This is a guest post from Chris Thomas. Chris is a content marketer at Talkative, a customer service platform helping businesses connect more meaningfully with online customers through video, voice, and live chat.
With 92% of consumers reading online reviews before making a purchase, the importance of customer testimonials cannot be understated. But why are they so powerful for enhancing sales, and how do you get effective testimonials for your business?
In this guide, we’ll break down the four reasons customer testimonials boost conversions, with actionable tips for your eCommerce business. Let’s get started.
Why customer testimonials are important for your eCommerce business
1) They portray credibility and build trust
Like any other marketing device, customer testimonials serve as a form of affirmation for your products or services. Yet unlike standard advertising, they provide a more trustworthy sense of endorsement: 88% of consumers trust testimonials as much as their friends and family. So when it comes to increasing your conversions, portraying a sense of credibility is hugely important.
To achieve this, reach out to any customers who have left you a review via your website or social media. Send them a short email survey that uses open-ended questions, allowing them to positively expand on their experiences.
Ask them for permission to use their name and picture. You want new customers to imagine themselves in your current customers’ place, and this sense of empathy is very hard to achieve if your testimonials are all anonymous. When we see real people using products or services, customer engagement is greatly improved.
2) Customer testimonials demonstrate benefits
According to Nielsen Norman research, 20% of eCommerce businesses lose customers because of unclear product descriptions. Customer testimonials are a fantastic way to mitigate this issue and keep your customers buying. What’s more, they are also an opportunity to showcase your product’s benefits, as well as their features. After all, one of the most effective ways to sell is to not only show your customers your product’s use, but also the ways in which it can improve their lives.
Testimonials allow you to advertise your products’ benefits in an appealing and relaxed manner. Instead of giving your customers the hard sell, testimonials allow your current users to advertise your benefits for you.
To achieve this, optimize which testimonials you show. Instead of featuring a list of generic reviews, make sure you vary the content of each testimonial. For instance, you could have one testimonial focussing on your product, another on your customer service, and another on your reliability or responsiveness. The more benefits you can show to potential customers, the more likely they are to convert.
Consider the mediums in which you present your testimonials too. For instance, if you’ve received great feedback from social media users on Instagram or TikTok, consider asking for a video testimonial. You could even offer a free incentive in return. According to WyzOwl, 79% of customers use video testimonials to learn more about a product, so it certainly pays to adopt video as a marketing device.
3) Streamline the customer journey
When customer testimonials are placed on sales pages, they’ve been proven to increase conversions by 34%. The reason for this uptick is simple: instead of having their online journey disrupted, customers are able to find reassurance from other buyers when they need it most – right before the sale.
Placement is key, and correct positioning can help you increase conversions by simplifying your customers’ journey. For example, imagine you are an eCommerce store specializing in clothing. You could place a testimonial on your returns policy page, demonstrating your fast delivery when replacing items that proved too big or small.
You should also analyze your marketing strategy, utilizing social media and email to show off your customers’ positive experiences with your product.
You could even couple your testimonials with an omnichannel approach. For example, by adopting live chat for your website, customers can review your testimonials and then ask any further questions before making their purchases. This can also lower your cart abandonment rates and boost efficiency. For instance, online retailer Bravissimo used web chat and video chat to boost remote sales and lower chat abandonment to just 6%.
4) Build future relationships
By reaching out to your customers and asking them for a testimonial, you are making a positive step towards creating long-lasting customer relationships. After all, new customers seeking affirmation from your current customer base are simply hoping to find themselves experiencing the same level of satisfaction. By keeping in touch with all your customers via email surveys and social media, you can increase your customer engagement and impact your retention levels too.
To make the most of your testimonials, reach out to your providers over time — even if it’s only once a year. Thanking these customers for their feedback and asking how they’re getting on allows a positive dialogue between you and your audience. These customers are far more likely to provide you with extra feedback and social shares further down the line. If your customer then becomes a product influencer in their sphere, so much the better.
This tip is also useful for making sure your website appears trustworthy in time to come. For example, if you are a B2B site and one of your customer testimonials leads to a now-defunct business, new customers are likely to get cold feet should they discover this broken link. This can be off-putting for your site’s visitors and, at worst, can lose you potential business.
Instead, make sure you keep in touch with your testimonial providers. Not only will this allow you to keep your site up to date, it also gives you the chance to improve your customer service through feedback.
As we’ve seen above, customer testimonials are not only an integral part of your marketing strategy but also an essential step in your customers’ online journey. By utilizing customer feedback, businesses who display testimonials demonstrate trust and credibility, while also providing their customers with a meaningful understanding of their product. What’s more, testimonials can help motivate you and your team, as well as future customers.
To truly realize a consistent boost in eCommerce conversions, remember to keep your testimonials up to date. Be proud of your feedback and share it on social media. By maintaining a dialogue with your customers, as well as perfecting your testimonials’ placement and design, you’ll ensure success for years to come.