In the digital age, customer reviews have emerged as a cornerstone of consumer decision-making. Whether purchasing a new smartphone or picking out the perfect outfit, prospective buyers turn to reviews for insights, guidance, and reassurance. The fashion industry, in particular, thrives on the opinions and experiences shared by its customers. Reviews are not just about rating a product; they encapsulate real-life encounters with a brand's offerings, providing a window into the world of fashion that is both exciting and unpredictable.
However, despite their immense influence, ecommerce brands often face a challenge – getting customers to actively participate in the review process. The mere presence of a review section on an e-commerce website isn't always enough to spark customer engagement. In this article, we delve into the dynamics of customer reviews and explore how brands can harness the power of incentivization to encourage shoppers to share their valuable insights.
The Power of Customer Reviews
Before we dive into the art of incentivization, it's crucial to understand why customer reviews matter so much in the fashion industry. They are not merely text snippets on a webpage; they are the voices of shoppers, echoing throughout the digital marketplace. When potential buyers scroll through reviews, they're not just looking for star ratings; they're searching for authenticity, relatability, and resonance.
Reviews aren't a mere checkbox on a to-do list; they are the vibrant pulse of your brand's existence. They provide a host of advantages for your fashion business, spurring ecommerce success. Customer reviews also do more than evaluations of products from the point of view of shoppers. They provide a clear view into the heart and soul of a business, shedding light on aspects, asides the product, that often remain unseen.
Why Aren't Shoppers Writing Reviews?
For all the sway customer reviews hold, many shoppers remain silent observers, bypassing the opportunity to contribute to the collective wisdom. To encourage customers to leave reviews, brands must first understand these challenges.
- Lack Of Incentives: Perhaps one of the most significant barriers is the absence of incentives. Many shoppers might feel that their time and effort are not adequately rewarded by leaving a review.
- Time Constraints: Writing a detailed review can be time-consuming, and shoppers often opt for convenience over sharing their insights.
- Fear of Judgment: The fear of judgment can be a powerful deterrent. Shoppers might hesitate to express their opinions, fearing criticism or backlash from other consumers.
- Complexity of the Process: The process of leaving a review can sometimes be unnecessarily complex. If it involves multiple steps or technical difficulties, it can discourage shoppers from participating.
- Lack of Confidence in Writing Skills: Not everyone feels confident in their writing abilities. Shoppers may worry that their review won't be articulate or eloquent enough.
How To Encourage Customers To Leave Reviews
While some of the barriers listed above might seem formidable, they are by no means insurmountable. Brands and e-commerce platforms alike can play a pivotal role in encouraging shoppers to become active reviewers.
Ask For The Reviews
While this might seem obvious, a lot of businesses fail to ask for reviews from people who have bought their products. Little wonder that Only 5% to 10% of customers actually write reviews. However, A survey by Spiegel Research Centre revealed that 80% of online reviews come from a friendly follow-up email from the business, simply asking for one. This also means businesses are sourcing more verified buyer reviews, which increase purchase decisions by 15% compared to anonymous reviews.
Balancing timing, personalization, and gentle reminders will go a long way in getting customers to leave reviews for bought products.
Give Customers Something In Return For Reviews
By offering attractive incentives, such as discounts, loyalty points, or the chance to win prizes, you can motivate shoppers to share their experiences. This will significantly raise your chances of getting reviews. I mean… who doesn’t like almost-free stuff?
Simplify The Review Processes
Most folks avoid leaving reviews because they don't want to decipher complicated processes or invest precious time in it. Imagine this: your customers lead busy lives and prefer simplicity over complexity. They're not signing up for a 'Review Writing 101' class anytime soon!
So, make it effortless for your customers to share their feedback. Use clear call-to-action buttons on your website and in your emails, to guide them to a simple review page. It's about making the process a breeze, not a brain teaser.
Promote a Sense of Community
Fostering a sense of community among shoppers can encourage them to share their experiences and opinions with like-minded individuals. People are generally more likely to give when they feel like they belong.
PS: Newsletters and social media groups are very good ideas to start if you’re trying to build a community around your product.
Incentivization and Ethics: Walking the Fine Line
While incentivization can be a powerful tool, it's essential to tread carefully. The transparency inherent in authentic reviews contributes significantly to building trust between brands and customers, and this trust is very important for ecommerce success.
In order to maintain this trust, avoid:
- Paying, incentivising or encouraging the posting of reviews that do not represent a genuine experience.
- Discouraging or prohibiting negative reviews, or selectively soliciting positive reviews from customers.
- Requesting for revision or removal of a negative review through offered discounts, free goods or services, or other incentives (Negative reviews are not all that bad).
- Posting fake reviews to undermine a competitor’s business or product’s reputation.
- Reposting of positive reviews from multiple accounts to manipulate a product’s rating.
Crossing the line with reviews and incentivization could do more harm than good for your business in the long run.
In ecommerce, where trends evolve at a breakneck pace, customer reviews provide a sense of continuity and authenticity. Encouraging shoppers to share their insights is not merely a matter of boosting a brand's reputation; it's about fostering a sense of community and trust.
As you explore innovative and ethical ways to incentivize reviews, you embark on a journey towards a deeper connection with your customers, and ecommerce success for your business.
Lykdat is a software development company in Amsterdam, providing customer-focused AI-powered solutions, to help fashion ecommerce businesses succeed.
We recently released our Retail Intelligence solution to the public, providing fashion manufacturers and brands with valuable market insights from customer reviews and market trends, by leveraging Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning Technologies.
Join the market leaders, and gain a high-level understanding of market trends, by leveraging consumer insights from more than 40 million online shoppers, and over 900k pre-analyzed products from top global fashion brands.