November 27, 2016 | Shares:

3 Ways to Improve Conversion Rate Using The Voice of The Customer
4 min.

In the noisy eCommerce space, the authentic voice of the customer can help you break through the clutter. Here’s how you can use it to convert more shoppers.

A few days ago, I was looking to order a birthday present for a friend who loves fashion jewelry. Lost in the ocean of countless designs, it was difficult to make a decision.

Then I started looking at product reviews in hopes they would help me narrow down my choices. This one about a colorful stack of bracelets really caught my eye:

Reviews help improve conversion rates

Bingo! That’s exactly what I needed to hear to make my decision.

You typically won’t find these sort of details in product descriptions, which focus instead on materials, colors and other technical details.

But the realism captured in the voice of customers is exactly what most shoppers want to know before they decide to buy. It can be a turning point for improving conversion rates.


Why are customers’ voices important for eCommerce conversion rate?

The voice of the customer works in conversion rate optimization because of its originality and authenticity to earn consumer trust.

It helped Pura Vida get 8,000 more purchases by allowing existing customers to voice their opinions about the brand’s artisanal jewelry.

At the same time, it helped prospective customers learn more about the quality of the products and set expectations for the brand.

Trust and voice of the customer are tightly related. Together, they are one of the top elements influencing eCommerce conversion rate.

Yotpo eCommerce data revealed that 41.5% of shoppers won’t purchase from a site that doesn’t offer insights into a customer mindset, such as product reviews, while 27.5% state lack of trust in the brand as an obstacle to converting.

Assurance from existing customers can really make or break a sale, especially for novelty products or eCommerce brands that haven’t yet established a steady following.

The voice of the customer is important for conversion rate because it helps shoppers visualize the product through relatable experiences of others, which conversely drives the desire to purchase.

How to Improve Conversion Rate Using the Voice of the Customer

There are no precise rules as to what constitutes a good conversion rate in eCommerce. The average rate typically falls in the 1-5% range, depending on the seasonality, geography, product category, and browsing devices.

For instance, brands and stores selling hip consumer products such as fashion clothing and accessories might enjoy higher eCommerce conversion rate than those offering items less frequently bought on impulse, like DIY tools.

If your conversion rate has been stagnating for some time now, your customers can help you turn it around. Here’s how the voice of customers can work on your product pages.

1. Add reviews to your product pages that tell a story

Product reviews are one of the most effective ways to get visitors to convert.

The reasons are simple: 61% of consumers read online reviews before purchasing.

They want to know whether others who have bought the same product were happy with their purchases or whether they had any unpleasant surprises.

This sort of candid insight helps shoppers feel better prepared to buy. In fact, adding customer reviews can improve conversion rate 10-35%.

Reviews work best when they they tell a story. Opinions are more trustworthy when they are backed up by a narrative about real-life situations when a product truly excelled.

Product page's reviews

While the first review is useful in assuring shoppers that a tent offers plenty of room and great design, it’s the second review that really paints the picture with a real-life camping story when the tent provided all the comfort it promised to deliver.

It really shows how the voice of a customer can change the perception about a product.

The power of storytelling on the likelihood to buy is backed by research. In fact, the most influential user-generated product reviews feature customer personal stories (80%) and product pro’s and con’s (71%).

Top tip: Encourage customers to write reviews. Make it easy and painless for them to share their experiences right there on your product pages. Motivate them to share their stories to help other visitors on your site relate better to your products and ultimately decide to buy.

2. Make people covet your products with customer photos

We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s a great shortcut to help visitors on your site understand the product with just a glance. After all, we are all visual creatures.

Remember when you were first taught how to read? Your books were full of images and illustrations to help visualize the words on the paper. Images on your product pages work much the same way – they help shoppers picture the experience and decide whether or not to buy.

We’re living in times of visual commerce, when imagery rules in terms of its the power to convert consumers. But not just any old product photo will do to improve conversion rates.

As consumers immerse themselves in social media, they expect the same variety and creativity in product photography in eCommerce. 77% of consumers prefer to see customer photos created by regular customers when making a purchase.

Call it “the Instagram effect” if you will, but the voice of customers captured in photos works well in increasing eCommerce sales. 72% of customers say seeing Instagram photos of a product increases their chances of buying.

For example, MVMT Watches capitalizes on this trend, and uses an Instagram photo feed to illustrate the versatility of their watches and how they fit with almost any fashion style.

Customer photos influence buyers

Bringing the voice of customers to your product pages in the form of beautiful user-generated product photos can lead to an increase in conversion rates by 25%, compared to pages that feature professional product photos.

Top tip: Collect examples of user-generated content about your products from Instagram and display it on your product pages. Create hashtags specific for your store and brand, and encourage your customers to use them to share their photos with your community.

50% of consumers wouldn’t mind if brands actually hinted at what they should include when they create content. Make it easy and fun for customers to share their creative voice and their personal take on your products.

3. Curate video reviews that inspire confidence

Videos are very efficient at convincing shoppers to convert. 64% of visitors are more likely to buy a product after watching a video online. It’s just logical.

We can’t really interact with a product while shopping online. We read reviews and browse through photos, but still miss a big part of the experience such as holding the product, feeling its texture and weight, or seeing it in action.

That’s why videos come in handy as a customer engagement strategy, as they help shoppers fill in these gaps. Product videos increase customer engagement and encourage visitors to stay 340% longer and view 127% pages more.

Some video content, however, works better than others. For instance, user-generated videos where average consumers talk about brands and products enjoy far greater popularity on YouTube than professional content.

Consumers love to engage with the voice of customers through videos, because these videos are informative, down-to-earth, and relatable.

For example, learned that by using user-generated videos from YouTube on its product pages, it achieved 74% increase in conversions.

Videos featuring products improve conversion rates

The big takeaway is that curating video reviews on your product pages inspires customer confidence, which in turn makes shoppers more open to place an order.

Top tip: Like everything in eCommerce, using videos to get more conversions requires testing.  Run A/B tests to determine which videos drive the most conversions on your site.

Experiment with different combinations of user-generated videos and brand-made videos to arrive to winning results that improve the conversion rate.

Wrapping it up

The voice of your customers is one of the most powerful elements you can use on your eCommerce site to persuade shoppers to convert.

Use different types of user-generated content on your product pages to breathe life into your site, and to allow shoppers to connect with your brand and products.

Let your customers do the selling for you – give them an opportunity to share their authentic reviews, photos, and videos on your eCommerce site.

Work continuously on your store’s conversion rate optimization and test all your ideas to learn which type of user-generated content works best for your business in particular.

Your customers write better content than you. Harness the power of user-generated content.Get your free copy


Miljana Mitic
Miljana Mitic, Content Marketing Manager at Goodvidio
Miljana Mitic is the Content Marketing Manager at Goodvidio, a SaaS solution that helps e-commerce stores increase conversion rates with the power of product videos from social media. Miljana has a PhD in social media marketing and writes about conversion optimization, visual commerce, user-generated content, and how online stores can make the most out of product videos. 
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