulling in the same direction.
Google is a sensible place to start. Many consumers use Gmail as their personal email addresses and/or have access to an Android device. This means that you can easily identify and reach out to Google users for a review on one of the web’s most visible platforms. Facebook is another, due to the sheer volume of users who visit the site or use its app every day. Most people have a profile there and are familiar with the review function. Even if they’re not, it’s easy to show them how to leave positive feedback and reviews are highly visible on your business page.
Sometimes the only barrier to getting more customer feedback is that a brand doesn’t ask for it. Tell people where you’d like them to leave a review and many will be happy to help you out.
4. Turn Existing Reviews Into Testimonials
As you build a base of reviews on other platforms, remember that they can also be used on your own site. Pick the best examples and transfer them to a testimonials or case studies page on your website. Better yet, expand them to tell a customer story that you can use as both a testimonial and a piece of content for your blog.
Highlighting positive feedback is an effective way to show other satisfied customers that they can do the same. Consider adding a few scrolling testimonials somewhere on your homepage, then provide a link for potential customers to read more of these stories and comments.
Most importantly, remember to thank the customer who provided the feedback. These reviews are a gift that every e-commerce brand is grateful to receive!
5. Don’t Neglect the Negative
It’s important to remember that not every interaction is going to positive. When a customer has a bad experience with your brand, they’re free to post a poor review right by all those four and five-star stories.
Don’t try to hide from this kind of feedback. Instead, try to learn what happened, acknowledge if you were wrong, and reply promptly to the negative review.
Potential customers expect to see some complaints. It’s natural in any business and especially true of an e-commerce brand which processes a high volume of orders. In some ways, a few bad reviews can even work in your favor. The online shopping experience is familiar to most consumers by now and they are quick to smell a scam. If a brand has hundreds of reviews and none of them are neutral or critical, it raises a red flag.
If negative feedback is valid, respond to it honestly and show other consumers reading it that you’ll go the extra mile to make things right.
In all of this outreach, remember that your goal is not just quantity but quality. While a high number of four and five-star reviews will build a basic level of trust for potential customers, the decision to browse your site and buy your products will be driven by the real-world experiences that others describe.
Take time to secure reviews and referrals from your most loyal customers and work your way out from there. In time, this positive feedback will give you a highly visible e-commerce brand, built on a reputation that encourages new customers to choose your business.