Is your ecommerce site loaded with customer reviews, or is it lacking any kind of objective opinion on your merchandise? If you fall into the latter category, you’ll want to start a system of gathering reviews from your shoppers.

Not sure why you need customer reviews? You can start by understanding human psychology.

The Psychology Behind the Need for Customer Reviews

Although we tend to talk a lot about clicks, websites, optimization, and other technical terms, the bottom line is that human beings are ultimately buying what you sell. Period. This leaves them open to all the foibles and realities of human nature, including the psychology of shopping.

Generally, you try to lower your risk when spending hard-earned money. Sure, you make some knee-jerk purchases now and then — like that cable-knit sweater for a puppy you don’t own — but you ideally like to feel at peace with our purchases. This is heightened in an online atmosphere. After all, you can’t touch what’s sold online. You have to trust your instincts — and in the case of reviews, you are able to put faith in other people’s suggestions and experiences.

In simplified terms, individuals treat customer reviews as a substitute for being able to physically pick up an object, try on an outfit, or hammer together a modular furniture piece. Reviews make it easier for people to put an item in their cart with confidence, head to the checkout, and give up their personal financial information. They simply feel better knowing that they did their research and heard from third parties.

Without customer reviews for your products, shoppers must struggle with the realization they are essentially making “blind” decisions. They are taking a leap of faith. This can be a tough prospect, and it might lead to a lost customer. To reduce your number of abandoned shopping carts and bounce rate, you absolutely have to start gathering customer reviews.

How to Improve Your Ecommerce Site’s Customer Reviews

If you haven’t already begun to ask for reviews from customers, you are starting from square one. You’ll need a plugin software package that allows you to obtain reviews and then post them — after checking with the reviewer, if you wish. There are numerous plugins available. Your web development firm can always help you with this process.

Already have a few customer reviews but want more? You’re ahead of the game, but you’re still behind where you need to be. The goal at this point is to encourage customers to write reviews. This can be done through a number of processes:

  • A few days after your customers receive their shipped products, send them a personalized email requesting their thoughts on the merchandise they received. Include a link to the product page so they can quickly add a review on the spot. The simpler you make it, the more likely they’ll be to give a review.
  • A week after the first email to your customer, send another requesting a review again. This prompting can work to obtain new reviews from customers who either never read the first email, ignored the first email, or forgot to write a review.
  • On your product pages, ask for a review of the product from people who already purchased the item. This call-to-action is especially useful if your product is something that shoppers tend to order on a regular basis, such as cosmetics, food items, or skin cleanser.

As your customer reviews come in, the ratings will start to stabilize. This helps weed out the effects of a bad rating if all other ratings are average or above-average.

Should You Answer Customer Reviews?

Whether or not you should address customer reviews is dependent on your goal as an ecommerce company. A benefit is that it gives you a way to reply to complaints or questions. The downside is that you have to keep up with responses or risk seeming like you don’t care. It’s up to you to figure out what’s worth your ecommerce site’s time and energy.

Regardless of how much of a give-and-take you make your customer review forums, be certain you give customers a chance to talk about your merchandise online. It’s helpful all around, and it can even increase your search engine optimization (SEO) under the right circumstances.

How Important Are Customer Reviews on Ecommerce Sites?

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