At the e-commerce conference in Tralee in 2019, we gave a talk on the influence of online reviews on e-commerce conversion. We recommend all e-commerce sites put a review policy in place to bake in review acquisition and to use them to increase site conversion.
You can use ‘ALARM’ to remember the steps for Review Policy creation.
- ACQUISITION: Discuss and plan how to hardwire review acquisition into the purchase process, or post purchase process.
- LEVERAGE: How can you leverage the reviews that are generated by customers so that they are seen by more people – and crucially – how can they be seen by the first and second level network contacts within the social circles of the review author. Conduct an audit of all review platforms and develop a protocol for each channel. New review tools open up every day.
- AUTHENTICITY: What is your review verification process, and how can you communicate the authenticity of your reviews to users in your purchase funnel? Consider including negative reviews that are accurate in the mix.
- RESPOND: Develop a policy for handing bad reviews. Take the conversation offline as soon as possible. Always keep your cool. Make sure you respond in a timely fashion, but not in the heat of the moment. It takes a huge amount of time and effort (and money) to have bad reviews taken down at source. Review platforms almost never do it – so you’re better off trying to handle them than quash them, unless they are seriously contentious and have the potential to do real damage to your business. (Then you can look into liability laws, which differ from country to country)
- MONITOR: Consider setting up alerts or using a media monitoring tool to keep an eye on forums and review platforms. I use a range of different monitoring tools – though I have yet to use one single platform that catches all mentions.