Suggestions for adding "Ratings and Reviews" to my pages?

I have a small ecommerce site and I want to add the ability for customers to leave a Review and a Rating (stars).

My old checkout system sent customers a Review Request email a week after their purchase, but few replied. Now I see that there are some programs that put the ability to Rate and Review right on the Product page - but it appears that even non-customers could leave Reviews.

Looking for any experience or advice you can share about using the customer email system -versus- the review systems right on the page?

Also any recommendations or warnings about the different packages that allow people to do Reviews and Ratings while visiting the page?


I wonder if a review/rating system on your site will give more result as the (few) email responses:

  1. The customer is satisfied about your product, is using your product at home, and doesn’t go back to the site to write a review or give a star.
  2. The customer is not satisfied about your product, then (s)he will complain by phone or email, and doesn’t go back to the site to write a review or give no star.
  3. Regular customers will come back to the site for a new order, are focused on the product/price/color/amount/etc., are happy if they have completed the form, and leave the site without review/rating.

So I guess very few customers will give a review/stars; only some very happy or very angry customers, if they are in the mood for it and can find the time to do it.
About reviews on a site, I’ve always the feeling that the negative ones are moderated away (I can’t see that), and only the good ones are allowed.

Anyway, what I see in sites is mostly this:

4.5 stars out of 4 voters / 5 stars out of 2 voters
(from Amazon, not the smallest!)[/CENTER]

  • What does it say to me? Nothing! I don’t know what rating criteria the voters had. Negative customers will not take the effort to click their votes, so the result will be a colored one: not objective, too positive. And most of all: these 4 or 2 voters cannot be representative for the amount of customers of these books (I hope).
  • My remaining feeling is: hmm, apparently not much people interested in these products. That is not encouraging me to order!

Conclusion: a review/star system doesn’t say much, and can have a negative effect, just the opposite as was the goal… :rolleyes:
Maybe something to consider?

I came across this when I was looking for some kind of feedback system. In the end I didn’t use it, but it looks pretty flexible. It allows for comments as well as stars, which may be more helpful. As Francky says, a number of stars is not all that helpful by itself.