The consumer buying process in retail and ecommerce comes down to a single decision to add an item to their cart–but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Plenty of things are going on behind the scenes. Usually a lot of thought and actions beneath that decision are in place to encourage customers to complete a purchase.

With the exception of impulse buys, consumers do a considerable amount of research before deciding to buy. And in today’s marketplace, the brands that thrive are the ones that get in front of shoppers long before they decide to make the purchase.

How exactly can you do that?

It all starts with understanding the full consumer buying process. You need to be aware of the different stages that shoppers experience in their retail journey and find ways to win as they go from one step to the next.

Jump ahead to each stage by clicking the link:

Let’s have a look at what the five essential stages of the consumer buying process and what to do at every step to put your brand at the forefront of your customers’ minds:

Stage 1: Problem Recognition

The consumer buying process starts off with the customer having a problem that can be solved by a product or service. This manifests itself in a number of ways.

In some cases, the shopper starts off feeling the symptoms of an issue. For example, an office worker might find their computer is slowing down, but they’re not sure of the exact problem or how to solve it.

In other cases, the problem is more straight cut. Say a woman develops blisters after wearing a pair of high heels for a full day. She immediately recognizes the problem and knows  she needs something (e.g., anti-blister products or new shoes) to fix it.

There are times when consumers discover a problem they didn’t know existed. This might occur in a situation like when a driver sees an auto insurance ad and realizes they’re overpaying. As a brand marketer, you need to understand when and how the need for your product or service arises.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What scenarios or incidents push people to look for your offerings?
  • What ways create a demand for your products?
  • How do you get people to realize a need you can fulfill?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you figure out what content or campaigns types to create. The ultimate goal is to engage shoppers as they move through the next stage of the buying journey. This is the consumer buying process when they search for more information.

Questions and answers banner

Stage 2: Information Gathering

It might sounds simple, but once the consumer recognizes they have a problem (or symptom of it), they proceed to research to solve the issue. So, the office worker who has a slow computer might start looking for software improvements to speed things up. And the driver who’s overpaying for insurance, they’ll start searching for a way to lower their payments.

The goal at this stage is to put your brand on the radar of your target customers. There are a number of ways to do this.

Leveraging Google

The majority of consumers—85% according to a survey by Kenshoo—turn to Google when looking for product ideas and information. This indicates the search giant is still the top research tool for consumers.

To that end, you need to make sure that your brand shows up for relevant search queries. Accomplishing that requires extensive keyword research and and little help with SEO initiatives. First, you need to figure out the terms and phrases potential customers search for in Google. Then you should optimize your website accordingly.

Let’s go back to that example of the office worker whose computer is slowing down. If you want to get in front of people having that problem, start by determining the phrases most likely searched associated with those pain points.

A quick look at Google Keyword Planner shows some of the top relevant keywords are why is my computer so slowslow computer and computer running slow.

google keyword planner search example

Use this keyword information to craft content or ad campaigns for your target audience. For example, one of the top search results for the query why is my computer so slow shows a blog post from CMIT Solutions, a firm that offers IT support products and services.

The company wrote up a great article on computer slowness and what consumers can do to speed things up.

CIMT solutions organic rank example

Because of that piece of content, CMIT Solutions gets in front of consumers dealing with slow computers. Additionally, this gives them a bit of an edge when a shopper decides to buy a product or hire someone for fixing computers.

Work With Your SEO & SEM Teams

However, getting to the top of Google’s organic search results is tough. This is why some brands invest in SEO teams and agencies. But it’s also why some brands think it makes more sense to invest in advertising.

Insurance companies such as Progressive and AIS are doing just that. These companies bid on keywords to show up in Google searches. And for many marketers reading, you’re likely already knee-deep in SEM and PPC (pay-per-click) strategies.

how to lower car insurance search exampleThere’s no single best way to win over Google searchers. Understand if you’re altering any area of the consumer buying process, SEM and SEO could be a major area to help your efforts.

These folks help you figure out what’s best for your brand by understanding the audience and competitive landscape. Then you’ll want to craft your SEO or SEM strategy from there.

Using Online Marketplaces Like Amazon & eBay

Google isn’t the only website that people turn to when researching what to buy. According to the Kenshoo study cited above, 72% of consumers are likely to find product ideas and information on Amazon and 38% on eBay.

These online marketplaces clearly play a role in consumer’s buying journeys. So, if it makes sense for your business, establish a strong presence in these marketplaces.

Everyone wants to know how to compete with Amazon, even if you choose the marketplace route. This is why you have make sure you create product listings on these websites and then optimize them for search.

Let’s say you’re selling anti-blister footpads and want to get in front of Amazon shoppers. Doing this starts with creating a listing with a relevant title and product description.

amazon shoe insert search example

It’s important to note, though, that marketplaces like Amazon and eBay factor in seller performance and reviews when ranking product listings, which means getting to the top of search results will take time, successful sales and positive reviews.

Just like with Google, if you want to get to the top search results faster, consider investing in sponsored listings. Paid avenues always get you to in front of eyes faster, but again, it’s critical working with your SEM team to ensure you’re targeting the right demographics and keywords.

sponsored amazon search example

The last thing you want to do is invest a ton of paid search money into a sponsored search without doing your research first. But when done right, you easily blend your paid content into organic results.

Ramping Up Your Social Media Efforts

Consumers spend a lot of time on social media. Research from GlobalWebIndex’s 2018 flagship report on social media discovered people spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social networks and messaging.

Social is a significant component of people’s daily lives, which is why it makes sense to use these networks to connect with potential customers.

But there’s a major caveat to selling on social media. Unlike with Google, Amazon or eBay, most consumers aren’t actively searching for products on social media.

If you want to get your brand on users’ radars, create demand and convince shoppers you have products that fulfill needs they didn’t know they had. Social media ad campaigns, such as this one by Aaptiv, is a great example of this tactic

Aaptiv instagram ad example

A person idly watching Instagram Stories probably isn’t thinking about working out. However, a compelling ad could be just the thing that convinces them otherwise. There’s a ton of benefits to Instagram, but it’s all about how you use visual content to connect with consumers.

Harnessing Word of Mouth

Consumers like to hear recommendations from one another. The power of word-of-mouth marketing is real, which is why we’ve seen such a spike in everyday influencers. Also, consumers research by asking their social networks for solutions and product recommendations.

This one of the reasons why word of mouth is valuable. Now, there are certain things you can do to boost word of mouth and referrals, but ultimately, the best way to get your customers to talk up your brand with their friends is to focus on customer satisfaction.

Regularly monitor satisfaction levels through surveys like NPS, CSAT and CES, and make sure that you’re hearing—and addressing—their concerns.

In doing so, you’ll find that customers won’t just buy from you repeatedly, they’ll also recommend your products whenever the opportunity arises.

Stage 3: Evaluating Solutions

After doing their research, consumers typically make a shortlist of brands or products for their needs. At this stage, shoppers look at specific solutions to their problems.

For instance, someone who’s dealing with a slow computer would be deciding whether they should hire an IT expert, purchase software that or buy a new computer altogether.

