Why mobile-first reviews matter for brands

Review strategy Apr 13, 2022

There’s nothing better than a customer writing an excellent review for your product. It’s the social proof that gets products added to carts and converts carts to completed checkouts. But getting quality reviews can be a challenge, from finding the best time to ask for a review to friction points in your review process that can throw customers off track.

Answering these questions is unique for every brand. We notice one consistent thing across review data from Junip customers — when it comes to reviews, mobile-first reviews are better quality and more personalized than reviews submitted from desktops and laptops.

The shift to a mobile-first review strategy is already happening — and the moves are paying off with more quality reviews collected than traditional flows. DTC brands who haven’t adopted mobile-first are leaving money on the table, but there’s good news. It’s not too late to make your review flow focus on getting better reviews using a mobile-first flow.

In this post, we will dig into why mobile-first generates better reviews for your products, why photos and video matter, and introduce you to our framework for making your review process mobile-first.

Mobile is where your customers live

Whether you’re reading this post on your phone or your laptop, we’d like you to take a quick second to look up at the people around you. How many of them are swiping and tapping on their smartphones? If we were betting people, we’d say almost half of the people around you are doing something on their smartphones.

According to a report from mobile analytics leader App Annie, the time spent on mobile phones now averages 4.8 hours every day. It’s hard to find a place where people aren’t on their phones catching up on work, texting friends, or awkwardly mastering a new TikTok dance.

But it’s not just texting and TikToks dominating the time spent with thumbs on the glass. Ecommerce transactions are mobile transactions, with over 72 percent of online purchases happening on mobile devices in 2021, accounting for three out of every four dollars spent on online purchases.

Your customers are shopping and buying on their smartphones. It’s only natural that mobile is where you want your review process to live. Looking at our review data again, nearly 80 percent of reviews are submitted on smartphones. That’s not just a large amount of reviews being submitted from smartphones—that’s an overwhelming majority. If your review process isn’t designed to be mobile-first, you’re leaving money on the table.

Consumer mobile device data
Consumer mobile device data

Mobile reviews are more personal

Having a mobile-first design for your online store is more than good for your sales. Mobile-first design can also help generate higher-quality reviews without being overly cumbersome for your customers. The secret sauce for these reviews is the freedom we feel sharing more personal information while using our smartphones.

There’s science to back this up in a research paper published in the American Marketing Association’s Journal of Marketing. Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania marketing professors Shiri Melumad and Robert Meyer reported that the physical limitations of smartphones — small screens and digital keyboards — can increase our focus when completing a task.

“Because it’s harder to complete a task on our phone, we tend to have to devote more cognitive resources to whatever we’re doing, narrowing our attention more intently on whatever task we’re doing on the device,” Melumad said in an interview on the Wharton Business Daily SiriusXM show.

Jones Road customer review
Jones Road customer review

The attention to the task at hand is there on mobile, but what makes the user more comfortable with sharing intimate feelings and thoughts versus the same task on a laptop or desktop? Melumad told the Wharton Business Daily that smartphones act as a sort of pacifier for certain tasks that provide greater psychological comfort than the same task on a laptop.

Melumad went on to say that there are some critical implications for brands. First, reviews written on smartphones reflect the customers’ true feelings, and second, reviews written on smartphones are more persuasive to potential customers than those written on laptops.

“The more personal and intimate nature of smartphone-generated reviews results in content that is more persuasive to outside readers, in turn heightening purchase intentions.”

Pictures are worth a thousand stars

According to Emarketer, 62% of shoppers are more likely to buy a product after seeing other customers’ photos and videos in a review.

But one of the most critical gaps in laptop submitted reviews is the lack of photos and videos. While we all take hundreds of pictures with our phones, getting those incredible images of your product over to a laptop to include with a review is a significant point of friction for many customers.

A great mobile-first review flow prompts your customer to submit a photo or video during the review — and provides an intuitive flow for selecting and uploading that media.

Junip mobile-first review submission flow
Junip mobile-first review submission flow

Improving your review collection process

When we work with brands, defining a great mobile-first review flow means looking at the total number of reviews collected, the number of friction points in the review flow, and, most importantly, the reviews’ quality. The quality metric isn’t meant to be a score. Instead, a review quality metric is based on the length of a review, whether media submitted with the review, and how complete the review is—including custom questions you might ask.

Customer reviews are truly one of the best examples of quality over quantity. You want the number to go up, but you don’t want it to go up at all costs. If the number of reviews was all that mattered, then you could just ask again and again and again.

Example of a high quality review
Example of a high quality review

Getting quality reviews involves understanding your customer journey and when the best times are to ask. This is especially critical when you take shipping times, subscription updates, and other customer experience factors into account.

As we said earlier, 80% of reviews in Junip are submitted on smartphones. Providing an easy-to-follow flow that works within the limited screen real estate on mobile lets your customers say what they feel. These are the reviews that potential customers value when evaluating a purchase.

Is now a good time?

Determining when and how often to ask for a review is equal parts art and science. Ask too often or too early, and you risk annoying your customer. Don’t ask soon enough, and you might miss out on the honeymoon phase where your customer wants to tell the world about your product. Enticing your customers to provide excellent quality reviews takes meeting them when and where it’s easiest to give a review.

Not sure how to ask customers to leave a review? Get our Free Guide with 8 Examples of Emails Brands Use To Get More Reviews

What page do your customers visit most?

Understanding where your customers spend time provides insights into the best place to ask for a review. That could be while they view their account details, a product or accessory page, or while they’re looking for package tracking information.

Five stars is so 2000s

Customizing the questions in your review request is a fantastic way to put your brand’s best foot forward. Asking your customers questions about how they use your product can help generate more personalized responses and is a great way to encourage them to submit photos and videos with their reviews.

Custom questions used by Baboon To The Moon
Custom questions used by Baboon To The Moon

Like all the other parts of your e-commerce flow, the review process reflects your brand. Each interaction is an opportunity to reinforce your brand and your values. That means knowing which questions to ask and which ones to avoid.

Building a mobile-first review process doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Junip is designed to help you collect quality reviews from your customers—reviews that convert future purchases. Take Junip for a test today to see how our progressive mobile-first forms can increase your sales today.

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Alex Kinsella

Alex Kinsella is a freelance marketing writer based in Waterloo Region, Ontario. He's also the guy behind the TL;WR newsletter–Waterloo Region's weekly arts and culture newsletter

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