Enterprise Ecommerce / How to Sell Online

Why and how to use product reviews on Bigcommerce (spoiler: they increase sales)

David Callaway / 3 min read

You’ve probably heard that product reviews are important for any online store. That’s why we built them into our platform. “But why are they so important?” you may be wondering. You are a keen asker of questions.

Let me overwhelm you with data:

  • According to Reevoo, reviews produce an average 18% increase in sales, and having 50 or more reviews on a product can increase its conversion by 4.6%

  • A MarketingSherpa study found that 58% of consumers prefer sites that offer reviews

  • iPerceptions claims that 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews

  • EXPO Communications found that consumer reviews are nearly 12 times more trusted than descriptions that come from manufacturers

  • Bazaarvoice says that visitors who read reviews have a 6% higher average order value than those who don’t

And that doesn’t even take into account the SEO bump you’ll receive from featuring reviews. Search engines love unique, regularly updated content on pages, and rank them higher accordingly. Every time a shopper leaves a new review, it counts as a new piece of content on that product page.

How to use reviews on Bigcommerce

At this point, you probably get that product reviews are a good thing. But how do you add them to your Bigcommerce store? It’s simple!

First make sure product reviews are enabled. From your control panel, go to Apps -> Comments -> Built-in, then check Product Reviews.

See that secondary checkbox below that says “Only accept product reviews from past customers”? I highly recommend checking it, because it requires anyone who wants to leave a review to enter an email address. Then we verify that address against your orders to make sure the person has actually purchased from you. We recently put this in place to fight spam reviews, and it really helps.

If you’ve made any changes, be sure to hit Save before you move on.

So now when shoppers go to a product review page, they’ll see a Reviews section and be able to leave a comment, similar to the example above.

Once the reviews start flooding in, you’ll need to curate them. Each new review will come in as Pending, and you’ll have to approve before all can see it. We’ve made it as painless as possible for you to add review approvals into your normal workflow.

When you bring up your control panel, you’ll see any pending reviews in the Events section up top. Just click the “product reviews” link to go to the approval section (you can also get there from Products -> Product Reviews).

To approve a review, click the checkbox next to it and click the Approve Selected button. In the example above, I’m approving a BigCommerce review about some magnificent shipping containers.

Now that my effusive review is approved, it appears in the Reviews section on the product page. Easy, right? For even more details, check out our Product Review KnowledgeBase article.

Actively cultivate reviews

Now that customers can leave reviews, you want to actively cultivate them. The best and easiest way to do this is to automatically email customers after they make a purchase and ask them to review the products they bought. Luckily, we’ve built that in, too.

To make sure the product review email is on and adjust the time that it sends, go to your control panel and click Settings -> Store -> Miscellaneous. The default send time is 7 days after an order is completed. We chose that because it gives the customer enough time to receive and use the product before asking for a review. But you can change it to whatever works best for you.

We let you fully customize the email, which you can do by clicking Design -> Emails, then clicking the gear icon for product_review_email.html and choosing Edit.

You can find more info in our Product Review Email KB article.

Protip: Be balanced

It’s tempting to only approve good reviews while leaving less-than-stellar comments to rot in Pending limbo. But I’d advise against that for a couple of reasons.

1) It’s important to be transparent to your shoppers. If someone posts a review with legitimate concerns or advice, you should allow everyone to see it. You can always respond to it politely with any counterpoints you might have. Of course, if someone posts a completely false review, it’s up to you whether you want to delete it or approve it and reply.

2) Balanced reviews help you sell more. It seems counterintuitive, but it’s true. Data from Revoo show that consumers who seek out bad reviews convert 67% more than normal shoppers.

So it’s definitely worth your while to allow those less-than-glowing reviews. Especially if you can answer them and provide great customer service.

Now that you’ve got the knowledge, go forth and gather reviews! And enjoy the bump in SEO and sales.


David Callaway

David Callaway

David Callaway creates and edits content for Bigcommerce marketing and the platform itself. He is a writer of words, sharer of ecommerce wisdom and digital high-fiver of Bigcommerce clients. He is also very tall.

View all posts by David Callaway
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