Let's Review, Shall We?

As good as those five-star reviews look, they may not be growing your business, according to the results of a recent survey of more than 9,000 consumers who were asked about the importance of online product reviews.

According to the research, which Inc.com wrote about in April, consumers are more compelled by the recency of the reviews. In other words, that five-star review may look impressive, but that was six months ago. What have you done for your customers lately?

“Sixty-four percent are more likely to purchase a product with fewer, more recent reviews than one with a higher volume of reviews older than three months,” Inc.com contributor Maria Haggerty wrote. “Maintaining fresh reviews becomes even more important when attracting new customers: 86% of shoppers say that review recency is more important when considering a product or brand they haven’t purchased before.”

Because so many potential buyers look at product reviews, it’s important to have reviews — fresh reviews — on your website. The trick is enticing consumers to leave a review, which is no easy task, so you must make it worth their while.

“You can catch more flies with honey,” Haggerty wrote. “Show customers you value their time and experience by offering them something in return for sharing their thoughts and opinions with your online community.”

Haggerty recommends offering credit for future purchases, customer loyalty program points or entries in a larger prize drawing in exchange for leaving a review.

“Offering incentives not only attracts more customers to leave reviews,” Haggerty wrote, “it’s also another point of interaction to improve their experience and create a moment that will further connect them with your brand.”

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