The objective is to position your product as the best choice for the shopper. Here are some of the steps you can take to influence your product in the consumer buying process:

Optimize Your Product Descriptions

Write unique and compelling product descriptions that accurately describe your merchandise while enticing people to buy. See to it that your descriptions contain the right keywords and write your copy in a tone and style that’s relatable to your audience.

In terms of formatting, make the text scannable by using shorter paragraphs, headers and bullet points.

Urban Outfitter does this quite well. In its product description below, you’ll see that the retailer’s content is short but descriptive, and the company made good use of headers and bullet points.

urban outfitters product details example

Use Great-Looking Visuals

Virtually any retailer needs to have strong visuals, particularly when selling online. If you want your products to be considered, you need to wow them with great-looking photos.

Also, consider taking your visual game to the next level by adding user-generated content to your product pages. Through tools like the PowerReviews Visual and Social Suite, brands easily collect, display and even authenticate user-generated content to appear on your product pages.

grove bed customer photos examples

Take a page out of Room & Board’s playbook. Aside from having multiple product photos that showcase the store’s items from various angles, Room & Board’s product pages also feature customer-submitted images. This gives shoppers a better idea of how each item would look in real-world environments.

Leverage Ratings and Reviews

Speaking of user-submitted content, make sure your product pages contain numerous authentic reviews. PowerReviews Growing Power of Reviews report shows a whopping 97% of consumers consult reviews before making a purchase. Not having authentic reviews on your site likely causes more damage to your conversions than you think.

But with that said, simply throwing up a bunch of reviews or even going the shady route of paying for reviews on your product pages won’t cut it. Give your customers the best experience possible by keeping your ratings and reviews organized and easy to read.

Check out what Nutrisystem is doing. The review section on its product pages displays rating distributions to give shoppers an at-a-glance view of each product’s ratings.

nutrisystem review display example

On top of that, Nutrisystem lists the top pros and cons of each item. The company also provides the most helpful positive and negative reviews. And before you write off a little harsh feedback, consider the fact that many people prefer to see negative reviews before buying.

The same Power of Reviews report found 86% of shoppers under the age of 45 specifically seek out negative reviews before buying. Don’t discount negative feedback because showcasing your pros and cons allows customers to feel confident and trust your review display.

Use Q&As

Shopper questions come up no matter how detailed you make your product descriptions. See to it that you have a system for fielding questions, then get back to customers with the appropriate answer.

Nutrisystem, once again, is doing an outstanding job in this area. The company has questions and answers software on its product pages that contains user-submitted questions and verified answers from the Nutrisystem team.

nutrisystem questions and answers example

Having Q&A software addresses customer concerns about the product immediately. And for brands selling products across retailer pages, having limited access to answer questions on retail sites significantly affects sales.

That’s why we created Brand Engage. This solution allows brands to connect to the PowerReviews Open Network and answer customer questions about the brand specifically on retailer sites.

flexible answering for product questions powerreviews example

With badged answers, you give shoppers confidence that the product answer to their question comes directly from your brand. If you’re truly wanting to improve the consumer buying process, you can’t forget the retailers who also sell your products.

Stage 4: Purchase Phase

All your efforts led customers to choose your brand at the purchase phase of the buying journey. This is the stage when they’re ready to get the credit card and buy your product.

It’s an excellent position to be in, but don’t get complacent. You can still lose them if you don’t offer a smooth checkout experience.

Strive to make the process as quick and painless as possible. Amazon is a master at this with its one-click checkout. This lets people complete their purchase with a tap of a button.

one-click checkout example on Amazon

If that’s not possible for your store, there are still a number of things you could do to successfully get shoppers through the checkout process. The key is to minimize the number of hoops that people have to jump through in order to complete the purchase.

Provide Guest Checkout

For starters, allow customers to check out as guests when buying from your site. Requiring them to create an account adds another step to the buying process, which could lead to shoppers bouncing from your site.

walmart checkout example

Pre-Fill Shopper Details Whenever Possible

If your shopper with an existing profile decides to buy from you, put their information to good use by making it easy to check out. For instance, if you already have their shipping information, pre-populate the checkout form with their details to speed up the process and limit double entry.

Sephora does exactly that for members of its Beauty Insider program.

sephora checkout example

Instill a Sense of Urgency

Another effective way to prod customers to complete the checkout process is to instill a sense of urgency. If you’re running a promotion or special pricing, for example, you could add a countdown indicating how much time shoppers have left to finalize their purchase.

Here’s an example from The RealReal.

the real real checkout example

There are plenty of A/B testing tools out there that allow you add widgets, countdowns and timers to encourage purchasing. The best part is you can test these modals with the standard checkout to see your results.

Stage 5: The Post-Purchase Phase

Finally, we have the post-purchase phase. At this point, you’ve successfully converted lookers into buyers.


Now it’s time to gather feedback. You also want to ensure shoppers remain customers for as long as possible. It’s all about retention if you truly want to increase sales. Check out a few ways you can retain customers in the final stages of the consumer buyer process:

Ask for Ratings and Reviews

The first thing you should do after a customer buys is ask for reviews. This can be done with a simple automated post-purchase email requesting for shoppers to share their feedback. Additionally, you want to get as many reviews as possible.

When shoppers buy multiple items, it’s difficult to get even one review for a single item. But using a form that never leaves another page and lets you consistently ask for reviews for all products is extremely helpful.

ratings and reviews collection of review your purchases

PowerReviews’ review your purchase features does just that. Easily collect more reviews by making it simpler for customers to actually write content and provide feedback. Again, the more barriers in the consumer buyer process, the less likely you’ll see positive results.

Measure Customer Satisfaction Over Time

Collecting feedback is just the beginning. To truly get the most out of your customers’ ratings and reviews, make it a point to analyze shopper input to gain actionable insights.

Relevant information should be routed to the right departments (e.g., Product, Sales and Marketing). This let’s your company continuously improve your products, services and positioning.

Encourage Repeat Purchases

You don’t want people to buy from you just once. As much as possible, you want to encourage repeat purchases by regularly keeping in touch with great content and promotions.

Nordstrom does a great job at this. The retailer’s email marketing calendar has a healthy mix of promotions (based on each customer’s shopping history), announcements and invitations to free and informative events.

beauty and style workshop

Here’s a recent example of an email inviting Nordy Club members to a complimentary beauty and style workshops. Such efforts help keep the brand top of mind. That’s perfect when the need for new apparel or accessories comes up so Nordstrom will be highly considered.

Connect With Consumers Every Step of the Way

As you can see, retail purchases don’t just happen. Consumers spend quite a bit of time and effort before arriving at a decision. And brands that want to win sales must engage with shoppers at every stage of their purchasing journeys.

Follow the pointers we’ve outlined in each step and start customizing!

Have any questions? Contact our awesome team to see how PowerReviews could help improve your customer journey.

Francesca Nicasio

Francesca Nicasio is a writer and content strategist specializing in B2B content for companies in the retail, technology and SMB space.

