BigCommerce Social Proof: Building Trust and Credibility with Customer Reviews and Testimonials

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When running an online store, trust and credibility are paramount to success. Both new and repeat customers need to trust your brand, your products, your website, and your customer service. One effective way to build trust and credibility is through social proof. Social proof is the idea that people are more likely to trust and take action (e.g., make a purchase) when they see others doing the same. There are many different types of social proof, but in this article, we’ll focus on customer reviews and testimonials on BigCommerce.

Why Customer Reviews and Testimonials Matter

Customers today are more research-oriented than ever before. Before making a purchase, most consumers check reviews and ratings online. They want to hear from real people who have used the product or service before. According to a survey by BrightLocal, 91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. For businesses, this means that customer reviews and testimonials can make or break your online reputation and sales.

Reviews and testimonials matter for many reasons, including:

  • Authenticity: When customers leave a review or testimonial, it’s a sign that they had a real experience with your product or service. This lends authenticity and credibility to your brand.

  • Social proof: As mentioned, social proof is a powerful psychological phenomenon that can help convert browsers into buyers. If customers see that others have had a positive experience with your business, they’re more likely to trust and buy from you.

  • SEO benefits: Customer reviews and testimonials can also have SEO benefits. Reviews and ratings are often included in search engine results pages (SERPs), and recent reviews can help boost your website’s freshness and relevancy score.

  • Feedback: Finally, customer reviews and testimonials can provide valuable feedback to help you improve your products, services, and overall customer experience.

BigCommerce’s Built-in Review System

BigCommerce, a popular e-commerce platform, makes it easy for online store owners to collect and display customer reviews and ratings. BigCommerce’s built-in review system allows customers to leave reviews on product pages, which can be displayed on your website for all visitors to see. Here’s how it works:

  1. A customer purchases a product from your online store.
  2. After receiving the product, the customer receives an email asking if they’d like to leave a review.
  3. If the customer clicks “Yes,” they’re taken to a review form where they can rate the product and leave a written review.
  4. The review is moderated by BigCommerce to ensure it follows community guidelines and doesn’t contain spam or profanity.
  5. Once approved, the review is displayed on the product page for all visitors to see.

BigCommerce’s review system also allows you to:

  • Moderate reviews: As mentioned, reviews are moderated by BigCommerce to ensure they’re appropriate and helpful. However, as a store owner, you can also choose which reviews to display on your website.

  • Respond to reviews: When a customer leaves a review, you have the option to respond publicly. This is a great way to show that you value customer feedback and are committed to improving your products and services.

  • Display star ratings: In addition to written reviews, BigCommerce’s review system allows customers to rate products on a scale of 1-5 stars. These star ratings can be displayed on product pages and in search engine results.

Best Practices for Collecting and Displaying Reviews

While BigCommerce’s review system makes it easy to collect and display customer reviews, there are some best practices to keep in mind to make the most of this social proof strategy.

Ask for Reviews

The first step to collecting reviews is to ask for them. As mentioned, BigCommerce’s built-in review system automatically sends a review request email to customers after they make a purchase. However, you can also proactively reach out to customers to request a review. For example, include a post-purchase email that asks customers to leave a review or offer a discount or special offer in exchange for a review.

Use Incentives Wisely

While incentives can be a great way to encourage customers to leave a review, it’s important to use them wisely. Offering an incentive in exchange for a positive review can be seen as unethical and can damage your credibility. Instead, consider offering an incentive for any review (positive or negative), or for feedback on specific elements of your product or service.

Display Reviews Strategically

When displaying reviews on your website, it’s important to do so strategically. Here are some tips:

  • Display recent reviews first: Customers want to see recent reviews, so display them first and prominently.

  • Include negative reviews: Including negative reviews can actually increase credibility, as it shows that you’re transparent and willing to accept and address criticism.

  • Display ratings prominently: Display star ratings prominently on product pages and in search engine results.

  • Use rich snippets: Rich snippets are HTML tags that allow search engines to display your star ratings in search engine results. This can help increase click-through rates and improve your website’s SEO.

Respond to Reviews

Finally, it’s important to respond to reviews—both positive and negative. This shows that you value customer feedback and are committed to providing a positive customer experience. When responding to reviews:

  • Thank customers for positive reviews: Show appreciation for customers who took the time to leave positive feedback.

  • Address negative reviews professionally: When responding to negative reviews, take a professional and empathetic approach. Acknowledge the customer’s concerns and offer to make it right. This can help turn a negative review into a positive experience for both the customer and potential future customers.


In summary, social proof is a powerful tool in building trust and credibility for your online store. Customer reviews and testimonials are an effective form of social proof, and BigCommerce’s built-in review system makes it easy to collect and display them. By following best practices for collecting and displaying reviews, you can improve your website’s credibility, increase conversions, and gather valuable feedback for improving your business.

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