Every e-commerce business should strive to collect more online reviews. After all, a recent study found that 1 in 5 online shoppers view customer reviews as the single most important factor influencing their decision to make a purchase.
But how does web design influence customer reviews?
In this article, we’ll look at 3 web design tips e-commerce businesses can use to deliver a better user experience for online shoppers while encouraging more customers to write reviews.
Use Visuals to Summarize Important Information At a Glance
Chances are, most of your customers’ reviews will center on the same key details. You can help online shoppers make sense of your customer reviews by offering a top-level summary that shows consensus (or disagreement!) about a product.
Let’s look at the way Nordstrom summarizes customer reviews of Vans sneakers. Nordstrom knows that most online shoppers who read reviews will be interested in trying to get a sense of how the sneakers will fit without trying them on.
In addition to collecting anecdotes from customers who purchased the shoes, Nordstrom uses a slider graphic to make it easy for reviewers to help other customers predict how the shoes will fit:
Online shoppers can peruse individual reviewers’ sliders, as well as a summary that aggregates all of the ratings.
Not only does this graphic deliver relevant information in a digestible way, it also makes the review process quick and easy by requesting specific information. If you present your customers with a blank text field, they might struggle to know what information they should provide.
By requesting specific feedback through a highly visual interface, you can make it easier for customers to use and write reviews.
Verify Customers Who Review Your Products
On many e-commerce websites, anyone can log on and dash off a product review–regardless of whether or not they have actually purchased and used the item. It can be tough for businesses to weed out every prankster with an internet connection who gets a kick out of writing fake reviews.
However, there is something business owners can do: verify reviewers.
The Better Business Bureau verifies customer reviews by sending a confirmation email to the address provided by a reviewer. E-commerce businesses can use similar methods to verify customers’ email addresses before or after a review is submitted.
Once a reviewer has been verified, e-commerce businesses can add a designed badge to their reviews to signal that the review is authentic and trustworthy.
Here is an example of the badge REI uses to let online shoppers know that this kayak paddle reviewer is an authentic customer:
This design feature also signals to potential reviewers that your company cares about who is reviewing their products.
The verification process also provides an additional opportunity to deepen relationships with customers. Customers will feel that their input is valued when your company takes the time to distinguish authentic reviews from ones that can’t be verified.
Offer Context for Reviews
If you’re in the enviable position of having pages of customer reviews to scroll through, it’s time to add a summary that online shoppers can use to contextualize individual reviews.
Online shoppers benefit from a recap that quickly offers an overview of how reviews are distributed. This can help them understand how much value to place on any particular review. For example, if one customer had a horrible experience and provided a detailed review, but the vast majority of reviews were 4 or 5 stars, then an online shopper can safely assume that the bad experience was an outlier and not reflective of a product as a whole.
Amazon provides an overview by simply displaying a breakdown of how many reviews fall into each category:
Without this feature, companies risk overwhelming online shoppers with a flood of individual reviews.
In some cases, this type of display can also help customers view their reviews as an opportunity to weigh in on an ongoing conversation where their opinions are valued. By providing a summary of how reviews are distributed, your customers will know that they are contributing to an overall understanding of a product rather than casting a review into the digital abyss where it might never be seen.
Put Your Customers First
Whether you’re designing a new interface for displaying reviews or developing a new product to wow your customers, keep it simple by putting their needs first.
By using visual elements, verifying reviewers, and designing a top-level summary of the reviews for a product, you can reassure customers that their reviews are valued while delivering the information shoppers need.
About the Author: Michelle Delgado is a marketer and content developer at Clutch, a B2B research firm in the heart of Washington, DC.
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