I hate to break it to you, but you know that all singing, all dancing website or yours that you just LOVE?
Well, it might not convert in the way you want it to.
I know, I know. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but here’s why:
Those visuals are stunning, and that copy? Inspired!
But it’s missing one crucial element.
Did you know that conversion lifts by 52.2% when a product page has 1-10 reviews on it?
We’re going to explore why this is the case, plus give some practical tips to building a great website with customer reviews, and finally share some of our favorite review management tools to help you out.
Look, I know what you’re thinking.
Surely a 50% uplift in conversions can’t be the result of a few simple reviews? Does anyone care that much?
Well actually, they do.
Here are 7 reasons why customer reviews can help websites outperform others:
Reviews on your website are a great way to build trust in your brand for potential customers.
By the time a new customer has got to your website, chances are they’ve been exposed to a WHOLE HEAP of marketing messages along the funnel.
They might be able to reel off your value proposition or product benefits, but most customers are acutely aware that this is marketing spiel.
Your customers are more likely to take notice when faced with honest feedback, without the sales pitch.
Infact, 49% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.
So, why is trust important?
It builds customer loyalty.
One study showed that 75% of people with high brand trust say they will:
Our Definitive Guide to Customer Loyalty explores what loyalty is and how to capture it.
Social proof is when we rely on the opinions of others to tell us how to act, and we’re seeing this more and more in relation to online purchases.
91% of shoppers said they read AT LEAST one review before purchasing something.
And the more reviews you have the better.
A study found that the volume of reviews correlates with lifts in conversion rates:
Why is that the case?
“It’s all about sample size,” according to Dr. Sungsik Park, marketing professor at the University of South Carolina, “The more reviews, the more likely the comments will reflect the product’s true quality.”
Find out more about social proof and how you can utilize it for your business.
The main drawback of online shopping is that you can’t actually see the thing you’re buying.
If you’re anything like me, then you like to feel the material, open and close a few drawers, press a few buttons when you’re thinking about buying something.
No matter how great the visuals are, you just can’t get the same sense of quality from a website.
The way in which your customers speak about your product starts to build a rich picture of its quality.
Potential customers can see first-hand the things that your existing customers love about your products and services.
We especially see this reflected in the way that reviews influence the purchase of higher value goods.
Did you know that in one study, sales of expensive items increased 380% when placed alongside customer reviews?
While we’re talking about quality, let’s think about what happens if you get bad reviews.
It’s all very well displaying positive reviews, but how do you handle some of the more negative feedback?
No one is perfect, and no product can cater for everyone, so you’re bound to get a few negative reviews from time to time.
It’s how you deal with these customer complaints that matters.
Negative reviews give you a perfect opportunity to let your customers know that they’ve been heard, tell your side of the story and manage your brand’s online reputation.
Check out this response from the owner of a restaurant that received a bad review. He gives the customer a chance to be a part of the solution, potentially turning a bad experience into a great one.
This is a great example, but even a simple, ‘We’re sorry for your experience, but thanks for sharing your feedback,’’ is better than simply ignoring the honest feedback.
And it matters to your customers too.
89% of consumers are ‘highly’ or ‘fairly’ likely to use a business that responds to all of its online reviews.
Check out our guides for the best ways to respond to both negative and positive reviews.
Businesses that collect customer reviews get insight into what their customers really think about their product.
Sounds obvious, right? But take a second to really think about it.
Your customers 👏 are telling you 👏 what they love 👏 and hate 👏 about your product.
Those companies who take this feedback on board, and integrate it into improving their customer experience have the chance to truly delight their customers, which in turn leads to?
Yep, you got it. More customer reviews.
And guess what? As you continue to collect customer reviews, you get a pretty good pulse of how your changes are being received.
Now that’s what we call a feedback loop!
We know that customers LOVE reviews, but did you know that search engines do too?
A search engine wants to help its users to find the right product, service or information, fast.
Reviews can help separate the good from the bad when calculating your search position, to deliver the most appropriate search results for the user’s needs.
In fact, review signals make up 16% of the search engine decision-making process.
Some of the factors that search engines consider when delivering search results are:
Investopedia defines the halo effect as:
“…a consumer’s favoritism toward a line of products due to positive experiences with other products by this maker.”
While the Investopedia description refers to customer experiences, the same could be said for customer reviews.
