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Ecommerce Product Reviews: How To Get Them and Why

by EasyPost

We all know the internet can make any product look like a must-have. But how do we decide what’s worth buying and what’s not? For nine in ten consumers, the answer is found in product reviews. 

Ecommerce product reviews are a valuable source of insight into a product’s functionality, quality, and overall value. Good reviews can be the extra push a buyer needs to add something to their cart, while negative reviews can convince them to shop somewhere else.

Encouraging people to leave reviews helps potential customers trust your brand, get excited about your products, and make better-informed purchasing decisions. We’ll review the why and how of getting more customer reviews to help your ecommerce business thrive.

The benefits of good customer reviews 

Online product reviews benefit customers by helping them know what to spend their hard-earned money on, and they benefit businesses by boosting sales, increasing credibility, and building consumer trust. The benefits of customer reviews are many—including that they:

  • Drive sales. To buy or not to buy? If a product has reviews, customers are more likely to answer in the affirmative. And it doesn’t take many reviews to make a difference. A product with just five reviews is 270% more likely to be purchased than one with none.
  • Increase credibility. Social proof is a powerful thing. If customers see reviews—both positive and negative–they’ll feel more confident that your business is legitimate. When purchasing from a brand they haven’t bought from before, 86% of shoppers believe it’s important to see recent reviews, which signal that people are actively buying from your ecommerce store.
  • Build trust. Would you buy a product with zero reviews? Nearly half of consumers won’t. No matter how appealing something looks, many of us need validation before clicking “Check Out.” You can show potential customers they can trust your brand by encouraging people to leave honest reviews on all your products.
  • Gather customer feedback. One survey revealed that 61% of brands make changes based on feedback left in reviews. Your business should be one of them! Reviews are a free, low-maintenance way to gather feedback. Without sending a single email, you have access to hundreds of customer pain points and disappointments. Use that feedback to get better.
  • Generate marketing materials. Ecommerce product reviews are great marketing assets. Instead of trying to convince people that your products are worth buying, you can let your happy customers do the work for you. With hundreds of reviews at your fingertips, it’s easy to take your marketing emails and ad copy to the next level. 
  • Improve SEO. SEO (search engine optimization) increases traffic to your product pages by making them more visible on search engines like Google. Reviews can boost your SEO because they usually include keywords like your company name, product name, or descriptions of the product. Search engines notice these keywords, decide your product is relevant to searchers, and (hopefully) display it in the top results.

The impact of bad customer reviews 

While bad reviews sound scary, having a few of them can actually make your website seem more credible. In fact, research shows that the average star rating that most people trust is between 4.2 and 4.5. People tend to be cautious about offers that seem too good to be true; if they see something that only has five-star reviews, they might think the reviews are fake. On the other hand, a mixture of good and bad feedback can reassure customers that reviews are genuine and can be trusted. 

Of course, too many negative reviews can cause problems. If your ratings are lower than 4.2, there’s a chance potential customers will pass you by. And people often care more about bad reviews—one study reveals that “negative reviews have significantly more impact than positive ones.” 

But don’t despair! Nearly three-quarters (73%) of shoppers will still consider buying a product with a negative review if the business has responded to it. If you respond to negative reviews with concern and offer to help resolve any issues, you can minimize their impact.

How to get ecommerce product reviews 

Actively collecting customer reviews—versus passively waiting for them to roll in—will require a little extra work for you, at least at the beginning. But the benefits are worth it. According to one survey, consumers consider ratings and reviews the most important influence in their buying decision, ranking above price, free shipping, and free returns. So how do you go about curating these precious resources? 

Ask for reviews during the post-purchase experience

The post-purchase experience consists of all the interactions your brand has with customers after they make a purchase. Though often overlooked, post-purchase experience is a valuable tool for customer retention. It’s your brand’s chance to communicate with the customer, informing them about their upcoming delivery and getting them excited for it. You can also use the post-purchase experience to bring in more reviews. 

To ask for reviews during the post-purchase experience, simply send customers an email or text message after they complete a transaction. The email should be simple, attention-grabbing, and personalized. 

To stand out from the crowd of other marketing emails that flood your customers’ inboxes, craft an engaging subject line. In the email itself, address the customer by name and mention their specific purchase. Thank them for their order, invite them to share feedback, and emphasize that you value their input. Finally, provide a link they can follow to leave the review.

If your message is clear and compelling, and the instructions are simple, many customers will be happy to leave a review. For those who don’t, implement a follow-up process where you send a series of gentle nudges. 

Automate the process

The key to a smooth post-purchase experience is automation. Automating the review request process allows it to run with minimal input from you. 

An automated review request email should be triggered whenever a customer makes a purchase. When setting the automations, keep in mind that customers should have enough time to try out the product before writing a review. However, if you wait too long, they might forget relevant details. PowerReviews recommends waiting 21 days before requesting reviews for hard goods (things that last a long time, such as refrigerators or computers), 14 days for soft goods (like apparel and cosmetics) and perishables, and 7 days for seasonal goods.

To take full advantage of automated emails, use personalized messaging and timing based on an individual’s shopping history. Segmenting customers will also help you personalize review requests by targeting different groups. 

Make the review process simple

If leaving a review is confusing or time-consuming, you won’t convince many customers to participate. That’s why it’s essential to streamline the submission process. 

  • Make sure your site is user-friendly on all platforms (desktop, mobile, and tablet). 
  • Use as few required fields as possible so customers can leave a quick review if they choose.
  • Allow reviewers to choose between simple star ratings and detailed written feedback.
  • Ask specific questions (between one and three).
  • To go the extra mile, experiment with creative rating methods like emoji scales.

