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Ratings & Reviews Snapshot: Shoes

Ratings & Reviews Snapshot: Shoes

What Makes a Great Footwear Review?

Review volume is important, but so is review quality. Let’s take a look at what makes a great review for a product in the footwear category, courtesy of Crocs.

When people are shopping for shoes, they are looking for very specific, in-depth information that only reviews from other customers can provide in a credible and authentic way. For example, shoe shoppers want to know:

  • Is this shoe comfortable?
  • Where, and for what activities, can I wear this shoe? 
  • Is the fit of this shoe in line with other shoes from this brand?
  • What are the real pros and cons of this shoe, regardless of what the brand claims?
  • Is this review from someone like me? (e.g. Do we have the same personal style? Do we like the same kind of shoes?)

These are the kind of questions that can only be answered by a detailed review from another verified customer. Review elements like star rating and review count pique a shopper’s interest, getting them to click through to the product page. But it’s the quality of a review that gets them to actually add that shoe to their cart. In this way, review quality and quantity work together, nudging shoppers down the funnel.

How to Collect Footwear Reviews That Convert Browsers Into Buyers

So, how can shoe brands maximize the quality of their reviews, with an eye towards lifting conversions? It all comes down to how you optimize your review form.

At PowerReviews, we enable brands to add custom questions to their review forms to zoom in on the most relevant information for their customers. Many of the questions we spoke to in the previous question — fit, use case, personal style — are the most impactful review questions for footwear brands. 

The shoe category is one that can be vulnerable to high levels of returns. With 75% of shoppers citing poor fit as a top reason for returns, providing this additional fit information in reviews can do a lot to limit returns. 

You don’t have to just take our word for it. In fact, we surveyed over 9,200 shoppers and 66% of them said that the ability to read ratings and reviews prior to purchase would have made them less likely to return. Slightly more (69%) said that being able to see photos and videos from other consumers first also decreases their likelihood of making a return.

So, add questions to your review form that help shoppers understand more about fit. For example, does the shoe run big or is it true to size? How would a reviewer describe their foot shape or width? Encourage reviewers to add a photo to their review for more context. 

These custom questions are particularly important for the shoe category, even more so than others. After comfort, “fit and sizing” information is the top consideration for shoppers when purchasing footwear, with 89% of shoe shoppers seeking it out when shopping for new shoes. 

Once you have your review form and display optimized for maximum impact, it’s time to go out and collect those reviews! Try:

Bonus Step: Syndicate Your Reviews for Maximum Impact

Let’s look to the future for a moment. Picture it: You’ve got a strong UGC strategy that’s been up and running for months, you’re collecting great reviews, and they’re all on your website for your customers to see.

This would be great if shoppers exclusively purchased their shoes through footwear brands’ websites — but they don’t. Only 38% of shoppers start their purchase journey on a brand’s website. The other 62% start on a retailer’s website, Amazon, or elsewhere.

Here’s where review syndication comes in. In essence, review syndication allows you to push reviews collected on your own D2C website out to the websites of your retail partners. For example, here’s a review collected on Skechers that was syndicated to both Zappos and Shoe Carnival.

From a single review, Skechers was able to create 3 reviews, all on websites where their customers may encounter their shoes. 

Review syndication exponentially increases the value and reach of your review, putting it in front of more eyeballs and increasing your sales volumes at your retail partners. We recommend choosing retailers based on your sales data, as your best-selling retailers are the ones where you’re going to get the biggest uplift from syndication. 

Is your UGC strategy due for a refresh? Contact PowerReviews today to learn more about how UGC can grow your sales.

Special thanks to our friends at PowerReviews for their insights on this topic.
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