In this 5-minute read:
- Claim your Google Business listing
- Respond to reviews
- Ask customers for reviews
Online customer reviews are a powerful conversion tool in any business, but especially in the retail world. With almost 95% of online and offline shoppers reading reviews before they make a purchase, reviews are a constant influence in purchasing decisions.
Do you own a clothing shop or other local retail business? Do you have a steady flow of incoming reviews on your store’s online profiles? Seeing new reviews, a high star rating, and a lot of reviews is a huge decision-making factor when it comes to customer purchasing habits. What are you doing to help your local retail business get more reviews online? We’ve come up with a list of a few ways you can get more Google reviews for your local retail business.
Claim your Google My Business listing
The first step to getting Google reviews for your retail business is always going to be making sure you have access to your Google My Business listing. You can’t reply to Google reviews if you don’t haven’t claimed your profile, and claiming and updating your profile helps you to show up on Google better as customers search for local places to shop.
Quick guide: How to claim your Google Business listing
Once you have access, you can (and should) respond to all of your customer reviews as they come in, which brings us to our next point.
Respond to your Google reviews
Yes, responding to your reviews can actually help you get more Google reviews. Why? Customers like to see friendly and positive interaction with your business, and it sends good trust signals to customers to see that you actually care about and respond to your reviews. When they see that other customers have received positive or even humorous responses to reviews that you have, they’ll be more likely to leave a review as well.
Make sure that you respond to all reviews, positive and negative, within a day or two of receiving them. If you received a new review six months ago and are just now getting around to responding to it, Google shows everyone the time when the review and response were posted, and it doesn’t look good on you to be a late responder, especially for negative reviews.
Plus, research from Womply shows businesses that respond regularly to reviews earn up to 49% more annual revenue!
Not sure how to respond to negative reviews? We’ve got you covered… just click the link to our helpful article.
Ask customers for reviews
Happy customers don’t often think to leave a review of their favorite store on Google, and unhappy customers are sometimes all too ready to share how their experience went down. So it’s important to provide that encouragement for customers to leave your retail business an online review.
Here are a few ideas on how you can encourage customers to leave you a Google review for your store.
1. Ask customers when they’re in your place of business
When a customer is in your store and excited about their new purchase or telling you how great their experience was, that’s the perfect opportunity to invite them to leave you a review on Google. Most people will say yes, and even if they don’t all remember once they leave your store, it still plants that seed in their mind. Remember, never ask for “good” or “positive” or “5-star” reviews… just let customers know you value their honest feedback.
2. Put up “Review us on Google” signs
You don’t even have to ask every single customer that walks through your store to leave you a review. Just put up a few signs in strategic locations: windows as they walk in, the checkout stand, and somewhere on their way out. These are awesome reminders for customers to hop on Google and leave a review once they leave your store.
3. Create a direct link to write a review
If you go to your business profile on Google and click “write a review,” you can use the URL of that page as a link to send customers directly to where they need to go to leave your store a review. The URL is generally obnoxiously long, so drop it into a short link generator like bit.ly and send the short link out to shoppers.
If you send out email receipts, those receipts are the perfect place to include this link. You can also use a reputation management solution that allows you to text or email customers a link to leave you a review.
Should I offer incentives or buy positive reviews?
Short answer: absolutely not! Many business owners have used the method of offering rewards to customers that leave positive reviews on Google, and it is not a good practice to get in the habit of.
For one, it’s against Google’s and other review platforms’ policies to reward customers for positive reviews. The reason being is that “bought” reviews aren’t a good indicator of whether a business is actually one that you can trust—and even creates the opposite perception if customers know how you got those reviews.
If Google gets wind that you are paying customers for reviews (or using “black hat” methods to buy positive reviews), they can seriously penalize you and either remove all of your reviews from your business listing or suspend your business listing and remove you from the search results entirely. Ouch!
Any potential reward involved with gaming reviews like this is never worth the risk. Don’t do it!
Use reputation management software to manage Google reviews
As we mentioned earlier, reputation management software can help you streamline the process of reading and replying to customer reviews on your Google listing. It can be tough to get customers to go and leave a review online. Whether they forget when you ask them or simply feel that it’s too much work to search out your store online, there’s a lot of missed opportunity.
With a resource like Womply’s reputation management software, you can easily remind customers to leave reviews and receive alerts when you do. Solutions like this allow you to see and respond to all of your online reviews from one place, and you can even set up automated replies if desired, so you never miss getting that response posted.
Make getting a regular supply of genuine reviews a priority for your store and watch as your business grows.