4 Strategies for Soliciting Product Reviews for Your Shopify Store
When implemented the right way, product reviews on your Shopify store can be a game-changer. They provide core information for online shoppers, add audience trust, enhance your SEO, and offer key learnings to improve your marketing, messaging, and even your products.
In the first part of this guide, we focused on the reasons why implementing product reviews is an important step in successful eCommerce marketing.
Now it’s time to dive into smart strategies on how to collect Shopify reviews. Don’t just assume your customers are writing glowing assessments of your products. Instead, strategically prompt them to. By the time you’re done reading, you should be well-prepared to build emails and automations specifically designed to prompt a steady stream of product reviews from your customers.
Strategy 1: Ask for Reviews After the Purchase
On its surface, the first strategy is also the simplest one. If you want product reviews from new customers, just ask them.
The setup for this strategy is relatively simple. Create an email automation that kicks off with a customer’s online purchase, and set it to send an email about one week after the customer is scheduled to receive your product. The email message can be a simple thank you for the purchase, along with a prompt to write a review.
Reviews are most effective when customers have already had time to receive or try out the product, so most research support sending this initial email out between one week and one month after the purchase. According to another study, requests for reviews are most effective when they occur between either 2pm and 3pm or 6pm to 7pm.
In addition to the initial email, you can also set up semi-regular follow-ups that prompt customers who have not yet left a review to do so.
Strategy 2: Build Email Automations for Repeat Customers
While the first strategy focuses on new customers, it’s far from your only opportunity to effectively solicit online reviews. One alternative is to tap into an audience more likely to leave positive reviews than any others: repeat customers, who clearly like your products enough to come back to you after the initial purchase.
Creating an automation for this audience means setting up a trigger that checks for an active (or previous) purchase history. Another option is setting up different triggers, depending on the type of repeat customer you are hoping to get a review from:
- For first-time repeat customers, set up an automation that stresses the importance of reviews in general.
- For historically loyal customers, set up an automation that thanks them for their loyalty and offers reviews as a simple way to tell others why they’ve been so loyal.
Of course, these are just some of the many possibilities you can pursue. The key for this audience is making sure that you are not just asking for even more than the revenue you’re already receiving from them, but also offer a tangible incentive in exchange for the review. Which brings us to the next strategy:
Strategy 3: Offer Discounts in Exchange for Prompt Reviews
As you build automations for your online store, the reciprocity principle can become an important tool. It describes the human need to give something back when something is received, especially when that something is given for free.
For the purposes of this strategy, that means offering a tangible benefit for customers who are willing to leave online reviews on your product pages. A simple message, such as a 10% discount for any type of review, can be a strong motivator for new and repeat customers to leave their review for others to read.
An additional benefit of this strategy is that, even if you don’t specifically ask for positive reviews, the chances of receiving one are higher. Again due to the reciprocity principle, customers feel compelled to return the favor of a positive gift, which in this case constitutes talking up your product to others. Because of that, you don’t even need to consider going down the ethically questionable route of “buying” positive reviews through discount offers.
Strategy 4: Use Your Existing Reviews to Encourage New Ones
The final strategy works especially well if you have some customers already leaving reviews on your Shopify store. Once that happens, you can use any reviews your customers have already written as a prompt to encourage others to do the same.
For example, you can set up an automation as described in the first two strategies above. But, instead of simply asking your audience to leave a review, you can share a few “sample” reviews for the same product they’ve purchased. With that context in place, your message can ask customers whether they agree with the review, and if they’d like to add anything.
This strategy builds on the psychological FOMO (fear of missing out) principle. Audiences are more likely to leave reviews if they feel that their peers are already doing the same thing, while also feeling more compelled to fill in any gaps. Especially when combined with tangible incentives like discounts, this strategy can continue to drive reviews into your online store.
Leveraging Email Automation to Create a Reliable Shopify Review Pipeline
Done right, your email marketing and automation efforts can play a major role in soliciting reviews from your online customers. And of course, none of the above strategy has to happen in isolation; in fact, a comprehensive automation for new purchases may include the simple ask highlighted in the first strategy, with follow-up messaging sharing other reviews and offering potential discounts.
In other words, soliciting Shopify reviews should be a strategic process, with multiple messages and processes that work both with each other and with other marketing messages your audience might receive from you. Fortunately, you don’t need to build these strategies on your own. Contact us for more information about how to build your online store, and how to supplement it with effective automations to grow your audience and revenue.