Keep it fresh: the importance of review recency


Picture this: you browse online for a new coffee machine, and you stumble upon a potential candidate from an unfamiliar brand. Everything about the machine convinces you so far, but you scroll down only to realize the last rating and review for it was published 12 months ago. 

Would you still purchase the coffee machine anyway, or put that thought on hold?

Why review recency matters

When shopping for a new product or engaging with an unfamiliar brand, 86% of consumers find review recency more important than any other determining factor. And it makes sense. Consumers often consider it a risk to purchase a product from an unknown or unfamiliar brand.  In fact, a study from Power Reviews shows that 54% of consumers feel more confident about their purchase after reading recent reviews from previous purchases. 

All the above then brings us to the following indisputable points: 

  • Fresh and relevant reviews help consumers overcome their hesitations before they make a firm, final purchase decision. 
  • As a result, these reviews  have the potential to maximize conversion rates for newly launched products and/or unfamiliar brands

What you can do to generate and leverage recency reviews

  1. Ask for follow-up reviews
    The best way to collect recency reviews is to follow up with the customer a week after their purchase and ask to leave a review. Be sure to follow up during the appropriate timeframe when product impressions are still strong with the consumer. These follow-up review requests can easily be made via email.
  2. Run a sweepstakes campaign
    Make the incentive part fun by inviting consumers to participate in a sweepstakes campaign. It can be as simple as leaving a review for the product to enter a chance to win a small prize or perk. Sweepstake campaigns generally do well when it comes to increasing customer engagement.
  1. Share samples to generate new reviews
    Get the word out by sharing samples of your new product for people to try. Simple steps include distributing free samples in the park or on the street. Consumers love to feel special in this manner, and if your product is a hit, there is a strong likelihood of them wanting to leave a review. 
  1. Place your most recent reviews at the top
    If you already have existing reviews for your new product, display the most recent ones at the top. Customers will appreciate the product transparency your brand website provides, even if the most recent review is negative. Also make sure you include the submission date of the review for further clarity (the month and year at least).