High-quality customer reviews are one of the biggest assets you have as an ecommerce store. They are the proof you need to convince future prospects to buy your products. In fact, reviews are integral to the sales funnel; if you don’t leverage their power, you could be missing out on a ton of sales. If you haven’t already started incorporating customer reviews now is the time. You can add reviews to your product pages, your homepage, and across social media. Here’s why and six ways to get them.

High-Quality Customer Reviews Influence Consumer Decisions

Spiegel Research Centre put out a report that revealed products with reviews are 270% more likely to be bought than products without. On top of this, research by Testimonial Engine found that 72% of consumers will actually wait until they’ve read a couple of reviews before they make the decision to buy a product.

This all shows that reviews can often be the deciding factor between making a sale and the customer going elsewhere.

Reviews Increase Product Visibility

Reviews get more eyeballs on your products. Google’s algorithm favors listings that come with a star-rating and reviews; they regularly showcase products with reviews on the first page of search results.

All the extra keywords used in reviews and the additional content keeps your product pages fresh. It also ensures you have many more opportunities to rank on Google and other search engines, including ecommerce giant Amazon.

Customer Reviews Help Product Development

In order to get more sales, you have to have a really great product. There’s just too much competition today to risk having a sub-par product when there are so many other places a customer can go to get what they want.

Luckily, customer reviews can help you improve your products so that they’re the best on the market.

Think about it:

You can use the feedback you get within reviews – taking the most positive aspects and the negative ones – to fuel the development of your products. For example, if you sell a line of women’s shoes in blue, green, and black, but a lot of reviews say they’d love a red option, you can work on creating a red option.

When you’re selling products that have been shaped by customer wants and needs, you’re going to get more sales.

Customer Reviews Generate Social Proof and Build Trust

Edelman’s Trust Barometer revealed that consumer trust in businesses and the media has fallen to record lows. People are no longer outright believing the messages of brands and marketers, and are instead turning to their fellow shoppers to gain valuable product insights.

As a result, customer reviews are far more important for driving sales than any marketing message or copy.

Reviews also build social proof.

Look at it this way. If you have a ton of positive reviews for a product, a customer is going to feel more secure handing over their hard-earned money for that than a product with no reviews and, therefore, no proof.

How to Get High-Quality Customer Reviews

The hardest part of using customer reviews to drive the sales process is actually getting the reviews in the first place. But once you’ve got a steady stream of them trickling in, you’ll soon find your sales soaring. Here are some key ways you can encourage your customers to share reviews.

1. Engage on Social Media

Connect with your buyers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social channels so they feel comfortable sharing a review with you. Try re-sharing customer reviews so that customers know you’re listening.

2. Utilize Post-Purchase Popups

Ask customers for their feedback after they’ve made a purchase via your site. One of the most common ways to do this is via an onsite popup.

3. Encourage via Email

Pay particular attention to your most loyal buyers. Reach out to them via email and ask them to share their experience with your brand and products. You can even offer them a special discount in exchange for their thoughts.

4. Respond to Reviews

If customers see that you’re actively listening and responding to feedback, they’re more likely to leave their own review.

5. Share Reviews First

Customers that see other reviews of your products are increasingly likely to offer their own reviews as they strive to feel part of your community.

6. Ask at the Right Time

Timing is vital for getting generous customer reviews. You ideally want to ask close to the sale so the product is fresh in their mind, but you don’t want to do it too soon before they’ve had a chance to really experience what you’re offering.

Customer reviews are an integral part of the sales funnel. In fact, they might just be one of the most important parts. Reviews are versatile; you can share them on product pages, social media, and via email – but they influence shopping decisions from future customers.

Leverage them in the right way, and you can quickly create a product that your buyers love and generate a loyal following of repeat customers.