Capitalize on your customer reviews

When used effectively, online shopping reviews are a powerful marketing tool for ecommerce businesses. Keyword: effectively. The following best practices will help you use reviews to their full potential and avoid missteps.

Showcase reviews to bring in new customers

Keep reviews front and center so potential customers see the benefits of buying from you. Highlight them on:

  • Product pages. One of the best places to display customer reviews is on your website’s product pages. As potential buyers engage with products that have positive reviews, they gain confidence in their purchase decisions, leading to increased conversion rates and reduced bounce rates. You can even attract more customers—over three-quarters of shoppers actively seek out websites with ratings and reviews. 
  • Ads. Social proof makes ads more persuasive. Consider highlighting positive reviews or star ratings in ad copy to capture people’s attention and encourage them to explore further.
  • Social media. Sharing customer reviews on social media platforms helps create a positive image for your brand and fosters engagement with followers. Positive reviews can be featured in posts or stories. If a satisfied customer tags your brand on social media, respond with a kind message and consider sharing their post. 
  • Abandoned cart emails. It happens a lot: a customer fills their virtual cart but never completes the purchase. When you send an email encouraging them to finish shopping, try featuring some customer reviews. Reviews reassure potential buyers that others have had positive experiences with the product, reducing any doubts or uncertainties that might have led to cart abandonment. 

Genuinely engage with customer feedback (even the negative stuff)

You can make your reviews—both positive and negative—more powerful by engaging with them. 

Nobody likes to feel unheard. For customers, it’s one of the most frustrating feelings there is. To help show that you care about the feedback people give you, do your best to engage with every review. When someone gives positive feedback, thank them for sharing. Try to personalize the message in some way, whether that’s directly responding to something they said in their review or simply addressing them by name.

When you come across negative feedback, resist the temptation to become defensive. Even if you don’t think the customer’s review is justified, express concern that the product or buying experience didn’t live up to their expectations. Then, keeping a neutral tone, invite them to contact your customer service department so they can help make things right. Provide an email address or website link that they can use to get in touch with your team. 

It may not seem like much, but responding to negative reviews can make a big difference. The top 10% of brands respond faster and more consistently to online reviews. Customers have come to expect responses, with 53% saying they think businesses should respond to negative reviews within a week.

Be honest about reviews 

Being dishonest about ecommerce store reviews doesn’t just make you look bad—it can get you into legal trouble. The Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA) “protects people’s ability to share their honest opinions about a business’s products, services, or conduct, in any forum.” Under the CRFA, it’s illegal to “include standardized provisions that threaten or penalize people for posting honest reviews.” 

In other words, businesses can’t include wording in their terms of service that prohibits people from leaving negative reviews or threatens to punish them if they do. 

As of June 2023, the Federal Trade Commission has proposed a rule regarding positive reviews as well. The rule would ban dishonest practices such as:

  • Buying or selling fake customer reviews or testimonials
  • Paying customers to write either positive or negative reviews
  • Using insider reviews without disclosing the relationship of the reviewer to the business

When it comes to reviews, best practice is to allow people to honestly express their opinions. With your focus primarily on selling high-quality products and giving consumers a great buying experience, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about bad reviews.

Allow customer photos and videos in reviews

You’ve added carefully curated product photos to your site. They’re well-lit and professional, and they show the products from every angle. But how do online shoppers know that the product really looks like the photos? To reassure skeptical buyers, allow reviewers to upload photos and videos. These images will show the product in the hands of actual people, helping potential customers see what the product looks like in real life. When people have a better sense of what you’re selling, they’ll likely be more satisfied with their purchase.

The best review sites to list your business on

Including reviews on your own website allows customers to learn more about individual products and improves your SEO. But it can also be beneficial to get your business listed with trusted third-party review sites. These sites may reach a wider audience than your brand’s site, and they offer impartial validation of your legitimacy. Leveraging their credibility and user base isn’t difficult, and you can reap big rewards when it comes to visibility and customer engagement.


Trustpilot is a well-known review platform with over 167 million individual reviews for more than 714,000 websites. It’s free to set up a profile for your business, but you can also pay for more advanced features.


Despite the recent rise of alternative social media platforms, Facebook remains one of the most popular in the world. With a dedicated business page, you promote your brand by sharing product updates, promotions, and relevant content. You can also gather reviews! While you can easily turn the ratings and reviews feature on or off, enabling it is a good way to get your business more visibility.


Amazon is the most popular place to read reviews, with 94% of consumers turning there to learn more about products. If you’re a third-party vendor or seller on Amazon (learn the difference here) you’ll definitely want to take advantage of the platform’s enormous audience by collecting as many reviews as possible.

Google Product Reviews

This isn’t a review site, but it’s a good way to automate your review collection process. Google will send outreach emails for you, and you can use the Google Customer Reviews badge on your site. Learn more about how to get set up.

Prepare to bring in rave reviews this peak season 

Peak season is fast approaching, and when it hits, your order volume will skyrocket. That means more customers for you to impress … or disappoint. A great experience will bring in four- and five-star reviews. But late, lost, or damaged packages will turn your site’s reviews section into a battleground. 

To keep the positive reviews flowing, you need to get your shipping operations ready for peak season. Our free ebook, “The 10-Step Guide to Rocking the 2023 Peak Season," tells you how. 

Download the peak season preparation guide for free