Collecting customer reviews and ratings

Customer feedback is a powerful tool that helps promote your store and products and increase conversion. Reviews and ratings are perfect for building trust and social proof and for achieving a higher ranking in the search engines (as they improve your SEO). Moreover, they can power word-of-mouth marketing and create a buzz around your products.

We’re quite sure that you want to make full use of reviews in your Ecwid store. In this guide, we will tell you what apps and workarounds you could use to collect customer feedback.

General rules
Collecting reviews with Ecwid apps
Collecting reviews through automated marketing emails
Collecting reviews through your website tools
Other ways to get customer reviews
How to handle your customer feedback

General rules

There are several informal rules that will help you collect customer feedback efficiently.

Make it simple. Composing the feedback should be as effortless as possible. Your customers won’t struggle through a long list of registration fields and tricky captures to write a review (unless they are really unhappy with you). Perhaps they will give up after they encounter a first difficulty. An authorization via Facebook or Google or no authorization at all allows them to get straight to the point.

Make it visible. Put a link to where customers can leave their feedback on your store front page, e.g. in the form of a colorful button. You can also provide links on the product details pages — or create a separate section in the site menu. So that your customers don’t have to use their detective skills to find a place to write their reviews.

Ask for reviews. Yes, people are much more likely to go and write that review if they didn’t like your product or service. This doesn’t mean, though, that in all the other cases they are reluctant to share an opinion. Often they just don’t know where to do that or don't feel motivated enough. So you should ask them. In person, by phone or via email.

If you have a brick-and-mortar store or participate in a fair, you can hand out business cards with a QR code and a how-to on writing reviews. You can also offer something (like a discount) in return for reviews and ratings. Just don’t forget to mention that you appreciate all kinds of feedback equally. No matter whether it’s good or bad.

Comment on reviews. Time is extremely valuable nowadays, and still, your customers have spent some of it to give you feedback. Don’t let them have an impression that it went nowhere. A simple “thank you” can go a long way, and if customers have had some complaints, make sure to handle them properly. These answers, once displayed, will also show your website visitors that you really care about them.

Collecting reviews with Ecwid apps

You can add the ability to collect reviews and rate your store and products with the help of apps featured in the Ecwid App Market. The ratings will be visible to all the customers in your store. The exact list of features depends on the app that you choose.

Here’s the actual list:

HelpfulCrowd: Video Product Reviews and Q&A. HelpfulCrowd helps you sell more by collecting, curating and sharing your best Product Reviews and Q&A. The app automatically collects verified product reviews after customers have purchased something. You can curate and share reviews from Ecwid or HelpfulCrowd control panels.

HelpfulCrowd also allows visitors to ask questions about products you sell on the product details pages. When you provide an answer, it will be emailed directly to their inbox and displayed on the product page. Along with that, the app has such premium features as video and photo reviews. You can also import product reviews from other platforms.

Trustami: One Seal for All Reviews. With Trustami you can collect ratings and reviews from more than 20 platforms, including eBay, Etsy, Facebook, Amazon, Trusted Shops and Google Shopping, and manage them all in one place. This app collects, analyzes and presents all this distributed social media/web data in the form of trust badges.

You can publish all ratings and reviews or choose which of them should be publicly available and promote the latest ones.

Stamped.io: Product Reviews. Stamped.io helps you collect reviews via email — which is very useful as customers don’t even need to go anywhere to leave their feedback. This app automatically sends emails requesting reviews, and your customers can send back reviews of their recent purchases directly from their emails.

The list of Stamped.io features also includes the ability to collect reviews with pictures and smart recommendations of products.

Note that all the apps from the list allow SEO-friendly review scores to appear on Google in the form of rich snippets. Yes, the ones with the stars, the number of votes and the average rating:

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All the apps have a free trial period to test their functionality.

Collecting reviews through automated marketing emails

Ecwid has a number of automated marketing emails that are sent to customers in various situations. The easiest option to get a review on a product and/or service is to enable feedback requests in your store. You can do it right in your Ecwid admin, in Marketing → Automated Emails:

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Once you enable feedback requests, you can additionally set them up by clicking Manage. For example, you can add a discount coupon or links to your social media accounts and select the sending time for your email. By default, it’s four weeks after the order status is changed to "Shipped".

When your customers receive an email, they can click the “Give feedback” link and write all that they want in a new email window. This window has a pre-entered email address of your store, so all that customers have to do after they are done writing a review is click Send.

You can change the pre-entered email address in the Company email field in Settings → General → Store Profile.

Here is a sample of a customer feedback request that your customers may see in their mailbox:

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You can edit the feedback request template to make it more personal and more in tone with your brand. Maybe you want to ask some additional questions that you know are important for reviewing your store and its products? Editing the template requires some HTML, so make sure you follow our guide on editing mail notifications. And in case you don’t like the result, you can always restore the default email template.

Note that the feedback from customer emails is not placed automatically on your store website so you have to place it yourself. This might seem a little inconvenient, but, on the other hand, it gives you the freedom to choose which feedback to feature (and which to leave for yourself to ponder on). If you are using Ecwid Instant Site, you can add up to four testimonials there.

