Is your review strategy optimized for conversion?
Ecommerce accelerated 5+ years ahead of schedule through COVID - and the trends have stuck. Brand managers feel immense pressure from retailers, alongside risk of missing their numbers and the risks associated with failed product launches. Concurrently, consumers are more savvy, thriftier, and are demanding more information to make a purchasing decision than ever. Does your review strategy reflect this new reality?
“For the Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, and Who We Want to Be” by Marcus Collins, covers countless brand examples like Nike, Budweiser, Sprite, and Beyonce and how each of them excelled by “harness[ing] the power of culture to catalyze collective behavior,” creating a clear purpose and community.
And while it might seem like these brands don’t need another 4 or 5 star rating to grow, it’s clear that they had a community of influencers that acted as a currency of trust. With the growth of the digital shelf, reviews are more important than ever. To quote Marcus Collins,
"Reviews are the social proof that consumers need to make informed decisions. In a world where we're constantly bombarded with marketing messages, reviews provide a valuable way for us to cut through the noise and get honest feedback from other people who have already used the product. Reviews can help us to avoid making costly mistakes and to find products that we'll love. For businesses, reviews are essential for building brand reputation and customer loyalty. When businesses have positive reviews, consumers are more likely to trust them and buy their products."
Let’s break reviews down. You have a star rating, a body of text, an accompanying video or image, and information about who the reviewer is - maybe their skin tone, hair type, age, gender, or size. When a shopper lands on a retail site, they can look for people that sound or look like them when reading the reviews to help legitimize their interest in the product and provide social proof that the product is worth purchasing. The brand provides the description of the product and markets why you need their product. The customer review provides a sense of security and comfort that the product will perform as promised.
Based on consumer data, Cohley recommends 5 KPIs to ensure that your reviews are optimized for conversion.
As shown in the graph below, conversion increases by 30% when comparing a product with 0 reviews to 50 reviews. Let’s start there - and then we can work together for that incremental lift to 44% at 200 reviews per product page.
While the sweet spot for conversion is 4.75 to 4.99 stars, a PowerReviews study shows exponential lift in conversion when increasing from 0 - 4 stars, and then tapering off. Thus, Cohley’s 1st priority is to ensure all products are at least above 4.00 rating. But don’t try for that round 5.0. That screams “fake reviews” to savvy consumers.
“Over three-quarters (77%) of consumers prefer to see reviews that are three months old or younger.” This is also a key factor in a retailer’s sort ranking. A recent review will boost you higher up amongst competitors.
4. Quality | Images
Shoppers want to see the product in use with user generated content (UGC). Pictures show what product specifications leave confusion around. What can fit in the bag? What will this look like on my skin tone? Is the color pigmentation accurately described and shown in the swatch?
5. Quality | Length
A focus on length prose suggests emotional details from the reviewer on the product usage. Cohley reviewers write an average of 347 characters per review*. This level of detail and richness speaks to how it fits into a daily routine, provides immense learning opportunities to the brand on how they can improve their product or service, and is essential for building brand reputation.
Using a data backed approach,Cohley relaunched its review offering in May 2022 to better align with consumer behavior. After 18 months of generating product reviews, we are so thankful to Cohley’s dedicated Creator network for their attention to detail, robust product feedback, and product shots or video testimonials that accompany each and every review brief.
Want to see how you stack up against the 5 KPIs? Reach out to the team today.
Written by Michelle Green
Day to day Michelle is a bug finder, feature requester, business owner, and sales leader answering the question "how can we disrupt and grow revenue faster?" Michelle focuses on creating products and systems that can scale with easy-to-use functionality, automated reporting, and results that speak for themselves.