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Reviews upsurge during Covid pandemic

Without diminishing the horror of the Covid outbreaks globally, we can probably all agree the stay at home directives most of us have experienced and continue to live under has had a massive consequence for how we shop. McKinsey research advises: ” When lockdowns forced consumers to remain at home, US e-commerce experienced ten years’ growth during the first quarter of 2020.”

A related consequence of online purchasing, time at home, time to spare, is the rise in online reviewing. In an age where we are all experiencing a [moderate to extreme] rise in stress as well as a rise in online discussion and sharing, it’s not surprising that many people are taking the time to review and share.

For ecommerce businesses, already harnessing the power of online reviews, this is a boon. For others, this is a great opportunity:

“As the number of star ratings and reviews climbs further, and as more products are increasingly scrutinized online, buyers may base their purchase decisions increasingly on cues from other consumers rather than information from companies.”

For this reason and so many others, creating a warm welcoming space online, with great pre- and post- sales support, a place for reviews both online and through google my business is more relevant than ever (see our post for setting up google my business if you’ve not done so already – google LOVES you to play in their sandpit)

Reviews can give you insights into why a product isn’t selling, giving feedback so you can tweak products and your sales process.

Make some onsite changes – ensure your product descriptions accurately describe the product, create blog content that explains a product, clarifying queries or complaints; use video – it supercharges sales conversions and product reach, especially in socials, who are now preferencing video content on their platforms.  

This new landscape gives an unprecedented opportunity for new product: “In this fluid landscape, a product’s price and online feedback may be the primary factors that customers consider when making purchases” – allowing you to pit your products against traditional well placed brands, at a time when brand loyalty is truly being rewritten.

What you can do:

  1. Make sure your product descriptions reflect the product accurately – leaves no chance of nasty surprises the customer may react to
  2. Request reviews on the product page : “Love this product? Help others get the same joy by leaving a review.”
  3. Make a post sales request – a pleasant, warm reminder is sometimes all it takes to get someone to write a testimonial.
  4. Post your best to socials – they make a great addition to your instagram feed and facebook posts
  5. Include quotes from great reviews in the product description – it can move the dial to make the sale
  6. Personalise your correspondence – after you gather addresses with a sign up reward, send meaningful emails that convert – you won’t be sending spam when each mailout includes offers, loyalty rewards and a heartfelt request to leave reviews for products so others can get the good stuff too.
  7. A/B test sales messaging in socials to improve a product’s appeal to customers.
  8. Tell your team that reviews are your priority now – this should spread out across all of your customer touchpoints.

People buy from people. People trust people.

As the number of ratings and reviews increase, and as more products are scrutinized online, it stands to reason that another customer’s experience may be even more influential than anything a site could say.

Humanise your site. Make your interaction with your customers as human and personable as it can be online, as it is when they walk through your door. Communicate with patience, warmth and humanity.

Want some help automating reviews, adding calls to action to ask for reviews, adding review gathering to your communications or checkout?

Factoring in reviews and encouraging them through your customer and client communications should be a priority for your business. If you’d like help strategising for better customer interaction and engagement, contact us.

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