Let’s start by asking an important question–what’s one of the main reasons why shoppers willing spend more on competitors?

Product quality.

When customers believe they’re getting top-of-the-line product or an item from a trusted brand, shoppers dig deeper into their pockets. In fact, a 2018 Deloitte holiday shopping habits report found when it comes to the importance of a product, 71% of respondents said they look for high-quality items and trusted brands when buying.

deloitte holiday shopping graphic

So how would you rate your product quality? Are you confident in saying you offer the best in your industry? If you’re realistic, you know that product quality is something that requires constant testing, improvement and customer feedback to know how to make your customers happier.

No brand or retailer is perfect, but those who let product quality slide to the back burner, will more likely see problems reoccur. So what kind of problems?

Here’s four reasons your product quality can make or break your business in today’s market what you can do to fix it:

1. Your Reputation Precedes You

It’s no secret that people talk about your brand online. What they say can make you a hero or a villain. And in a super connected world, it doesn’t take long for a customer experience to trend on Twitter.

You don’t have to spend too much time to think of a brand that’s earned negative press recently. Sadly, it’s a little harder thinking of a company highlighted in a positive way for their customer experiences.

Your brand reputation means everything when it takes just a single poor experience to derail your customer satisfaction strategy. To combat this, brands are interacting more frequently to create positive experiences.

While Blue Apron regularly interacts with customers’ positive tweets, the company also addresses issues and any product flaws. By immediately answering questions or concerns, users know the team is putting in the effort to create a good experience and a better reputation.

The quality of the product or service you provide has a huge impact on what people say about you. In fact, the Sprout Social Q3 2017 Index found 37% of shoppers will share a positive social experience online with friends and family. What’s even better is 45% will share a positive brand experience on social media.

It doesn’t take long for these positive experiences to move through your customers’ feeds and in turn, define your reputation. Whether it’s good or bad, brands have to ensure reputations are in check by answering concerns on social and creating more paths for feedback.

2. Satisfied Customers Will Come Back for More

Satisfied customers are the end goal for most brands and retailers, right? It’s important to know how closely brand loyalty and product quality are tied together, especially for Gen Z shoppers.

In a Yes Marketing survey, the company saw 57% of Gen Z shoppers directly linked quality to brand loyalty. Younger generations continue to get wiser with how they spend.

This will only translate to increased revenue for brands focusing on product quality–as long as they’re good enough for people to keep coming back. Another study from BIA Advisory revealed that 61% of SMBs get more than half of their revenue from repeat customers rather than new customers.

Zenni Optical offers affordable eyewear and frequently highlights its customers who have collections and love to show off more than one pair of frames. The brand’s message is clear and they prove through a quality product, they offer affordable frames and still have style.

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New glasses alert 🚨 thanks to Zenni Optical. The options are limitless. The quality is 👍🏾 . Customer service is 👍🏾 #zennioptical #debtfreejourney #debtfreecommunity #debtfreecommunity #debtfree #daveramsey #daveramseybudget #singlemom #singlemomlife #cashisking #cash #moneysavingtips #savingmoney #frugalliving #moneymanagement #everypennycounts #financialfreedom #financialpeace #debt #moneymanagement #budgetwithme #debtfreemafia #personalfinance #babysteps #wednesday #wisdomwednesday

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When you look to improve the quality of the products you provide, people will constantly come back for more. Thus, you’ll have a more valuable customer base and higher revenue.

Set Yourself From the Rest

What are the standards for product quality in your industry? How can you go above and beyond them?

Taking the extra step to consistently improve shows customers you’re not only trusted, but invested in higher quality products. Consumers appreciate when brands are able to improve and make items better with quick turn arounds.

For example, you may not think that much could be done to improve a standard bicycle lock. However, Lattis created an innovative lock that goes above and beyond with GPS tracking, keyless locking and solar panels for self-charging.

lattis bike lock landing page

A Lab42 report discovered 84% of shoppers want brands to be innovative with their products. By consistently improving your product quality, you get ahead of your competition and further stand out in your industry.

3. Builds a Foundation for Word-of-Mouth Marketing

If you haven’t read our word-of-mouth marketing strategy, bookmark it now! By enabling your fans to do the heavy lifting in your marketing efforts, you draw more traffic to your products by promoting customer voices.

At the same time, you save on friends telling one another the benefits of your business. So how do you build this foundation for your customers to communicate and engage with your business?

Some of the best ways to engage your fans through word of mouth include:

  • Creating a branded hashtag: By using a social media platform that best works for your customers, you can create a hashtag that encourages your fans to share, shoutout and have a say about your product with the rest of the world. Push branded hashtags in marketing campaigns, contests and product launches.
  • Promote fan feedback: When you get fans to write review content, you’re not only promoting communication, but you also get detailed product insights at the same time. It should always be encourages to write authentic reviews, but when you work with your loyalists, you can expect more truthful content.
  • Product Sampling Campaigns: Brands continue to see success in product sampling campaigns to build communities of trusted advocates and everyday influencers to promote your brand. What better way to get your brand out there than to provide a sample with simple guidelines to write reviews, give feedback and share across social? BzzAgent does just this. See how a community of millions of shoppers can help spread the word about your newest products.

influencer and sampling suite syndication example

Trust Your Quality to Spark More Conversations

While data from an Invesp infographic shows 88% of shoppers put the most faith in word-of-mouth recommendations from people they know, what gets them to talk in the first place? One of the best ways to start a word-of-mouth marketing strategy is to put effort behind a product people know they can trust to tell all their friends and family about.

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my glossier rainbow 🌈 this is a little late but i just realised that some of the cloud paint colours are similar to the balm dotcom packaging 👀

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When you offer a great product, people will feel naturally motivated to refer others. This is the kind of marketing that money can’t buy: it’s truly priceless.

4. Learn from Everything You Do (Both Right & Wrong)

By learning from your customers, you’re better equipped to build a foundation of quality in all your products. Your shoppers want to know their buying decisions were right and that they can trust to come back to you in the future.

Know what worked in past campaigns and take those insights into future products. You have to start by learning who your customers are and what they want. A Salesforce report found only 37% of shoppers believe retailers understand them and their needs.

This should tell you that consumers want the personalization and experience to match what they’re already saying about you. People want authenticity and it starts with you simply listening.

Product Pulse banner

Tune In to Your Product Reviews

One of the best places to listen to your customers and understand what they’re already saying is through product reviews. This content gives you some incredible ideas to how improve your product quality and what they want from you.

If you’re getting hundreds of reviews on your products, it could take you hours to analyze and draw ideas for product improvements. This is why so many brands avoid using the manpower to dig and sift through product reviews.

To fix that issue, PowerReviews launched the review analysis tool Product Pulse to save brands time by analyzing review data per product. Collecting all of this data is as simple as gathering and collecting reviews and tracking the sentiment based around them.

Image describing the rating sentiment of Blackberry Syrup

Product Pulse lets you dig through common adjectives, link them to sentiment and discover what your customers really think of your products. This kind of data also help you find areas to improve products, so start listening now.

