Why You Should Get More Customer Reviews Before the Holiday Shopping Season Begins

Sep 20, 2017 by Sebastian Shepard, TrustedSite
Why You Should Get More Customer Reviews Before the Holiday Shopping Season Begins
Posted Sep 20, 2017 by Sebastian Shepard, TrustedSite

Holiday season is getting bigger and bigger every year.

Let’s take a look at some spending facts:

  • Almost $1 trillion dollars was spent last year between November and January in the US
  • Of that almost $100 billion was spent online
  • The average retail store earns 20% of their total sales during the holiday season

The point is, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling. If people can buy it, a ton of them are going to buy it during the holiday season.

According to the NRF, a good chunk of people start holiday shopping quite early:

  • 46% of women start shopping for the holidays in October or earlier, compared to 34% of men
  • 42% of men and 38% of women do their holiday shopping in November

This means that it is crucial to have a holiday season strategy as early as summer because a sizeable portion of people begin shopping right around the start of fall.

Related: Easy Tips for Using Product Reviews to Promote Your Store

Why You Need to Use Reviews

Now that you know how big the holiday season is, and when people start shopping, you understand how important it is to squeeze everything you can out of it.

And one of the best ways to do that is through the power of online reviews.

Reviews are perhaps the strongest marketing tool in a merchant’s arsenal.

Why?

Because they’re trusted, authentic, and increase sales.

How Trusted Are Reviews?

Nearly everyone reads reviews before they make a purchase online — and typically more than one.

  • 58% of people read between 4-10 reviews before they say they can trust a business.
  • 88% percent of people say they trust reviews as much as personal recommendations!

reviews stats

Related: 4 Types of Product Comments You Should Never Ignore (And How to Generate Them)

What Impact Do Reviews Have On Sales?

You know that reviews are extremely important to customers. But does their importance translate to sales?

Let’s take a look at a couple of case studies.

Figleaves

Figleaves.com is a retailer of swimwear and underwear. They implemented a ratings and reviews system via Baazarvoice.

After 6 months, they found that products with reviews saw 12.5% more conversions compared to items without reviews.

product views items sold

Reviews also helped figleaves.com lower the ratio of people who viewed products to those who actually bought them.

1st Formations

1st Formations is a UK company that allows people to easily set up and register their limited companies (the British equivalent of an LLC).

They decided to use Trustpilot to help them collect and display reviews. After thousands of reviews, they began A/B testing the results.

1st Formations found that with reviews on their site, they increased their conversion rate from 2.4% to 6.8%!

Further, they found that when they removed the reviews from their homepage, sales dropped 31%.

Yikes.

Related: How To Use Feedback to Sell Even More

Okay, Reviews are Super Important. How Do I Get Them?

There are many third-party review platforms out there. Finding the right one can be a bit confusing. T

he key thing to remember is that you should use a third-party platform. By turning the reviews process over to a middleman, you’re making your reviews seem more legitimate and objective in the minds of your customers.

To make the selection process easier, we’ve outlined a few platforms you should consider using.

TrustedSite

TrustedSite Reviews provides a wide range of free reviews tools specifically created with the small business in mind. It’s easy to set up and is integrated on many platforms. Most importantly, it allows a small business to establish a baseline of trust because it lets them collect and display unlimited merchant reviews.

trusted site

TrustedSite’s badge lets visitors instantly see if a site is well rated

Pros:

  • Unlimited merchant reviews in free plan
  • Respond to reviews in the free plan
  • Easy sharing in across social media channels
  • Import old reviews for free
  • Question & Answer product

Cons:

  • Product reviews requires upgrade

Yotpo

Yotpo is one of the better-known reviews services out there. Despite its popularity, its free options are relatively limited compared to competitors.

yotpo

Product reviews are included in Yotpo’s free plan

Pros:

  • Customers can leave a review directly in their email (no navigation to a webpage)
  • Product reviews included in the free plan

Cons:

  • Limited to sending 50 review collection emails per month and you can’t respond to the reviews on the free plan
  • Requires upgrade to have merchant reviews and import old reviews

HelpfulCrowd

HelpfulCrowd is a relatively low-cost service that offers a strong mix of free options. They do, however, limit the number of reviews you can collect per month—unless you pay.

Pros:

  • Maximum price is $35 per month
  • Free Question & Answer platform

Cons:

  • Sharing reviews across social media requires the paid plan
  • Only 100 review invitations per month on free plan
  • Customer photos and rewards are not available, and will not be free

Don’t Put this Off

Remember that collecting reviews is a somewhat involved process. It takes time to send out reviews emails and build up your score. If you wait until October to start doing this, by the time you have a solid score, many holiday season shoppers may have already spent their money — so don’t delay! Start collecting reviews now to be prepared for the holidays.

About The Author
Sebastian is a content strategist for TrustedSite, which provides marketing and security solutions for online businesses.

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