Customer Ratings and Reviews

4 Common Customer Ratings and Reviews Solutions

If you’re looking to incorporate an online customer ratings and reviews solution in your business, the following are some of the most popular options.

Each has its own merits and all four can be used in a complementary way to optimize your overall consumer review efforts.

1. Company Website

This is a good place to start since it gives you the most control over where, when and how to present reviews.

What’s more, you don’t have to invest effort in directing or tracking traffic (since your users are already there), and if they’re genuinely interested in buying, the inclusion of reviews can dramatically increase conversion rates.

Product pages are an obvious choice for where to include consumer ratings on your website, but you can also add them to a general testimonials page, or find creative ways to feature them in your blog section.

2. Online Review Sites

These come in a variety of shapes and sizes, such as: free/paid, niche/general, and B2B/B2C, to name a few.

The obvious advantage in encouraging existing customers to use a review site when rating your business, product or service is that it helps you get found by prospective customers who otherwise may not find you online.

Popular sites include Consumer Reports, Yelp!, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, and Four Square, but it pays to find sites that target your specific industry.

3. Social Media

Similar to online review sites, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram can provide great exposure for your product or business.

The caveat here is that purchase intent on social media is generally lower since most people are there to browse, discover and socialize—not to shop.

You might want to invest in running paid ads to promote your user reviews, as these allow you to finetune the target audience for your ads.

4. Paid Search Results

You may have noticed that Google Ads sometimes feature starred ratings for both businesses and products.

This is a great way to optimize your ad results and includes general ratings for your business through Google Seller Ratings as well as specific product ratings in Google Shopping.

Why Are They Important?

Unlike other forms of customer feedback that are used internally to help guide your company in making important decisions (such as product development), customer reviews help guide customers in making purchase decisions by using social proof to reduce buyer anxiety and provide useful information and insight from a buyer’s perspective.

As part of your total marketing strategy, customer reviews are especially  important because they are overwhelmingly favored by Millennial consumers.

Check out some of the staggering data below from HubSpot:

‘More than 8 in 10 (Millennials) say user-generated content from people they don’t know influences what they buy and indicates brand quality, while 51% say it is actually more important than the opinions of their friends and family, and far more trustworthy than website content.’

Bottom line: When used correctly and perceived as authentic, customer reviews are a great tool for driving traffic and boosting sales.

How to Ask for Customer Reviews

Determining the right time to ask for a review or rating depends on multiple factors.

You don’t want to ask customers before they have had enough time to use and gain a solid impression of the product or service purchased, but you also don’t want to wait so long that they’re no longer interested or engaged.

This naturally varies depending on your line of business so you’ll need to do your due diligence.

Below are just a few suggestions for how to ask customers to provide a review for your business:

  • Send email follow-ups
  • Point them to an online review site
  • Incentivize with free products, discounts or referral offers
  • Ask in-person at your point of sale (if selling offline)
  • Approach popular reviewers from competitors’ sites
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