Make Popular Features Even Better

But if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

It’s true that if you have a feature or a product that people really love, you don’t want to tamper with it too much. However, making data-based improvements on a feature that is already popular can make the whole user experience pop.

Try to improve a feature that your customers already love by:

  • Understanding how customers use your feature or product
  • Gathering data and customer feedback where the biggest issues and success stories exist
  • Finding ways to improve the way a product does what it’s simply made for

By following a few of these tips, you deliberately improve the focused on expanding a feature than just fixing issues. Know what you do best and always look for room to grow.

Your Product Quality Matters: Can You Improve?

Product quality has a huge affect on the success of your business. Bad-quality items ruin your reputation online, whereas improving your product quality builds trust in your customers, set you apart from the competition and can even lower return rates.

Remember, improving your product quality is a constant process. You need to be aware of what people are saying about you online, whether in reviews or on social media, in order to take action and boost sales.

By following these steps, your products (and your business) will finally be able to reach and exceed their potential.

Amy Copadis

Amy Copadis is a writer and blogger covering various topics including digital marketing, travel, natural health and ecommerce.

If you’re like most people–there are certain stores you dread going into. You might even have to mentally prepare yourself for before entering.

You know the ones I’m talking about–where the sales associate sprays fragrance in your face as a form of greeting. What about the places with associates magically appearing beside you to show you all the electronics you don’t care about?

You duck and weave your way through a gauntlet of sales associates like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, just to grab the one product you want and hightail it to the register. The worst part of this is many of the sales associates are told to hound their customers like this, when instead, there are much easier ways to implement suggestive selling techniques.

Store managers and associates think they’re engaging their customers, but they often do the exact opposite–drive people out of stores and produce fewer sales.

If you dread going to the store, chances are low that you will voluntarily return for anything other than necessities. You should leave feeling great about your in-store experience and the brand in general, instead of like you’ve survived an epic battle.

If there’s one lesson to be learned from retail assaults like the example above, it’s this: train your team on suggestive selling techniques. Specifically, train the sales team to approach the customer with selling statements.

Suggestive Selling Techniques That Work

Suggestive selling techniques will simultaneously ensure that the store associates avoid asking bothersome, empty filler questions that the customer simply tunes out and sets them apart as a selling expert. The rest of the customer experience will fall into a natural conversational rhythm from there.

Let’s walk into this store again, and see how suggestive selling changes the customer experience and makes it truly engaging:

1. Welcome Customers With a Hook & Focus on New Products

When you enter the store, you are allowed to decompress. More importantly, no one sprays you down with unwanted fragrances.

The associate approaches you with a simple, genuine welcome and invites you to start your store experience with the newest product launch.

You don’t need to answer an empty question like “What can I help you find today?” (which is just a dressed up closed-ended question) especially when you don’t have anything specific in mind.

Plus, now you know that something new just launched.

2. Connect Customers With Personalized Statements

The sales associate tells you that she will check on you, and she does. Even though there are several other customers in the store, she checks in with you as she has with each of them.

To you, she says, “I love that scarf; it reminds me of a new necklace we just got in!” Now, you’re intrigued by products in the store that work with accessories you already own.

3. Give Customers Product Knowledge Statements

You’ve been staring at a wall of lotions like you’re trying to decode an alien language. The sales associate approaches you again, this time saying: “That item you’re looking at is one of our best-sellers, and a personal favorite of mine.”

Perfect! The sales associate answered a question you had, and now you know that she will be the perfect person to ask about a gift you are trying to put together.

4. Suggest Complementary Items & Share the Best Features

The sales associate, who is now your guru, suggests multiple complementary items instead of asking “Is there anything else I can get you?”

She continues to engage you, saying, “We have a pair of earrings that would be perfect with that necklace; let me show you.” Or, “If you purchase this product, you’ll qualify for a bonus gift—perfect to have on hand for your next occasion!”

Instead of saying “No thanks, I’m just browsing” yet again, you ask questions and take her up on her suggestions. After all, they were exactly what you needed!

You’re grateful for her help, and pleased to have the “inside track” to new products and promotions.

5. Tell Customers About Exclusive Events, Promotions & News

At checkout, the cashier thanks you for your purchase, but he doesn’t stop there. He invites you to a special event the store will host this weekend.

You aren’t really their target audience for this event, but you know that your daughter and all of her friends would love to attend.

Instead of repeating empty words that you’ve heard hundreds of times, this store experience stands out from the crowd—new products, new services, new promotions, exclusive sneak-peeks—all of which were presented to you through easy conversations.

You walk away from this easy, hassle-free store experience knowing that you’ll be back soon!

And that is the power of suggestive selling.

By now you most likely know that a quick-loading webpage is extremely important to your customers’ experience and for your site’s conversion rate. And one of the more important aspects of these metrics has to deal with your Javascript size.

Consumers have a high demand for site performance and speed. In case you’re not sure what all the hype is about, we put together a list of the most interesting facts that show why load times are essential for businesses wanting to improve site experiences:

  • 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • 79% of users experiencing slow load times won’t make a purchase from that website again.
  • A 1-second delay means an 11% loss in page views and a 7% decrease in conversion.
  • A 1-second delay in load time would cost Amazon $1.6 billion each year.

As you can see, consumers don’t have the patience for slow loading sites. And with an endless aisle of options, they don’t need to.

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Enhancing Site Speed Is Our Goal

This is why PowerReviews made it one of our goals this year to improve our Javascript size. After all, it’s one of the main aspects powering the customer purchase journey and affecting important load times where you need it the most.

In February 2019, we released enhancements that drastically improved (by limiting) our Javascript size. These enhancements are available right now for our clients without any implementation change!

Additionally, the updates will lead to the reduction in Javascript size throughout every touchpoint on your site’s product pages. For a more detailed breakdown, see the chart below:

The breakdown of pages and their size reduction:

Page Type Percent Size Reduction
Product Listing Page (Category Pages) 61%
Product Details Pages 20-26%
Write a Review & Review Your Purchases 40%

What Changed?

In order to drastically reduce the size of our Javascript, we added logic to the code to analyze configuration in real time. Now, PowerReviews only loads the components of pages that are necessary. This basically means our Javascript is working smarter, not harder.

How Does This Compare to Others?

To understand how we compare among the rest, we looked at two companies using competitor solutions that offer similar features to PowerReviews. We chose the two examples below based on the fact that they are open about discussing their small Javascript bundle size and quick load times with the public.

Company 1

This company is using a competitor Ratings & Reviews and Q&A solution and has a total Javascript Bundle of 328.4kb. With PowerReviews, this same functionality comes in between 152-173kb, which is 47.3% smaller. That’s almost half the size!

Company 2

This company displays review snippets on their Product Listings Pages, features Ratings & Reviews on their PDPs and has a total bundle size of 266.4kb. With PowerReviews, Company 2 would be able to load their PLPs at 85kb (68% smaller) and their PDPs at 160kb (40% smaller).

How Will This Affect Me?

