It’s that time of the year again when businesses and customers are at their busiest. Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar store or an eCommerce business, you are witness to a flurry of activity among customers checking off items on their holiday shopping list. So how do you make the most of this busy time to generate more sales? By boosting your holiday marketing capabilities with online customer reviews.
The Importance of Online Reviews During This Christmas and Holiday Season
The Christmas and holiday season shopping frenzy presents massive sales opportunities for any business. Ensuring your brick-and-mortar store or online shop is ready to receive a huge influx of customers should be top of mind during the holidays.
But we now live in a post-pandemic world. COVID-19 has effectively altered the shopping landscape. According to sales figures released by The National Retail Federation, brick-and-mortar store sales on Thanksgiving day were down 55 percent and by 37 percent on Black Friday in 2020 compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, online sales picked up as U.S. eCommerce sales reached $10.8 billion during the Christmas and holiday season of 2020.
Consumer shopping habits have shifted and are now more focused on online shopping, whether through an eCommerce website or nontraditional channels, including livestream selling.
But these channels can be riddled with consumer mistrust. So what do shoppers do to ensure they’re making wise buying decisions? They turn to user-generated content like online customer reviews for an accurate reflection of experiences and a guide for their own purchasing decisions. This growing reliance on customer feedback underpins the importance of online reviews for brands.
Here are a few online reviews statistics that further highlight the importance of online reviews and review monitoring this holiday season:
- Seventy-nine percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends.
- The percentage of consumers who read online reviews for local businesses increased from 81 percent in 2019 to 87 percent in 2020.
- Putting up visible reviews on a web page can increase conversion by 270 percent (Spiegel Research Center).
- Consumers are four times more likely to purchase if a product has at least five reviews.
Holiday Marketing Ideas Using Online Customer Reviews
So you’ve been racking up positive reviews throughout the year and performing review monitoring to maintain a positive online reputation. What’s next? The upcoming Christmas and holiday season is one of the best times to use those positive reviews and integrate them into your holiday marketing strategy to boost sales.
Online reputation management companies are also working at full throttle around the holidays to give you access to holiday marketing ideas that boost your bottom line. Here are a few social media and email marketing ideas from these reputation management experts to include in your holiday marketing campaigns:
Prepare a Holiday-Themed Landing Page Showcasing Your Best-Reviewed Products
Shoppers spend plenty of time online during the holidays, often looking for products to try out or give as a gift. Around this time, your website will most likely enjoy a surge in web traffic, which presents a huge opportunity to capture users’ buying intent.
In anticipation of this influx of visitors, make design tweaks to your landing page to create that holiday aesthetic and reflect the festive spirit. And while you’re at it, recommend a few of your best-reviewed products as recommendations or as a sneak peek for what’s in store for your customers when they shop around.
Optimize Product Pages With Holiday Reviews
A surge of customers also means more shoppers looking around your website and clicking on products. But remember: 93 percent of shoppers read online customer reviews before purchasing a product – and 72 percent of those customers won’t take action until they read reviews. Take this as an opportunity to optimize your product pages with review content to boost the saleability of each product.
Ninety percent of U.S. shoppers consider online reviews as the most crucial part of the purchase decision process. By adding at least one review to your product page, you improve your conversion rates by as much as 10 percent. You can also make use of online reputation management software like review widgets to blend in seamlessly with your website’s design.
Highlight Positive Holiday Reviews as Testimonials in Your Holiday Email
Having a personalized email marketing strategy helps you deliver personalized content to your customers. With a median return on investment (ROI) of 122 percent, running a personalized email marketing campaign during the holiday season allows you to reach shoppers directly from their inbox and enjoy a higher efficiency with your marketing efforts.
To boost your personalized email marketing campaign, highlight positive reviews and customer testimonials. Online reputation management companies agree that by combining the efficiency of email marketing and the effectiveness of customer testimonials, you successfully capture your audience’s attention and bring them back to your website.
Compile a Shopper’s Guide for Different Product Recommendations
Creating a shopper’s guide is one of the best ways to improve your customers’ shopping experience. This valuable resource offers product information and, more importantly, product recommendations. A powerful way to boost the authenticity and authority of your suggestions is by including product reviews.
Compile a shopping guide and share it with the email list from your personalized email marketing campaign. Include customer holiday reviews and testimonials in your shopper’s guide to highlight other customers’ experiences with the product. You can also provide helpful first-hand information, including item quality, product usage and overall likeability.
By presenting all this info in a no-nonsense shopper’s guide, you inform buying decisions while also inviting interest in your product.
Add Star Ratings and Review Quotes to Your Social Media Holiday Content
Social media is where most shoppers interact with family and friends. It’s also where they get information about what products to buy for the holiday season. An ODM Group study found that 74 percent of consumers turn to social media to help their purchasing decisions. Meanwhile, a separate study by McKinsey & Company found that 58 percent of buying decisions this holiday season will have been made thanks to social media.
Your social media presence, more than ever, is an excellent platform to turn your visitors into purchasing customers. Elevate your campaign using online reviews. Add star ratings to product showcases, create specific content centered around customer testimonials and highlight positive reviews with an appreciation post. And don’t forget to link to your website as part of your call-to-action (CTA) to bring your social media traffic back to your website.
Include Positive Customer Reviews and Testimonials in Your Holiday Ad Campaign
Are you running paid ads as part of your holiday marketing campaigns? You can enhance your advertising capabilities by adding positive customer reviews to your ads. Through review monitoring, you can find relevant product reviews and integrate them into your paid ads, such as your social media, display, pay-per-click (PPC) and banner ads.
Wrap Up the Holiday Season With a Post-Holiday Email Campaign
What better way to wrap up a busy holiday season than generating more reviews from your sales efforts? After all, you can never have too many reviews. Buyers expect businesses to have at least 40 reviews before they start believing the accuracy of their ratings. A reputation management tool like the Rize widget is a great way to build and display reviews, but another way is through a post-holiday email campaign.
Your post-holiday email can accomplish three things: show your appreciation, generate more reviews and encourage more sales. The result depends on what type of emails you end up sending. Here are some email marketing ideas you can follow:
- Post-purchase emails – Send out an email immediately after the purchase and ask for a review. Show that you care about what they say.
- Thank-you emails – Once they’ve responded, send a thank-you email to show your gratitude for the review. If the review was negative, thank them for the honest review and tell them you will improve in the future.
- Follow-up emails – If you haven’t received a response, send a gentle reminder to leave a review.
- FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) emails – For customers that haven’t made a purchase, send a gentle nudge and highlight deals they might miss if they fail to act now.
The holiday season is one of the most important sales periods of the year for any business. Take full advantage of the increase in traffic and the opportunity to meet and even exceed your sales targets by leveraging one of your most essential assets: customer reviews. In this post, we shared some email marketing ideas to help you use online reviews effectively to reach more shoppers, generate higher revenue and end the year on a positive note.
Harness the power of online reviews with Rize. Our reputation management tool helps you collect online reviews from the industry’s top sources and showcase them on any page on your website. Simply add our online reputation management software, and you can leverage the power of online reviews seamlessly on any page. Drop our reputation management experts a message to learn more about our widget.