Using customer reviews and UGC to unlock growth for online retailers

Published: 5 July 2021

The world’s most successful online retailers do a number of things exceptionally well, but there is one area in particular that sets them apart from the pack — trust. These merchants understand that eCommerce retailers must clear an additional hurdle that is implicit in the traditional in-store experience. Namely, that online customers do not have the ability to see, touch, or try their products in person before completing their purchase.

One of the most impactful ways to solve this is through the use of customer reviews and user-generated content (UGC). Over 90% of consumers read reviews before purchasing a product online, and 56% want to read at least four reviews before they’re ready to part with their money.

In this article, we share the ways in which our clients are using Okendo to collect, manage and surface customer reviews and UGC to build customer trust and drive growth.

Get the basics right

Perhaps somewhat obviously, presenting customers with trust-building customer reviews and user-generated content throughout the online store experience is hugely important in helping to reduce uncertainty and improve conversion. In fact, 76% of shoppers say that they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend, making reviews a ‘hygiene factor’ in a modern online store experience.

Okendo provides a range of widgets that can be used to both display and collect product reviews on site, and are highly customisable to match the look and feel of the store. As developers and UX designers, this allows us to seamlessly integrate Okendo-powered reviews into all areas of a site including product pages, collection product cards, search and much more!

Working with high-growth merchants often means pushing the boundaries of conventional on-site experiences, and the Okendo platform provides us with the flexibility to deliver no-compromise, brand-first designs.

Break down barriers

High growth merchants recognise that one customer’s path to purchase is not identical to another’s, and that meeting their customers where they are is crucial to delivering a fantastic user experience.

One of the main strengths of Shopify is its ecosystem of apps that merchants rely on for all manner of back-office processes, on-site features, email marketing, or in this case, reviews. Okendo, as a Shopify Plus Technology Partner, fully embraces this technology network and has worked to build a number of first-party integrations with apps such as Klaviyo, Foursixty, LoyaltyLion, and Gorgias to extend the benefits of reviews and UGC beyond the (imaginary) four walls of the online store itself. Rewarding customers with loyalty points for leaving reviews, building hyper-personalised email marketing automations based on shopper experiences, and delivering proactive customer service are just some of the transformative business outcomes made possible by Okendo.

Through our Growth Programme, we help our clients to identify opportunities to integrate elements of their tech stack to not only unlock new ways of speaking to their customers, but also to improve manual processes, remove data silos and create a more complete view of their customers.

Providing access to reviews and UGC through the customer touch points served by these third-party applications, Okendo empowers merchants to deliver more personalised, relevant communications to their customers — including those that may have had a poor experience.

More than just star ratings

While Okendo provides the basic star-rating and written reviews features, these only scratch the surface of what’s available.

Earlier, we discussed that customers have unique motivations and paths to purchase, which includes the information they need to feel comfortable checking out. While star ratings and text-based reviews are certainly helpful, they can lack context that is important for understanding the perspective of the reviewer.

A simple example could be a review for a mid-length dress that receives 3 stars and a comment that the dress was longer than expected and felt closer to full-length. Without further context such as the height of the reviewer, other shoppers have no way of knowing if this review will match their own experience.

Okendo solves this by providing the ability for customers to supply structured, attribute-based customer and product details within their reviews. This additional information gives other shoppers a much more nuanced understanding of the product’s suitability for their own unique requirements.

Trying to find the right reviews is a common frustration among online shoppers, and these attribute-based review details make it possible for shoppers to filter reviews left by previous customers who fit a profile similar to their own, or to someone they’re looking to purchase a gift for!

A picture is worth a thousand words

Some things are difficult to explain with words; the way gym leggings fit around the waist, or the colour of a vase in a typical home and away from bright studio lights — to name a couple. These real world product experiences are difficult to convey in marketing imagery where the product is necessarily shown in idyllic settings or worn by smiling, beautiful models.

You’ll have noticed that we’ve referred to Okendo as a reviews and UGC platform on a number of occasions, and for good reason. Okendo can enable customers to provide images along with their product review that add further context, and engender a relatable appeal that inspires brand community and loyalty.

Okendo’s on-site widget library enables merchants to display this user-generated imagery in engaging media galleries that can be embedded onto any page of the site. For merchants using Foursixty to display user-generated content from Instagram on site, the Okendo-Foursixty integration can blend these two sources of content into an interactive, shoppable feed. 76% of consumers will buy from a brand over a competitor if they feel connected to them, and showcasing customers’ lived experiences with the brand’s products is a meaningful way of building that connection.

Get in touch to learn more

The Working Party and Okendo are mutual partners, and we work closely to deliver highly effective customer review and UGC programmes for clients in our Growth Programme.

Use the form below to get in touch to learn more, including to book a demo and receive your first 60 days of Okendo free!


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