At PowerReviews, we are focused on helping our clients win. This means investing in different areas of our business that will have a great impact on our clients and ultimately their shoppers.

We identified Javascript size as an area where we could help our clients serve their customers with a greater experience, which in turn will help our clients boost the number of return shoppers and conversion.

How Can We Further Reduce the Size of PowerReviews Javascript Within Our UGC Experience?

Check back in our next installment when we share some ways you can do this! Until then, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Rachel Bentley

As a Senior Product Manager at PowerReviews, Rachel heads the display and collect team and creates solutions that our clients, and their customers, love. She has nine years of experience optimizing conversion and uses quantitative and qualitative metrics to educate internal and external stakeholders on best practices and find opportunities for scaling business value.

Let’s face it–you want to know how to get more reviews. But the increased access to online shopping has drastically cut down the amount of brick and mortar businesses we frequent.

In fact, the PowerReviews report on How to Beat Amazon shows that in a single month nearly 60% of people make up to three online purchases through Amazon alone. As online shopping grows, so too does the competition.

And with the Proven Power of Reviews report stating 86% of consumers say reviews are an essential resource for purchase decisions, product reviews are more critical than ever. To effectively drive traffic, conversions and sales you need to know how to get more reviews from your customers.

But don’t sweat just yet–we’re going to tell you how to get more reviews and what actually makes a quality review in the first place. We’ll also show you how to leverage a ratings and review platform to make your life easier and why this content is essential for your shoppers.

To make things easier, use these jump links to navigate between sections. If you’re eager to get to the tips right away, simply click on 8 Ways to Get More Reviews Today:

A Look at the Modern Product Review

Before we dive into the importance of reviews and how to get more product reviews, let’s take a look at a modern example. Typically, the average online review consists of several components, including:

  • An average star rating out of 5
  • Custom product feedback, such as questions and answers, from purchasers
  • Visual content such as images and videos shared from purchasers
  • Customer feedback such as pros, cons and best uses
  • Size and fit information from purchases
  • Badging verifying the user’s qualification

There are also brands and retailers that use ratings and review platforms to customize the look of their forms and the information that they share. This allows brands and retailers to sort reviews by their pros and cons, ask users to describe themselves, add tags unique to product types and customize the CSS to be more on-brand.

Online Product Review Snapshot

Why You Need More Product Reviews

PowerReviews works with thousands of brands and retailers to help collect, display and syndicate user-generated content all over the web. Our years of experience with ratings and reviews gives us access to a ton of data, like customer sentiment analysis, that sheds light on the importance of product reviews. Perhaps the most important concept to understand is the sheer number of consumers that tell us reviews are essential to making a purchase decision.

While that’s all fine and well, ratings and reviews aren’t going to get much company buy-in if they don’t contribute to the bottom line. We’re providing a few statistics to help you understand the true impact of ratings and reviews.

Let’s look at how to improve aspects of your business like traffic, conversion rates, sales and product insights.

Ratings and reviews banner

Product Reviews Increase Traffic

Data from the PowerReviews report Mapping the Path to Purchase discovered 35% of consumers begin their purchasing journey on a search engine. And if you’re not within the first few positions of the results pages, you’re missing out on incredibly qualified traffic.

best spring jackets google search example

That’s where product reviews come in. Google actually indexes product reviews, which means their algorithm reads your product’s reviews and makes them searchable or visible on search. So by getting more product reviews, you increase the number of keywords where your products ranks on Google.

These are especially relevant keywords as they consist of consumer language instead of marketing copy. Think of the “best spring jackets” search example above. Search results show specific products, with reviews and links directly to the product page.

Additionally, examples like Lush show the overall reviews for the product in the organic search result. For example, the PowerReviews customer Lush ranks in search for a popular keyword about shower scrubs thanks to their customers’ reviews.

shower scrub search example with reviews

That’s not an isolated incident. Our customers see an average 108% lift in impressions on their product pages when their number of reviews increases from zero. Also, some of our clients see as much as a 239% lift in impressions to product pages with at least one review compared to none.

Product Reviews Increase Conversions

As customers continue to look online when purchasing more high consideration products, it’s important to reduce barriers to conversion. Imagine you’re looking to make a life-changing purchase online by buying something like a mattress. However, you don’t have the opportunity to feel the mattress in person or the type of mattress you want isn’t for sale in stores around you.

The question becomes is the mattress too soft, too hard or does it feel just right? Product reviews ease those purchasing decision barriers by providing your customers with key insights needed to buy confidently. You spend almost a third of your life in your bed, so we doubt you’d buy a new mattress with no reviews, recommendations or tips from advertisements.

room and board mattress reviews details

Room & Board, a contemporary home furnishings retailer with mattresses in their online catalogue, fully understands the importance of reviews for their products. The company does a phenomenal job collecting and displaying their product review content, and in turn, providing a ton of pros and cons descriptions found in their reviews.

Product Reviews Create Better Products

To continue with the mattress example, let’s imagine that users who are ordering your beds are frequently leaving reviews commenting on a odd chemical smell that came with the box. Maybe you have a significant amount of reviews saying there’s poor edge support or the material tends to rip easily.

While it’s nearly impossible and quite expensive to try and be perfect with your products, there’s cues your brand can take in review content to make overall improvements. The problem is, digging through the vast amounts of product reviews takes up a lot of manpower and time.

sentiment analysis on intelligence suite from powerreviews

That’s why PowerReviews developed Product Pulse, a feature included in our Intelligent Suite. Product Pulse digs through your review content and provides a detailed report on common adjectives used and other sentiment analysis associated with your product.

Whether by accident or on purpose, there are brands that completely ignore these messages, finding it easier to bury their heads in the sand than respond to criticisms. These companies will see sales dwindle as product ratings and reviews continue to skew negative.

However, there are leading brands that leverage product reviews–both positive and negative–and use that content to create better products. By analyzing common problems, brands can fix products faster and back up their claims with manufactures with data.

Image describing the rating sentiment of Blackberry Syrup

The best ecommerce managers take this feedback into consideration and pass it to the proper internal teams to guide improvements. And the top ecommerce managers will actually respond to those reviews alerting their customers their feedback is appreciated. Those customers will feel empowered and future shoppers will see that a brand cares about its customers.

What Makes a Quality Product Review?

Now that we’ve established the importance of increasing product reviews from your customers, let’s move on to what makes a great product review. Obviously it’s important to drive reviews that are more than a few short words, but what else can you do to help increase the quality of content on your pages?

Customized Fields for Product Type

One little-known strategy to generate more robust reviews is to customize each of your displays to share information specific to each product type. For example, if you’re selling a sweatshirt or pair of shoes, then collect and share information on the fit, sizing and comfort to help sway buyers on the cusp of a purchase.

How to get customised online reviews

These details help those who are second guessing a purchase feel more confident in their buying decision. With full details in a great review, you eliminate doubt.