We’ve already established that websites with customer reviews benefit from brand trust and a better sense of quality, while providing social proof.
Well, this goodwill towards your brand can be transferred to other areas – namely new products and services, that have yet to receive any feedback.
Remember I said that 75% of customers with high brand trust will try a new product or service?
Well, another study by Temkin Group found that loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 4x as likely to refer, and 7x as likely to try a new offering.
The potential is huge!
User-generated content refers to all content that is produced of a company without their influence.
Humans want to relate to other humans. It’s surprising how much social proof affects our buying decisions.
By adding reviews to your website, you’re tapping into the power of the phenomenon of social proof. When a website visitor sees positive reviews from people that’ve already bought from you, they’re 37% more likely to buy from you as well.
You now know why you should be collecting reviews to improve your website performance, but where do you actually find them?
Let’s look at 3 types of customer reviews you can use to boost conversions:
Now there’s a good chance that your business already has a review system in place – a way of collecting feedback from the people who buy from your brand.
Any response where your customers talk about your brand can be utilized as a business review.
Look through your latest NPS survey results, feedback forms, even brand mentions in social media posts.
Each one of these has the potential to be converted to build trust and provide social proof for your website.
What’s the difference between a review and a testimonial?
Generally speaking, a testimonial is a personal recommendation of a product or service, whereas a review is when someone expresses their opinion, whether positive or negative.
A positive review can be used as a testimonial.
So how do you gather testimonials?
Much like reviews, you can look for positive reviews in existing places where people discuss your brand.
Or better yet, you can ask your customer yourself.
You can do this in a number of different ways:
Find out more about how to collect testimonials from your satisfied customers.
Chances are you’ve come across a review site before.
Review websites help customers leave reviews for local businesses, but also products and services.
Customers can search for the relevant business and write reviews which are usually accompanied with a rating on a 1-5 scale.
The average rating and reviews then appear on the business profile for other users to browse and contribute to.
The top review sites that consumers actually use are:
And the power of these review sites is huge.
For example, Google Reviews can directly impact local search results and your Google seller ratings, which has an influence on your company’s online reputation before the customer even gets to your website.
Conversion rate goes up by 12% when the star rating on Amazon customer reviews increases from 3 to 5.
Google Maps creates local search results based on reviews, showcasing the best performing local businesses.
While review websites can definitely contribute to your growth, they are also a rich source of business reviews for your website.
For example, the average business has 39 Google reviews. That’s an untapped resource, right there!
Want to get more reviews on Google? Check out our 9 tips to boost your Google reviews.
So you’re building a website and you want to know how you can incorporate reviews into your pages.
We’ve got you covered with 5 simple steps to building a great website with customer reviews:
Your starting point when incorporating reviews in your website is to gather reviews.
There are two ways you can do this:
Most customers are happy to post reviews for a product or service they’ve used, especially if they’ve had a great experience.
Simply asking your customers to leave feedback is a great way to start building a bank of business reviews for your website.
The benefit of directly asking your customers to write reviews is that you can give them guidance on what to cover, certain product keywords, for example, or what they really love or hate about the service.
From here, you can organize the customer feedback by business reviews and product reviews, positive and negative sentiment etc.
Whether you’re actively seeking reviews, or not, chances are that your customers are already providing feedback somewhere.
Review sites, such as Capterra, G2 and of course, Google are the best places to find reviews about your business.
Don’t forget to utilize this feedback when collecting reviews.
Here’s an example of G2’s business profile for Trustmary:
Many review platforms and management tools offer easy integration, so that you can import Google customer reviews, Yelp reviews, Tripadvisor reviews, etc from the review site, directly to your website.
As tempting as it may be to review your own business, the moment new customers grow suspicious that a review may not be genuine, you lose credibility and trust in your brand.
And 83% of consumers refuse to do business with brands they do not trust.
Fake reviews are not worth tarnishing your brand image for.
Focus on collecting genuine and honest reviews instead.
Trustmary makes collecting reviews directly from customers and reviews sites easy. Start a free trial today.
So, how do you know where your online reviews will have the biggest impact?
Consider your customer journey.
All the way from when your customers start considering purchasing from you, through to when they’ve received your product.
Where are the points of friction? What are the events where they need a bit of extra encouragement?
These are the points that could probably benefit from being supported by positive reviews.
