We use social proof as an indication of how trustworthy a business might be. If a site has good reviews and appears to be popular, shoppers are reassured that it is likely to be genuine. Social proof also eases purchase anxiety, especially for new customers.
Ratings and reviews are an essential social proof tactic and they’re a top consideration in the purchase process, with more than half of shoppers finding them useful. They’re also a proven revenue booster. Bazaarvoice research found that one review boosts orders by 10%, while 200 reviews generate a 44% lift in orders.
In this post, we’ll look at five ways to use reviews and ratings in your eCommerce marketing across web and email, with real-life examples to inspire you.
Research shows that more than one in three consumers won’t purchase if an online store doesn’t show product ratings and reviews. Avoid new visitors bouncing from your site by prominently displaying your store rating and customer reviews on your homepage. Shoppers will be reassured and are more likely to continue browsing your site.
In this example, Vision Direct builds trust with new shoppers immediately by displaying their Trustpilot rating on their homepage with several 5 star reviews underneath.
Showcase top rated products on your homepage to encourage visitors to click through to your product pages.
Space NK creates a buzz around their top rated products by highlighting them on their homepage. The star rating and customer review show their shoppers that this is a product worth looking at.
Once visitors make it to your product pages, make sure you ease any purchase anxiety and increase the chance of conversion with prominent social proof cues. One in two consumers will extensively research and compare options before making a purchase and over half of consumers look for star ratings when making a purchase.
Glasses Direct showcases customer satisfaction with real-time star ratings on their product pages, giving customers the confidence to complete their order.
Best practice tip: When it comes to reviews and ratings, it’s crucial to pull them in real-time from your product rating provider or in-house solution. That way, you ensure that only the most recent reviews are shown. With 40% of consumers only considering reviews written in the past two weeks, it pays to use real-time technology.
With Fresh Relevance, businesses can pull ratings and reviews from their website directly into their automated email campaigns. Research shows that over 1 in 3 consumers (38%) want to see product ratings for products featured in emails, so it pays to use this social proof tactic in your email marketing.
Include star ratings alongside product recommendations to peak shoppers’ interest and encourage click throughs. And be sure to filter those recommendations by a minimum star threshold to make sure you showcase your top performers.
Buyagift boosts the conversion rate of their automated discount emails by showing ratings alongside each experience and product promoted. Since implementing product ratings and other high converting social proof tactics to their automated emails, Buyagift has seen a 13% increase in sales.
Source: Buyagift email
Ratings and reviews should also be added to cart and browse abandonment emails, where social proof could be the final nudge a customer needs to make a purchase.
Cottages.com makes use of this social proof tactic in their cart abandonment emails, pulling in their Reevoo ratings alongside the carted property as well as the recommended properties.
Source: Cottages.com email
So now you know how to add ratings and reviews to your eCommerce marketing, it’s time to start gathering that all-important customer feedback. Ask customers for reviews and ratings in your post-purchase communication, as Soletrader does in the example below. This allows them to keep in touch with their customers and potentially set up another purchase.
Source: Soletrader email
Frequent buyers are also an ideal source for positive reviews, so be sure to encourage them to share their experience.
Once you’ve collected your ratings and reviews, they can then be added in real time to your website and emails. As seen in the examples above, make sure you include ratings and reviews across all touchpoints such as your homepage, product pages, email newsletters and triggered emails. That way, shoppers will be reassured at each stage of the customer journey, allowing you to build trust and boost conversions. And remember our top tips: use real-time technology to ensure that only the most recent reviews are shown and filter your product recommendations by a minimum star threshold to make sure you showcase your top performers.
Discover 14 ways to get started with ratings and reviews and more in our guide to social proof.