Turn Customer Reviews Into Word-Of-Mouth Marketing

Word of BlogHere’s a tip on how to turn your customers into blogging evangelists: make it very easy for them to post customer reviews written for your site to their own blogs. Elastic Path is doing this with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Store.

After a customer has filled in his review, there is an option to blog the review, which is a simple process that takes about 30 seconds to port the review right to the blog.

I decided to do the bulk of my Christmas shopping for the family through Olympic Store last year. So I’m going to use an example of one of my own reviews to show you how this works:

After you complete your review you see this screen:

Blog This Review

You enter your blog URL and then you’re prompted for your user name and password:

Blog This Review 2

You receive confirmation your review is posted instantly:

Blog This Review Success

And the review is published on my blog along with the product description used on the Olympic Store website:

Review Blog Post

The links to the product in the review are direct links, which means you get an SEO benefit too.

This can even improve the quality of review content. Customers who choose to post reviews on their blogs and have more items to review will likely put as much care and thought into the review as one of his or her own blog posts.

This feature comes out-of-the-box with Power Reviews. I’m not sure if other providers also offer this feature.

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13 Responses to “Turn Customer Reviews Into Word-Of-Mouth Marketing”

  1. Jonathan says:

    I’m wondering what percentage of reviewers even have blogs. What kind of usage have you guys seen on this post-to-blog capability?

  2. We just launched it this week, Jonathan. I agree with you that most people will not choose to do this, even if they have blogs. But this at least increases the odds someone will share their positive experience with others on a personal blog. Especially for the Olympics as it attracts collectors, sports fans and patriots.

    I imagine certain industries will have more success with this than others.

  3. Is there a particular piece of software that I would need to download to put this on my site, or how would I do it? Thanks!

  4. This is a really cool idea. I think our stores could see some good results with this type of functionality. Just a couple of things though. Did you guys do any research on whether users might feel uncomfortable with actually submitting their username and password of their blog? I guess since it has only been launched a week you don’t really have much feedback about that yet.

    Also, how were you able to make sure the formatting would stay correct on the persons blog if the CSS is styled differently for certain elements and what not. And is this geared to only one type of blog engine, I’m guessing WordPress?

    Really cool idea and I think a lot of people will start using this type of functionality.

  5. Dan Shields was asking if people would be likely to submit their username and password.

    Personally, I would not be willing to submit my username or password for two reasons. First, the owner of the website might steal that information and use it to access and do anything with my blog. Second, I have the same password for my blog, gmail, and other Google services. So, I do not know about others, but for me I would not want to do it.

  6. Hi Ecommerce Learner,
    The feature comes out-of-the-box with Power Reviews. I will make that edit in the post now so that’s clear :)

  7. Ahh I feel a little dumb now :) I never looked at Power Reviews to much because our review system was written before it was around. I guess a lot of people do have this functionality then already. It would be cool to see some analytics on how many users actually do this.

    I was thinking of some other possibilities that the user could do without submitting their username and pass. Maybe they write the review on their blog then ping your website submitting their review. Kind of backwards but an idea.

  8. @ Dan,

    That is a good idea :)

    Maybe others who are using Power Reviews can chime in on conversion rates for the blog-review call-to-action?

  9. I recently received a review-request for a product I bought from the Vacouver 2010 Olympic store and noticed this feature. Pretty interesting.

    Personally, I wouldn’t share any reviews on my own blog, but I know of friends (and have seen internet strangers) who have personal blogs that they use to blog about random and recent purchases (e.g. “So I just bought the new iPod, here’s what I think about it…”). I could see this feature potentially appealing to them.

    It would be interesting to see participation rates. It would be even more interesting to see participation rates overlaid with review ratings; that is, are negative reviewers more likely to share their reviews on their blog? Or are positive reviewers? Or is there no correlation?

    From the shopkeeper’s perspective, I wonder if they’d still like this feature if it was found that negative reviewers were more likely to share their reviews (perhaps ANY publicity is good publicity?)

  10. Marc says:

    Your readers might want to try http://www.Measuredup.com a leading customer service review website where people share reviews with other users and with companies. Companies that are involved with and value customer service read Measuredup to keep up on what people are saying and to be able to improve customer service.

    Your disputes could be resolved using MeasuredUp if the company you reviewed reads your review or another consumer could give you advice. When you have good things to say a company could reward you.

    It is free and easy to use and your info is private.

    I have tried some other sites that are also good but really like this one.

  11. @ Eddie,

    I agree with you, I posted to my blog to test the service but removed the posts simply because they were off-topic. If I were a Vancouver blogger like Miss 604 or a fashion blogger, or just had a “personal ramblings” site it would be another story.

    Sharing to Facebook would be interesting too, as that was the point of the whole Beacon thing.

    Affiliate bloggers might appreciate porting their reviews, but as a merchant, you don’t want your “unbiased” reviews mixed with affiliate reviews!

    Just a comment on bloggers who seem to post about random products, if they’re not affiliate bloggers they are probably accepting some form of payment in exchange for the post, using keyword-rich anchor text for SEO. We’re seeing a lot less of this now that Google has laid the smackdown on paid reviews.

    Or maybe some people just love shopping and do it for fun?

    @ Marc,

    I checked out Measured Up, just for the sake of our readers I will mention that is more of a social shopping site where people can review stuff. Power Reviews and others are tools that integrate with an online store’s ecommerce platform so customers can review products on the websites the products are being sold – right on the product page.

  12. Johnny says:

    We do this with recommendations on Docoloco. A user can set up their blog and post recommendations for loca;l businesses to their blog when they add something to Docoloco.

    http://www.docoloco.com

  13. Boris Nefyod says:

    Very interesting, thank you! Please keep us informed about the effectiveness of this approach.

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