Social-proof is the best way to sell a product. Consumers want to know that they are making a smart, informed decision based on what others are doing. Displaying product reviews written by previous customers has been shown to boost sales by 270%.
It can help to legitimize your business
Often online shopping can be a gamble for buyers. Reading reviews written by previous customers gives a sense of relief that your business is real and they will actually receive the product they ordered.
It provides unbiased, honest insight
As a business owner, you know that your product is better than the rest, however you are obviously biased. You know what work you put in and why that sets you apart from the competition. As effective as self marketing is, having others to vouch for you gives potential buyers proof that others believe in and stand by your product. Your customers don’t have to say they love your product, so the fact that they did says a lot.
It gives you a good reputation
This is simple, however the most important point. The fact that people like your product means it’s good. A good reputation amongst buyers guarantees sales. The more positive reviews a business has, the better their reputation.
As important as reviews are for your business, it can be hard to get the ball rolling. Follow these tips, and watch your reviews pile in:
This can be an intimidating task, however often the most effective. As a food producer, you know your customer relationships best. When thinking of who you ask and who you don’t, ask yourself:
- Are there customers you know on a personal level? Perhaps you sell to your neighbour or long-time friend - they can be great assets to help get you started.
- Have you had a selling relationship with a customer for over a year?
- Do they tell you how much they love your product already?
Asking yourself these questions before asking your customers increases the likelihood that they will leave you a positive review. You can also consider leaving a “Leave a review here” message or button on your social media platforms, website or promotional emails.
Make it easy
If it’s hard to leave a review most customers will not go to the trouble. If you’re looking for testimonials to include on your website or other promotional materials, consider linking a Google Form page where you outline pre-set questions or answers that customers can easily fill out. After you receive responses, you can easily upload these answers to your websites.
Additionally, social media sites, such as Facebook, provide a great platform for reviews. If you have a Facebook business account, you can enable this feature and watch the reviews come in.
If you haven’t set up the ratings and review function, this blog post outlines this process. As your customers are already on Facebook, leaving a review stays simple.
Give customers incentives to leave reviews
Offer customers discounts, free samples, or first-ordering perks if they leave a review or fill out a feedback form. This will increase the likelihood a customer will leave a review as they are getting something in return.
Please note, this can have a positive and/or negative impact on your business, so we recommend trying the other two before, and not offering this for social media reviews.
The truth about online reviews is that it takes time to build an accord with your customer base and to build a collection of testimonials and reviews. Don’t get discouraged if you are just starting out. Use these methods to help encourage your audience to do you the favour!
Nina Galle is Local Line's Content Marketer, creating blog posts, templates, free tools, and other helpful resources for local food suppliers.