Qualified Reviewers Sharing Feedback

Shady tactics exist in the ecommerce space and as competition increases, brands and retailers may feel pressured to find ways to generate less-than-qualified reviews. Whether that’s by writing those reviews themselves or by buying them from someone with no product experience, this has lead to some distrust in the industry.

ijet display badges on powerreviews

So it comes as no surprise that more than a third (36%) of shoppers say that reviews which clearly identify who wrote them, such as a verified buyer or a review written as a result of a free sample, were ‘very important’ or ‘important.’ As you start generating reviews, make sure you have a content moderation system in place to help weed out all of the unqualified reviews that could break the trust you’ve built with customers.

Negative Reviews Actually Help

It may come as a surprise, but negative reviews can actually increase your online sales. In fact, 82% of consumers specifically seek out negative reviews when shopping for a product. As strange as it may seem, shoppers say that poor reviews gave balance to their shopping research, stating that a negative perspective was either a “very important” or “important” factor influencing their decision.

most popular negative review example

Before you hurry to sweep negative reviews under the rug, realize that not only do those reviews lend credibility to your products, but they also offer feedback to help create a better product for your customers. Not only that, but our data shows that customers are less likely to purchase products with a perfect 5-star review than one between a 4.2-4.5 rating.

average star rating for purchases graphic

Answers to Popular Product Questions

Nobody knows what helps a customer convert better than the customers themselves. Let your customers ask questions on the product pages and respond in a timely manner to make the sale. If you can’t support the staff required to answer all of those questions, you can also use a product question and answer tool that allows past purchasers or community experts to respond on your behalf.

Check out this video with Skechers’ ecommerce Merchandising Manager, Timothy Lakin, to see how his team used customer questions to increase their product conversion rates by 32%.

User-Generated Content & Visuals

Almost all customers have a quick way to take a picture of your products to share, and it’s crucial to get them to share those images and videos on the reviews that they leave. Visual content on your product pages is the current must-do to stay competitive online. In fact, our Snapshot for Ecommerce report found 72% of consumers say they regularly or always seek out visual content prior to purchase.

mac visual and social display graphic

Using a visual and social display platform helps you collect social media content, authenticate it, get permissions and display it on your product pages. If your reviews provider isn’t doing all of these things, it might be time to make a switch. Create easy paths for your customers to share their images and videos with an Image Gallery on your product pages and give other shoppers a real-life look into it in use.

8 Ways to Get More Reviews & Generate More Content From Your Customers

Now that we’ve covered what a modern review looks like, why you need more content and the importance of quality, it’s time to dig into the tips on how to get more product reviews on your site. Let’s take a look at the eight ways to get more reviews from your customer:

  • Pro Tip: If any of these ideas seem a bit overwhelming, please reach out to our team to learn how to implement, track and collect more reviews!

1. Encourage Customers to Write Reviews With Post-Purchase Emails

The first and potentially most obvious way to get more reviews for your products is to ask customers to submit them. They’re the most qualified to write about your brand.

review your purchases example on powerreviews

And assuming they’ve had a good experience, they’re the most likely to write something positive. Unfortunately, reaching out to each individual customer one-by-one isn’t an efficient way to drive as many reviews as you need. This is especially true since our previously mentioned report found only 42% of consumers say they leave feedback for their purchases.

Find a way to collect customer emails at the point of purchase. Whether that’s in your physical location or online, you don’t want too much time to pass before you ask for reviews. That’s why so many brands see great results with post-purchase emails. After enough time has passed since their initial order, you can ask for feedback through emails that recount the exact items you bought.

2. Incentivize Customers to Write Reviews

If simply asking your customers for reviews isn’t getting you the conversion rates you want, try incentivizing the process. Create motivation for your customers to write reviews for your products by offering them incentives for doing so.

But before you start giving away items, be careful of what you offer in exchange for reviews. Even though many websites are fine with offering small incentives, some sites, like Amazon, are a bit more strict with their submission guidelines.

It’s important to remain as transparent as possible with your reviews, and create a system to badge different reviews based on whether the reviewer purchased or received an incentive. This helps build confidence in customers and shows transparency in your review collection process. Here’s a couple ways to authentically incentivize more product reviews:

  • Review Sweepstakes: On average, our clients see an 83% uplift in review completion rates during sweepstakes campaigns. You can create sweepstakes in-house to promote and generate more buzz about your products.
  • Offer Free Shipping or Discounts: By giving free or discounted shipping to customers in exchange for reviews, you get more buyers and increase product content. Additionally, using customer experience platforms like Journey IQ help brands and retailers provide discounts for mystery shoppers. Easily collect important experience information to better understand what your customers see when they make a purchase from you.

Thank You email

3. Optimize Your Review Forms for Mobile

If it hasn’t been drilled into your mind enough quite yet, please note that mobile optimization is incredibly important. In fact, StatCounter found mobile internet usage surpassed desktop in 2016.

internet usage by device mobile vs desktop

Another PowerReviews customer who does an amazing job on mobile is Evo, a leading retailer for outdoor apparel and gear. The retailer discovered more than 50% of of their emails are opened via a mobile device, which in turn, incentivizes shoppers to make purchases on these devices.

Instead of viewing this as a potential problem, Evo found a solution to convert those mobile viewers to reviewers. In fact, the retailer teamed up with PowerReviews to update and implement a fully responsive and mobile friendly post-purchase email process.

With the implementation, their team saw a 203% spike in written reviews on mobile devices year over year. Taking advantage of your mobile traffic is just one way you can successfully generate more product reviews.

4. Make It Easy to Review Multiple Purchases at Once

The key to getting more reviews for your products is to make it simple for customers to leave them. Many of your online shoppers buy multiple items at a single time. It doesn’t make sense to send them individual follow-ups asking them to review their purchases one at a time.

Ulta Post Purchase Email

Instead, when emailing your customers, include all of their recent purchases so they can review them at a single time. Whether you’re emailing customers from your own database or leveraging a ratings and review platform, including multiple items significantly increases overall collected content on your site.

The less time users spend, the more review content you will collect. After all, no one wants to click back and forth through different pages to leave multiple reviews. Provide an all-in-one view to write content and create a better experience.

5. Use a Product Sampling Program

If you don’t have many recent customers to look to, it’s hard to generate review content. This is even true for the biggest brands and retailers as new product launches often take time to generate buzz or review content.

However, running a product sampling campaign is the best way to generate content when you don’t have the large customer amounts. Reach out to massive sampling communities filled with everyday and micro-influencers to write authentic feedback about your products.

influencer and sampling suite syndication example

Through product sampling tools like BzzAgent, brands reach a massive group of people wanting to provide visuals and reviews. These folks also want to share their experiences across social channels–all for a free sample. This helps build interest for your products and generate more high quality reviews.

