Time Is Key to Getting Online Shoppers to Write Product Reviews
Online shoppers lack time and incentive from businesses to write product reviews, according to new survey.
Posted Dec 19, 2017
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Most online shoppers (81 percent) do not write reviews of their purchases, according to a survey by Clutch, a ratings and reviews platform for busineses. However, many of those same online shoppers say they rely on product reviews when considering purchases.

The study suggests the gap is an opportunity for e-commerce businesses to engage more online shoppers and address the reasons why they typically don't write reviews. Among the reasons, online shoppers cite lack of time and incentives as key reasons for their unwillingness to write reviews.

E-commerce businesses can potentially reverse that unwillingness with simple changes to their review gathering process, the research finds. For example, businesses should ensure that the review process is as efficient as possible by requesting specific feedback through guided questions or star ratings.

Incentives, such as a discount or contest entry, can also help secure more reviews. However, companies should be aware of Federal Trade Commission regulations that prohibit exchanging incentives for favorable reviews.

Timely and effective customer service, including resolving an order issue or complaints, can also increase the likelihood of garnering reviews. Shoppers are more motivated to write positive reviews than negative ones: One third (33 percent) of online shoppers who write reviews share an especially satisfying experience, compared to just 2 percent who write about negative experiences, according to the survey.

Experts say companies should use the review-gathering process to give customers the opportunity to alert them early on to problems that could undermine their satisfaction.

"If any issues arise within that initial use of the product, you can usually remedy the situation and put a stop to anything that might put a damper on positive reviews," said Dan Scalco, CEO of Digitalux, a digital marketing and SEO agency, in a statement.

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