Pindora uses customer reviews on it’s homepage to bring its value promise to life:
Mutjutin uses both video and written reviews on its product page to demonstrate the benefits at point of sale:
Kattotutka uses business reviews on its company pages to build trust in the business.
Remember what we said about reviews creating trust in your brand?
Well, giving customers the opportunity to leave reviews also has the same effect.
Making it easy for customers to post reviews demonstrates openness and transparency, a willingness to receive feedback on your brand.
We’ve already covered the places where you can display reviews, but some of the best points in the customer journey to collect reviews is where customer satisfaction is at its highest.
For example, have you ever received a request to leave an Amazon customer review after you’ve received a product?
Goodwill towards a brand tends to be highest post-purchase, after using the goods or services, and after referring, and these are best points in the customer journey to ask for a customer review.
Sending review requests as automated emails or pop-ups serves as a reminder to leave reviews, helps you collect more customer reviews while taking the hassle out of the process.
You wouldn’t launch a landing page and just leave it perform without monitoring and testing new elements, would you?
The same applies to your reviews.
Keeping an eye on review data can give you an idea of how your reviews are performing.
With this information to hand, you can make informed decisions on whether your review widget needs to be moved to a different section of your website, or if you need to display reviews that address a specific customer concern.
Utilizing business reviews to optimize your website might sound daunting, but a good review management tool can help streamline the process of analyzing your reviews.
If you’ve been following Steps 3 and 4, you will quickly build up a bank of reviews from your satisfied customers and the data to inform you so that you can rotate your reviews as often as you need.
Updating your reviews regularly serves two purposes.
Firstly, regularly updating your reviews allows you to experiment with different types of review formats and content to find the right formula to boost conversion for your business.
For example, video tends to convert better than text, and so testing the performance of video reviews could lead to better conversion, just like it did for Satokausikalenteri.
The second reason it makes sense to keep your reviews updated is because that’s exactly what potential customers are looking for.
69% of prospective customers will make decisions based on reviews posted in the last three months,
That means that the recency of your reveiws can impact whether customers decide to purchase from you, or not.
Create a review system which allows you to regularly refresh your reviews to maximize the benefits of this social proof.
The benefits of using reviews to optimize your website are clear, but even though you know what to do, the actual task of collecting and managing reviews for your website can quickly become a chore.
Don’t worry, though.
There are some fantastic review management tools that can help you create and implement a review system directly on your website.
These tools vary in features and functionality, but generally speaking, the best will streamline the process of collecting reviews, either directly from the customer or from review sites, and easily display them on your website.
Some tools even allow you to collect and display reviews in different formats, such as text and video reviews.
Not only do review management tools make it easy to collect and display your reviews, they can also help manage your brand’s online reputation in two ways.
The first is by giving you an overview of what people are saying about your business across multiple platforms. The second is by giving you the ability to engage by replying to reviews, or even sharing the best across your own social channels.
Finally, the analytics that review management tools provide are second to none.
Want to A/B test which reviews perform the best? Piece of cake.
Want to see which review site collects the most reviews? It’s a breeze.
What about integrating the data with other business tools? No problem.
The bottom line is that if you’re serious about building a website with reviews, you can’t afford not to use a review management tool.
To help you get started with using business reviews for your website, we’ve outlined three of the best review management tools on the market.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective review management solution with the functionality to boost your website conversions, then look no further.
Trustmary’s review management tool is one of the easiest tools on the market for collecting, displaying and analyzing reviews.
The platform lets you collect unlimited video and text reviews which can be displayed on a widget that integrates with most content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress and Wix, with one line of code.
It also allows you to import reviews from a spreadsheet, but also directly from the review sites, which means you can display Google reviews, Yelp reviews, Tripadvisor reviews and even Facebook ratings without having to collate the information yourself!
Even better, you can share positive reviews on your social channels at the click of a button.
Analytics are no problem with Trustmary’s easy-to-use dashboard that provides insights for you, and the rest of the business through integrations.
Trustmary also offers other services including feedback forms and NPS surveys so you can start building a comprehensive and joined up review and feedback system.
But don’t just take my word for it. Read the reviews:
“Excellent service and easy implementation. Quick process to start using and get reviews and testimonials for your website!” Mikko Kuhalampi
“We are able to capture testimonials at the right moment and have found some pretty creative ways to utilize them using the tools that Trustmary provides.” Kyle Turner, Windward Software Systems Inc
“We’re getting precious feedback from our customers and more leads with the help of the reviews. The service is great! Highly recommended!” Ilkka Ahonen
Trustpilot is synonymous with online reviews and with good reason.