Situations to Run a Sampling Campaign

If you’re still on the fence about product sampling, see some of the most common situations why businesses run them:

  1. A New Product Launch: If you launch a new product with no reviews at all, it’s going to be tough to build trust. Not only will product sampling increase the general awareness of your new product, but you’ll also drive invaluable product feedback.
  2. High Turnover Seasonal Products: When you have seasonal products requiring rapid inventory turnover, it’s tough to get a lot of reviews in a short amount of time. Get a jump on the seasonal competition by increasing traffic and conversion with a product sampling campaign before you launch.
  3. Target Unique Audiences: This is perfect if you need a more targeted audience for your products. Get unique products out to the customers who actually want them and are willing to share their experience with friends.
  4. Small Review Count With Low-Quality Reviews: If you’re your current reviews are low quality, add more reviews. While you never want to promote only positive reviews, running a sampling campaign increases the overall number of reviews. This in turn, increases low-review product pages to high review pages, likely increasing your overall rating.

6. Design & Share Reviews on Social

More than anything, customers just want a platform to express their feedback and know they’re heard. If you don’t recognize that need, you could miss out on valuable reviews. In the previously mention report, we found 55% of consumers who don’t write reviews said they needed a reward or recognition to do so.

One easy way to show users you’re recognizing their contributions is to share their reviews on social. Either directly share their quote–while making sure to give them credit–or simply repost a positive experience.

Casper is always willing to retweet a good customer experience. This creates transparency and it can help drive more reviews if you link to your product pages asking for more reviews!

7. Collect Different Forms of Product Reviews

Images and videos are crucial aspects of strong customer reviews and increase the likelihood of purchase. In fact, our Snapshot for Ecommerce report discovered 72% of shoppers are more likely to buy a product with reviews featuring photos and videos. Allowing customers to submit photos and videos as part of reviews increases the amount of unique content. At the same time, you’ll increase customer conversion.

vineyard vines hashtag graph for visual and social display

Leverage a tool with image displays so customers see products on or in use by people just like them. Promote visual content with easy submission features to directly display the content on your site.

8. Use a Trusted Ratings & Reviews Platform

As you likely noticed, this article mentions various ways to generate, display and syndicate product reviews. By implementing this software, brands and retailers increase content collection and the confidence in their purchasing decisions.

To recap, let’s take a look at our reasons we believe you need a trusted ratings and reviews partner:

  • Collect content from various channels like post-purchase emails and write-a-review forms
  • Display reviews with customizations like size and fit
  • Provide ways to host and display visual content like customer images and videos
  • Optimize your review content for search and increase your traffic and rankings
  • Syndicate all of the reviews brands generate to retailers or increase a retailer access to reviews from brands
  • Add functionality to help increase conversion, such as streamlined product questions and answers

So if you’ve tackled all of the strategies that we’ve listed and are still hungry for more reviews, get in touch with PowerReviews to learn how our platform helps brands and retailers drive traffic, sales and insights.

As always, reach out to us on Twitter to provide your best practices as well!

Alex York

Alex York is the Content and SEO Marketing Manager at PowerReviews. Catch him hunting down the perfect gin cocktail in Chicago or endlessly scrolling through Netflix. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjyork.

Getting customers to like you isn’t easy–we get it. But if you don’t have a clear customer engagement strategy, how do you get your shoppers’ attention or to participate with your business at all?

Some social media marketers will say the magic numbers for your engagement level is based on likes, shares and comments. But are you doing your part to create an engagement strategy that surpasses social media and covers the entire buyer journey–whether it’s in store or online?

We live in an era of relationship marketing, which means every interaction is critical to improve retention. In fact, a 2021 report found that 30% of consumers will not give brands more than one chance after a bad customer service experience.

Now more than ever, it’s essential to create meaningful relationships, which is why we’re here to talk about the steps you have to take to build a worthwhile customer engagement strategy. In this guide, you’ll discover the basics of a setting up your strategy and 12 methods to engage your customers right now:

What is a Customer Engagement Strategy?

A customer engagement strategy is the process of influencing your current or potential shoppers to interact, share and communicate within an experience your company specifically created. However, it’s just as important to understand the purpose of this strategy as well as to execute it.

The end goal of a customer engagement strategy is to increase brand loyalty and drive more sales through positive shopper experiences. This goes beyond the average sales pitch. Instead, a good strategy involves creating content that catches customers’ attention, draws them in, adapts to their needs and ultimately gives them the best experience possible.

Your customer engagement strategy will only be successful if you pull your eyes away from the dollar signs and focus on the actual people that make up your customer base. In turn, this helps you accomplish other important brand goals, such as:

  • Increased engagement on social media channels
  • Higher brand loyalty in your current customers
  • New advocates for your brand who share their experiences online
  • Generate and spread more positive content related to your brand
  • Increased brand awareness
  • Getting more attention of new customers
  • And (of course) increased sales

While the end result does involve increased sales, your strategy will never work if you’re only focused on the monetary growth. Think of the value you can provide your customers and how their experiences impact sales.

So, what other elements should you include?

Role of visual content banner

12 Principles to Live By in Your Customer Engagement Strategy

If you want to build loyalty and boost brand awareness on and offline, follow these 12 principles for a successful customer engagement strategy:

1. Inject Every Piece of Content With Personality

There’s a reason why certain brands do well with content, while others struggle. Also, those who succeed usually have something in common–they’re authentic.

Data from Stackla showed 86% of consumers think brand authenticity is essential toward making purchasing decisions and what company to support. To make things even more difficult, consumers can tell when you’re faking it.


The same survey found consumers think more than 50% of content from brands could be considered unauthentic. By focusing on authentic marketing, you build trust with your content.

So how do you push more authentic content?

Get into the head of your fan base. Know your customers’ daily struggles.

Do they hate that Monday-morning feeling or are they workaholics? Are your shoppers addicted to Netflix or to the feeling of a good workout? What’s gets them out of bed in the morning?

Answer these questions to know what your customers love and they’ll appreciate you popping up in their social feeds and email inboxes. To take this one step further, inject that same level of personality into every single piece of content that users see.

Brands like BarkBox have it a bit easier when it comes to sharing fun and authentic content on social. But the communication with their loyal followers engages and sparks participation with ease.

The company doesn’t just stop on social media. Their website is filled with simple instructions that provide open and honest details of their services. The whole point is to keep this fun-loving theme across all channels so people associate these emotions with BarkBox.

barkbox website CTA example

Whether it’s the copy in your 404 error page, the brief words included in your email or the short paragraph before your latest infographic, the words must pop with the same personality you include in your most important content.

2. Use the Language of Your Audience

If you really want to get into the mind of your audience, you’ll need to understand their language as well. For local businesses, this could include finding regional phrases and wording that show your brand is in sync with its physical location.

Goose Island came to the rescue when its local team, the Chicago Bears, lost in the NFL playoffs on a missed field goal. The brewery used social to engage their fans by calling them out for complaining about the missed kick. The conversation and language used is funny and even feels like a typical sports conversation you’d hear over a beer.

To get fans involved, Goose Island held a field goal kicking contest from the same distance where the professional missed. They got a ton of media attention and people to come out in the snow to participate.

The event was a huge hit and had the entire city buzzing about the contest. And even though many fans were still upset over the loss, the connection and engagement idea matched perfectly to their target audience and their brand’s voice.

The right language will allow your brand to be viewed as a friendly personality rather than a cold, impersonal entity.

