Understanding INCENTIVISED Reviews
Today’s online shoppers want to know pretty much everything about a product or service before they decide to buy it. Likewise, the more reviews a brand or product has, the easier it is for customers to manage their expectations. Due to the benefits of reviews, many companies feel it necessary to do whatever it takes to get them. In some cases, brands may attempt to offer incentives for leaving reviews. This is what’s known as an incentivised review. As a result, in this blog post, eKomi explores how offering an incentive can be an effective strategy to help companies source more positive reviews.
Generally, the majority of consumers today are more likely to buy products that have between 50 and 500 reviews. Undoubtedly, the more reviews customers read, the easier it is for them to decide. Therefore, for businesses to increase the number of reviews for products or services, they must first understand the potential value of an incentive-driven review. Incentivised reviews refer to reviews where the reviewer receives compensation in exchange for leaving a review. Incentives can include free products, discounts, gift cards, or other rewards.
While incentivised reviews can be useful for businesses looking to boost their online reputation, they can also be problematic. When reviewers are incentivised to leave positive reviews, their opinions may be biased or even dishonest. This can mislead potential customers and ultimately harm the reputation of the business if the truth comes to light.
Why incentivise reviews?
Reviews play an important role in the buying process because they are the final deciding factor. Consequently, businesses can improve the relationship with customers by encouraging them to interact with their business by leaving a review. This is especially true in today’s cut-throat market, where many eCommerce and companies are working hard to increase customer loyalty.
Customers may forget to leave reviews or consider it a time-consuming task when they should. However, incentivising and developing a flawless process for collecting reviews could benefit both the businesses and customers. Overall, incentivised reviews can be a double-edged sword. While they’re beneficial for businesses in the short term, they can also lead to long-term damage. It is important for businesses to prioritize transparency and authenticity in their review practices to maintain customer trust and loyalty.
As a result, to combat this issue, many online platforms such as Yelp have strict policies against incentivised reviews. Such platforms have implemented algorithms that detect and remove suspicious reviews. Additionally, they may penalize businesses that engage in incentivised review practices.
How to incentivise product reviews
Incentivizing reviews can be beneficial for several reasons. This includes; encouraging feedback, boosting customer engagement, increasing social proof, and improving search rankings. However, it’s important to note that incentivizing reviews should be done ethically and transparently, without offering rewards in exchange for positive reviews. This can undermine the authenticity and credibility of the reviews, ultimately hurting the business’s reputation.
Additionally, when it comes to gathering consumer feedback, governing boards like the European Commission in Europe or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the USA have restrictions in place for both marketers and eCommerce platforms. Based on this, eKomi, has put together a few different forms of incentives that brands may utilise the next time they ask customers to evaluate their items, keeping these regulations in mind as well as our experience in the eCommerce industry.
- Provision of loyalty points.
- Utilise coupons or discounts. According to reports and stats, 47% of online buyers would post a product review if they were given discounts or coupons.
- Use social media uniquely.
Whichever method you use, be sure to make it apparent that there is a reward for sharing feedback and specify what that reward is.
While incentivising a review is good, there are certain things that need to be considered at all costs. Generally, paying customers to leave reviews is the foremost non go area. Paying customers for their reviews is unethical, in addition to not conforming to the standards.
When incentivizing reviews, it’s important to avoid certain practices that can compromise the authenticity and credibility of the reviews. Businesses should not offer incentives for positive reviews, not disclose the incentive, offer an inappropriate incentive, influence the content of the review, or incentivise reviews with loyalty points. By avoiding these practices, businesses can incentivise reviews in an ethical and effective way that benefits both the business and the customer.
By avoiding these practices, businesses can incentivise reviews in an ethical and effective way. eKomi, recommends incentivizing reviews with loyalty points as a best practice. In the end, incentivizing eCommerce reviews with loyalty points, you’re also encouraging shoppers to return for a repeat purchases again and again.