4 Reasons Your Online Store Absolutely Needs Ratings and Reviews

by Kelsey Clutter

April 15, 2021

Customer reviews are today’s version of recommendations from a friend. Today, 95% of shoppers seek out reviews before they make a purchase, with 94% reporting that a negative review makes them avoid a brand

So it’s crucial to have a positive online presence made visible through lots of high star ratings and customer reviews if you want to increase sales and attract new buyers. 

Why Ratings and Reviews Are Important 

1. They Allow You to Increase Sales through Personalized Messaging

Customers today actively seek out personalized communications with the brands they buy from. They want to be served product recommendations geared towards their specific needs rather than generic marketing messages that don’t stick.

Reviews allow merchants to collect valuable customer insights — including key customer and product attributes — for advanced segmentation. You can use this information to create hyper-segmented campaigns and personalized marketing messages for your customers. 

For example, if you’re a skincare brand, you could learn from your reviews that a customer is a female between the ages of 18 and 24 who has oily skin. Use this information to send her content and recommended products that suit her individual needs. 

This is exactly what dog treat brand WAG does. 

They used valuable customer data collected using Okendo’s Attributes feature to create hyper-personalized segmented campaigns in Klaviyo to determine the age of their customer’s furry friends and the kind of treats they like, to serve up personalized messages based on this information. 

Doing so has resulted in a 300% uptick in placed order rate and a 423% increase in revenue per recipient. 

2. They Allow You to Boost Organic and Paid Listings on Google

The majority of shoppers start their search online — and often, that’s via Google. 

But, when every search term serves millions of pages of results, it can be difficult to stand out.

This is where ratings and reviews are invaluable. 

Besides the fact that incorporating star ratings makes your listings stand out among plain text alternatives, a ton of great reviews tells Google that your store is liked and trusted. As a result, your listing will be bumped up in the results.

For luxury shoe brand The Office of Angela Scott, it was important to stand out and show social proof in order to compete with cheaper brands. 

Price tags often take center stage on Google, but by using Okendo’s integration with Google Shopping and Google Shopping PLAs the brand was able to increase conversions by 81% and witness a 91% increase in Return on Ad Spend. 

3. They Allow You to Increase Conversions

Reviews help build customer trust through a digital word-of-mouth technique. 

Shoppers are more likely to spend their cash on a product that has multiple five-star reviews than a product with no reviews to its name. 

By populating your product pages with high-quality reviews, you instill buyer confidence and nudge on-the-fence shoppers towards a sale. In fact, shoppers who interact with review & UGC are 4-5x more likely to convert than those who don’t. 

For baby accessory brand Freshly Picked, they were able to build a strong online community around their products by incorporating beautifully branded on-site reviews and user-generated media galleries to increase conversion rates by 5%. 

Another great example is women’s athletic clothing brand, Nimble. The brand was looking to encourage buy-ready shoppers to make a purchase by including customer reviews and product ratings in their abandoned cart email campaigns. As a result, the brand experienced a 16% increase in revenue per recipient. 

4. They Allow You to Increase Revenue Through Referral Marketing

Referral marketing can deliver 5x the lifetime of customers compared to other marketing channels. 

The reason? Referred customers are more highly qualified and likely to become repeat buyers than other customers. This is because there is already a certain level of trust established since they were referred by a trusted friend or family member.

One of the best times to ask advocates to share your brand with friends is immediately after they have had a positive experience. They’re feeling good about your brand, so this is a good time to prompt a referral and provide an incentive for sharing. 

Okendo’s integration with Klaviyo and FriendBuy allows you to send referral links to customers after they have left a positive review. Friendbuy customer Alen does this to delight its already-happy customers and prompt more sharing.

As a result, the more they share, the more rewards they get and the more likely they are to make another purchase, ultimately leading to a higher LTV and revenue.

Best Practices for Collecting Ratings and Reviews

Knowing how important customer reviews are is just one piece of the puzzle. 

The next step is generating a consistent flow of high-quality reviews to keep your product pages fresh and updated. 

Here’s how you can increase your chances of getting reviews: 

  • Be creative with your copy — let your brand personality shine through, and speak to customers as you would a friend
  • Send review requests at the right time — give customers enough time to try out your product, but don’t leave it so long that they forget
  • Offer rewards — incentivize the review process by giving customers a discount or a freebie if they provide a high-quality review

Take the Effort Out of Selling With Customer Reviews

Ratings and reviews are a merchant’s best friend. 

They take the effort out of selling and work to build trust and confidence in your brand. 

Ratings and reviews are an integral part of the buying process. Without them, you could be losing out on a large chunk of sales. Okendo helps you quickly and effortlessly generate reviews and display them across your website and marketing channels so you can increase conversions at every touchpoint.  

Find out more by booking a demo with Okendo and receive your first 60 days free!