3. Give Your Brand a Human Touch

In the spirit of personalizing your brand, giving it a face is a great way to get people to engage. Think of who in your company is the most vocal advocate.

Who is really passionate about the brand and the customers? This person can become the face of your brand, speaking in video content, presenting webinars and more.

Another way to give your brand a human touch is by presenting multiple faces from your company on your website and social channels.

Warby Parker does a great job at this by using employees to model their products. Make your customers feel like your employees to get them on your side!

4. Spice Up Your Social Feed With User-Generated Content

Your customers like to read the honest opinions from each other about your products instead of content from your brand. Why do you think ratings and reviews exist in the first place?

This is why so many people trust user-generated content. Data from CrowdTap found user-generated content is 35% more memorable than your average social posts and is 50% more trusted. Additionally, user-generated content is 20% more influential on purchase decisions.

speedway motors user-generated content example

Speedway Motors uses PowerReviews’ Visual and Social Suite to collect and display user-generated content into reviews. Potential buyers can see images of the products in action from shoppers just like them.

Did you know that 88% of consumers specifically look for images and videos uploaded by other consumers before purchasing? If you want people to remember, trust and be influenced by your social feed, it’s time to incorporate user-generated content.

5. Build Relationships With Your Most-Engaged Social Fans

Customer engagement and relationship-building go hand in hand.

To start, always respond to your customers and fans on social media. Check out how Wendy’s does this with style:

When you see that a certain user always comments on or shares your posts, it may be time to take this a step further. For example, you could include this user in your influencer marketing strategy (especially if they have a decent social following).

Whether it’s asking these influencers to write a blog, do a social media takeover or provide visual content, you take away the brand and focus on creating relationships with people.

6. Give Your Most Valuable Customers VIP Status

People love to feel special. So, give them a reward for being a great customer!

Creating loyalty and rewards programs for repeat shoppers encourages brand loyalty and increases the overall customer experience.

For example, you could invite repeat shoppers to join your VIP club. Then, send them exclusive offers on products, give them early access to time-sensitive sales or let them pre-order new products ahead of the average shoppers.

PowerReviews’ Journey IQ does just that. We help customers engage with brands by becoming mystery shoppers to uncover insights into the overall shopper experience. And the best part is customers get rewarded with deals and exclusive coupons that makes shoppers feel inclusive with your brand.

These kinds of rewards will help current customers fall in love with your brand even more.

7. Publish Content With Your Current Customers in Mind

Sometimes brands focus too much on new customers than on their existing base when creating content. Stop this trend by creating content that is specific to current users of your products.

Check out how The Home Depot does this with their YouTube channel by providing tutorials to those who just made a purchase and might need a little help using a tool or completing a project:

home depot youtube channel examples

They regularly upload how-to’s and DIY guides that are super helpful to their current customer base. In turn, customers are likelier to be loyal to Home Depot since they helped them from start to finish with a project.

There’s no doubt about it–this kind of content boosts customer engagement and improves retention. In fact, 69% of online consumers agree that the quality, timing and relevance of branded content influence their view of a brand.

8. Reward New Reviewers

Want to encourage people to review your products online, but you’re having trouble generating content? One of the best ways to get more content is to incentivize the process!

Try offering a reward for taking the time to write a review, give feedback and post images of their content to help future shoppers. Dangling the carrot of a reward could really help produce more results.

overstock review rewards program Overstock does this with a systematic rewards system for reviewers. It’s not easy getting a bunch of reviews from shoppers all at once, but with the right tools, you can reward shoppers to fill out authentic and honest reviews for all their recent purchases.

It’s smart to drive engagement through post-purchase emails to let customers know about the potential rewards and get their customer feedback while the experience is still fresh in mind.

9. Over-Personalize Content & Offers

We all know personalization is important.

In fact, an infographic by Every Cloud Tech shows that marketers see on average a 20% increase in sales when using personalized web experiences.

every cloud tech infographic example of personalized experiences

Gather customer behavior data to understand what products they’re viewing, where they spend time on your website and if they’ve made any previous purchases. Once you have this data, you can better showcase personalized content to meet their specific needs.

Take this a step further by personalizing the offers you send to your email subscribers. For example, a fashion brand shouldn’t send offers for men’s clothing to a user who has only ever looked at or purchased women’s clothing on their website.

Dive into your customer data to learn purchasing behaviors so you can tailor emails specifically to them and the products they want.

10. Collaborate With Customers to Create & Improve Products

Another tip to follow is getting customers to engage and interact with your brand by inviting their feedback on your products.

Generating ideas from your customers about future products or improvements makes them feel like a part of the process. Also, it might give you an idea for your next big marketing campaign.

Domino’s put this into practice by allowing users to create their own pizza. The campaign was all about engagement and highlighting their customers’ ideas.

dominos pizza legends CTA example

In the end, the marketing campaign combined the idea of brand and customer collaboration with a discount. At the same time, Dominos made it easy to share the experience on social media.

11. Generate Interactive Content

Is your blog lacking strong engagement? Try boosting your engagement rate by creating content that involves your audience.

For example, use quizzes to help customers decide on the best product for them. You can also draw them in with a useful calculator that helps them solve a problem. A fantastic example of interactive content is live videos.

benefit cosmetics facebook example

Benefit Cosmetics puts live videos to good use on Facebook, showing customers how to use their products in a live demonstration. This allows people to comment as the video is rolling.

12. Deliver Fast & Positive Customer Service on Social Media

Your customers want their voices heard. In fact, Telus International found 72% of millennials are more likely to be loyal to a brand that responds to them over social media.

Additionally, 66% of millennials say that their loyalty would be affected by how fast the brand responds to their feedback on social media. Providing customer service on social isn’t new, there are ways to provide better experiences.

Some of the tactics you can use, include:

  • Support Accounts: A lot of bigger tech and software companies are relied on to be running 24/7, which is why having a direct line to the support team is essential. If you want to direct support questions away from your major accounts, create a new one only for customer questions.
  • Search for Conversations: Using social media management tools like Buffer, Hootsuite or Sprout Social allow you listen to conversations on social–even when you’re not tagged or mentioned. It’s always good to find conversations about you and providing answers some customers might have wanted to express.
  • Delegate Social Messages to the Right Team: To speed up your social media answering, make sure you’re delegating questions to the appropriate team. Even if you don’t have a large social team, you can have specific employees from marketing, sales, engineering or recruiting to provide answers to customer questions.

Build Something You’re Proud Of

Increasing brand loyalty, positive feedback and higher sales are all common goals for businesses. But to get there, you need to impress your customers and create experiences that keep them coming back.

It’s all about how you interact and engage with your customers that makes you truly unique in their eyes. Use a customer engagement strategy to build authentic relationships with your audience and prove to them you care.

If done right, you’ll quickly find your own tribe of brand advocates to recommend, share and stand up for your brand. Good luck and let us know on Twitter what you do to build better customer experiences!

Amy Copadis

Amy Copadis is a writer and blogger covering various topics including digital marketing, travel, natural health and ecommerce.