Its online reputation management system helps businesses of all sizes collect, manage and display online reviews. You can even manage your positive and negative sentiment, and create widgets out of your favorites.
Trustpilot’s analytics dashboard lets you monitor customer reviews and your brand’s reputation on review sites across the web.
Trustpilot is one of the most widely used review management tools on the market, but even so, it still has some drawbacks.
For starters it doesn’t collect video reviews and you are limited to 100 text reviews with the free plan.
While you can display reviews on two widgets and share via social, you can only import reviews on a CSV file.
As I’ve mentioned already, Trustpilot has a free plan, although this does include ads. A standard plan starts at $199 per month (based on impressions).
Yotpo let’s businesses gather top-quality customer ratings and reviews to dynamically display positive feedback using the power of automation and AI.
The platform lets you send customizable review requests to customers via email and SMS.
It integrates with other third-party tools like Mailchimp, Hubspot, and the review widget is customizable to align with your brand.
Video reviews aren’t collected, and testimonial forms are only available for post-purchase. Importing reviews from other sources isn’t enabled either, so once you’ve joined, Yopto is your only source for reviews and their analytics.
Yopto is also an ecommerce marketing platform, with tons of features for data-driven decision-making, including a great analytics dashboard.
The tool allows you to integrate your solutions for SMS marketing, loyalty, referrals, visual marketing, customer reviews, and more.
Yopto’s free plan allows you to collect reviews, but for more sophisticated reporting, you may want to explore upgrade options.
People love people.
Which is why a website with customer reviews will outperform one that doesn’t.
Reviews build trust between your brand and your new customers. They’re a great source of social proof and a good way to show the quality of your product or service, and can even create a halo effect that helps you cross-sell.
They also allow you to manage your online brand, by giving you an opportunity to tell your side of the story, and set the record straight.
The practice of regularly collecting and displaying reviews can create a valuable feedback loop with your customers, and even improve local search results for your business.
With all this to gain, it’s no wonder businesses use reviews to boost their website conversion by finding the place where reviews will have the biggest impact (and the best place to collect more customer reviews too!), monitoring and regularly refreshing their reviews.
Managing a review system can get complicated pretty fast, though, but an online review management tool can help streamline the process.
There are lots of great tools on the market but we love Trustmary’s review platform which lets you easily gather and display unlimited video and text reviews for your website.
Why should I be collecting reviews for my website?
Research shows that including reviews on your website can improve conversions by 54%, and that performance improves with more reviews added.
Reviews can be used to:
What are the different types of reviews I can collect?
Reviews can be found in any place that people are talking about your brand.
Feedback mechanisms such as NPS results, feedback forms or social media posts about your business are a good source of information that can be utilized as reviews.
You can also request testimonials directly from your customers.
Finally, review sites like G2, Capterra, Yelp and Google gather reviews about companies which can be imported to your website.
What are the best online review sites to find reviews?
Different review sites serve different purposes.
Online review sites like Google, and Yelp help customers leave reviews for businesses across many different sectors, whereas industry-specific review websites like TripAdvisor, Glassdoor and Amazon, are more tailored to a certain customer experience.
Social media is playing a bigger role in online reviews as well, as consumers take to platforms like Facebook, YouTube and TikTok to leave reviews about products and services they’ve used.
Where shall I place reviews on my website?
Your review strategy should support your customer experience.
Start by identifying the best point in your customer journey to include reviews. These may be points of friction, or just where a bit of extra encouragement is needed to perform an action, such as at point of sale.
You can then start testing and updating reviews depending on how they perform. Or you can let Trustmary’s AI-generated review score do the work for you.
Why should I use an online review management tool?
Gathering, displaying and analyzing reviews can quickly get complicated but review platforms can help streamline this process.
What should I look for in a review management tool?
The best review platforms will streamline the process of collecting reviews, directly from the customer or from other review websites, as well as displaying reviews on your website in different formats, such as video and text.
They will help you manage your online reputation by providing an overview of what is being said about your business, and allowing you to share reviews via your own channels.
They will also provide analytics to help you dive a little deeper, and integrations so that you can share what you’ve learnt from your customers with the rest of the business.
Trustmary is the most effective way to convert more sales by improving digital trust.