Can people leave feedback on your site?

I've been doing some research recently on website development and best practices. The other day on eMarketer I found some interesting information that confirmed something I suspected: online reviews written by fellow shoppers help convert consumers who research shopping decisions online. 60% or respondents of their study prefer sites with peer-written product reviews and only 14% did not trust such reviews.

In the case study, top-rated products converted at a 49% higher rate after Petco added customer reviews to its site. Shoppers who navigated through the ratings section spent 63% more than shoppers using other navigation. The average order size of Petco shoppers who read reviews and shopped using review ratings links was 40% higher than that of the typical shopper.

Beyond the shopping implications to having feedback built into a website, think about the power of comments on a site. The new online culture is one of inclusion, collaboration and participation. Comments on a site allow that to happen as good as anything available to you. It doesn't require much from the user and the perceived value is huge. Even if they never leave a comment at least they know they can (and that you're open to hearing from them.)

Where can you build feedback mechanisms into your site? If you blog and don't have comments turned on consider changing that. If you're worried about spam at least moderate the comments or better yet, just incorporate the security image function that most blog tools have built in.


Kyle Minckler said...

Awesome advice! i totally agree.

Jeff Wilson said...

We are going through a redesign on our church web site, www.hendersonhills.com, and one of the key points of revision is to make our site more interactive. This would include RSS feeds to push content to our members and also to include a blogging feature so that they can leave feedback. Looks like we're going down the right direction.

Bill Seaver said...

Thanks Kyle. I appreciate the encouragement!

Great to hear you guys are going this direction. I'd encourage you to build feedback into the rest of your site also. For instance, on your women's ministry page you have a summer Bible study page. What if women could leave feedback within that page about the women's summer Bible study? That would provide valuable additional insight to ladies checking it out and might just provide the additional push she needs to join a study group.

We're currently developing a site for a client that will have feedback opportunities on every page (even on pages you wouldn't expect it).