Collecting reviews through your website tools

In case you are not using our Instant Site — you have a custom-built website or have added your Ecwid store to some other site builder or platform — it’s almost a must to explore the possibilities for collecting reviews that they have to offer. You might find some hidden treasures.

What do we mean? Feedback is important, so there are definitely some apps or plugins developed for your specific site builder.

For example:

WordPress offers a wide variety of plugins for reviews and testimonials.

Wix allows you to add customer testimonials (as a list or as a strip). You can also check the section in their App Market that is dedicated to collecting reviews and testimonials.

Squarespace allows adding product reviews using third-party review or rating tools. You can also use widgets like Testimonial Slider Plugin or Testimonials Slider (or a variety of others).

Joomla! also offers a wide variety of extensions dedicated to reviews and ratings.

If you don’t see the sitebuilder you’re using in this list, just Google its name plus “collect customer reviews” or “review widget/plugin”. We’re quite sure that you’ll find several useful features in the search results.

To custom-built website owners we could recommend embedding a ‘Leave a review’ button with EmbedReviews or a similar tool. Another option is to create a separate page (or an on-site form) dedicated to reviews and feature this section in the main menu. You could also add links to this page to your feedback request letters.

Other ways to get customer reviews

There are also a number of off-site possibilities to consider. Depending on your needs and goals, you can use several workarounds to collect and publish customer feedback on your store.

First, the surveys. Yes, to avoid customer reviews that lack useful information, you can create questionnaires. It’s a known truth that the right questions help find the right answers, and a well-conceived survey gives customers much more than one scarily empty field intended for filling-in. You can ask all the questions you need — just avoid the ones that can be answered by a simple “yes” or “no”, and you will know the highs, lows and limitations of your products.

You can use any authorized service for your questionnaires like Google Forms, Typeform or Survio, and there are free and paid options for you to choose from.

Based on the answers, you can compose a review yourself, then ask for customer's permission and publish this text on your website. If you are using Ecwid Instant Site, you can add it to the customer testimonials section.

Second, you could use third-party review platforms. Sites like ResellerRatings, Angie’s List, Trustpilot or Yelp (or any similar website that is popular in your country) seem to be more objective in the minds of your customers — as they are not affiliated with you.

Moreover, these websites are indexed by the search engines and can appear on top of the search results when someone looks for reviews on products or services that you sell. They also help you feature yourself in front of the audience that is ready to make a purchase (that’s usually their visitors). So you can register your company on one of the review platforms and direct your customers there.

You might be wondering by now about how exactly you can direct your customers to these surveys and reviews platforms. As they are not a part of your Ecwid store or your website.

There are a number of options. Add a note on the store home page. Showcase the link in your website menu. Edit your feedback request letters to include these links or add them to the product descriptions. This latter option would be a totally free way to collect customer feedback.

To add a link to a product description:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Products.
  2. Choose the product you would like to add a link to.
  3. Click Edit product and go to the product description.
  4. Click on the link icon, then click Insert link.
  5. Add URL and enter the text, then click Insert.
  6. Click Save.

That’s it! Now you have a link to your survey or to a review platform on your product details page.

This is, of course, not a full list of the available options. For example, if you have a brick-and-mortar store, you could also use Google My Business that allows customers to write reviews on your profile. Or you could ask for opinion on social media and monitor mentions there. But this is where we stop.

And in case the solutions listed above do not meet your requirements or you need a more sophisticated solution tailored especially for your business, then you can always consider utilizing no-code integrations through Zapier.

How to handle your customer feedback

Reviews and ratings that you collect via apps and widgets automatically appear on your store website. Unlike them, reviews that you collect through Ecwid’s automated marketing emails need to be published manually. The same goes for all the feedback that you have collected from other sources (e.g. through surveys) and now want to feature on your store.

You could use the following ways to showcase customer feedback:

  • If you are using Ecwid Instant Site, you can add up to four testimonials in the special customer testimonials section. This includes the text of a feedback plus customer name, customer photo and a caption to tell more about them (e.g. “first-time customer” or “local enthusiast”).
    This is how such a review might look:

    Collecting_customer_reviews_and_ratings__4_.png

    Read more about adding customer testimonials to your Instant Site→
  • If you are selling with Ecwid on a website of your own or use one of a variety of platforms, consider creating a separate page or a sidebar where you will post reviews.
  • ...Or just add a couple of best reviews for specific products to the product description or to the product photos (as a screenshot).

Once you set everything up, you might want to know what else you could do with the feedback you get. Everyone knows that reviews help increase sales and create social proof — but that is not their only application:

  • Reviews and feedback help you get a fuller picture of your business and serve as an inspiration for future improvements. Some people fear feedback because they think that people would say something bad and ruin their business. But when feedback arrives on time, it can open your eyes to what would have otherwise remained unnoticed.
    You can keep part of the feedback to yourself and publish only the most informative pieces, but make sure you process all of it.
  • Testimonials and user-generated content (UGC) like product photos made by customers are a great source of free content writing — just post the best reviews on your social media accounts or spice up your advertisements with them. Even the negative reviews turn out to be useful as you can create articles based on them. So that other customers know how to deal with the problem.
  • And yes, reviews are a way to interact with your customers and build a long-term relationship with them.

So choose a way to collect and publish feedback that suits your store best and start harvesting the profit-rich field of customer reviews.

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