From Reluctance to Regret, why I rate having reviews on your website 5 stars!
If you didn’t know, The Barefooted Bobbin started on Etsy. I originally sold nursing covers I upcycled from thrifted bedsheets and curtains, until I created my headband pattern and knew immediately that was the direction I wanted my biz to go. I feel like Esty is a great resource for new businesses looking for lower commitment and start up costs.
However I felt dread all the time about the way they asked for customer feedback (ie: reviews) and the way they stressed the importance of having an average of 5 star ones. Of course Etsy wants to make sure its creators are selling quality products that people want and higher reviews help their algorithm push high quality ones.
They also severely punish those with lower review average especially since the introduction of their “Star Seller” program. Oftentimes those reviews would have nothing to do with the actual quality of the product itself and more of a detail the customer missed in the description that if they had seen they wouldn’t have purchased. (Tip for those on Etsy: Don’t join too many Etsy Sellers FB groups unless you can handle negativity)
Or the reviews that mention a competitor- don’t get me started on those! (They do however typically make said review qualify for removal so always reach out to Etsy’s support team should that unfortunately happen to you)
And the hounding, it can be overwhelming to say the least.. As someone who not only sells on Etsy but also frequently purchases from there, I’ve experienced review issues from both sides.
When I make a purchase from a shop on Etsy, I get a notification pop up right away that says something to the likes of “congratulations! Be sure to leave a review when you get it!” then in the dispatch AND delivery email something similar, and 1-2 days after it’s been delivered Etsy sends a popup notification when to my phone or if I’ve turned them off then the next time I open the app. That’s FOUR mentions of leaving a review. Can’t exactly fault them though- the power of suggestion is real. It’s just a lot.
Fast forward to 2022 when I decide to open my own website in addition to my Etsy shop. I was sooo burnt out on reviews and how stressful it is to ask for them and wasn’t sure how to monitor them so only people who have legitimately ordered from me could leave one.
So I decided to not have any and what I did for the longest time instead was screenshot 3 of my Etsy reviews and added those to the site as photos on my landing page, and periodically asked customers to instead leave a review on The Barefooted Bobbin’s Google and Facebook pages.
This would help with my Google search rank I was hoping. This also proved a free option instead of having to buy a third party review app and have it
installed on my site.
I was satisfied with this for a long time until I longed for the option to have reviews under specific products and more streamlined UGC. (User-generated content)
AND THEN I found out that UGC contributes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and I was like “that’s it! I’ve gotta get with it. I bet I could find an affordable review app that offers automations via a post-purchase email.” This would help me not have to separately post asking for reviews, and keep my customers from having to leave my website and search for our social media pages. More streamlined = more reviews I hoped.
Plus they would monitor legitimacy for me!
I found Junip and fell in love! I love their free plan and am upgrading to the paid plan soon. The free plan lets you choose when to automatically send out an email asking for a review. I chose to not send it out 2 days after their order has been delivered but instead 9 days after so they actually have time to wear and test out their accessories. Makes more sense to me that way, and keeps TBB fresh on their mind.
TL;DR I regret not having an option to leave reviews on my site. If I had started at the beginning of my website I might have more than 17, and NOTHING beats the reviews with photos of my customers wearing their #tbbbands
How do you feel about reviews, as either a consumer or business owner? If you’ve tried review apps and like them, I’d love to know what kind! I had a tough time choosing between Junip and Judge.me but ultimately felt Junip would grow better with me as TBB grew.
Thanks for reading, and since you’ve read this far we are offering a sneaky discount- “blogbogo” Buy any 1 item get the 2nd half off!
And email subscribers always get free shipping.
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Have a great weekend!
Want to try Junip? I don't blame you!
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BrightLocal (2019). "Local Consumer Review Survey." [Link: https://www.brightlocal.com/research/local-consumer-review-survey/]
Spiegel Research Center (2017). "How Online Reviews Influence Sales." [Link: https://www.spiegelresearch.com/uploads/4/7/9/1/47914595/hbr.org_how_online_reviews_influence_sales.pdf]
Moz (2018). "2018 Local Search Ranking Factors." [Link: https://moz.com/local-search-ranking-factors]