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Review & Rating: Design For A Successful Rating System

Updated: Feb 22

When designing a rating and review system for an e-commerce service, the main question is “How can the reviews provide valuable information for customers and businesses while still maintaining the desired user experience?


From a psychological perspective

Man is by nature a social animal. We, mortals, have always had an intrinsic desire to be a part of a group. In order for others to accept us in a group, we need to follow similar patterns of behavior. That is called Social Validation. And this phenomenon is also accelerating in the social media environment.

When a friend of yours shares a product or experience, you don't even bother to explore the product more but you trust that your friend's choice will work for you too. If you want people to buy your product, showing that other people have purchased it and are satisfied with it is a powerful marketing tool.

Social Validation is a powerful type of democracy — people bought their votes, and asked questions — will you join them? This is an understandable way of explaining the power of reviews.


The power of eCommerce reviews

When a customer successfully completes purchasing an order, firms often send an email reminding him to leave feedback. Why should they do that?

It will provide useful data of if customers are satisfied with your product, and what makes them happy. If they're unhappy, it gives you the opportunity to fix the problem to improve your product/service, which plays a crucial part in retaining customers.

Furthermore, customers who leave reviews are more likely to recommend the product/service to their friends and stick to the brand more.

“A brand is nothing but an expression of the consumer’s loyalty and trust.” — Phil

Dusenberry, Marketing Executive at BBDO

What is the best way to improve the feedback and review system? How can the brand utilize its power to acquire potential customers?

1. Send a “leave a feedback” email after every successful purchase

Instead of waiting for customers to search for the purchased orders on your app, send out an email that takes them to your store to leave a review. It's important to make such an email stand out from the crowd. In today's rapidly changing world, our attention span is influenced by many other marketing assets. Below are some of the considerations we put in place to improve “leave feedback” emails.

  • Design a consistent email interface with your brand: Brand consistency is crucial to the success of every marketing campaign as it helps you build brand awareness and establish trust between customers and the brand.

  • Keep the layout simple: Simple design doesn't mean sketchy — it's how you optimize your design, especially when you're designing content in a limited space like email. Try not to overwhelm customers with too many elements in your email.

  • Keep your message short, engaging and personalized: A concise and engaging message greatly contributes to the success of your marketing campaign. Start your email with a friendly greeting and get straight to the point of why your customers are receiving this email.


2. Encourage customers to rate their purchases

You must rely on your current customers to rate your services to make a positive impression on future customers.

Give your customers some extra incentives to leave reviews. Slow down a bit, there are several things to be clear here, you are not bribing customers to leave good reviews. That's not good, it's unethical and can make things messy. Instead, you're simply motivating them to leave a review. Again, encourage customers to leave a “Review”; not a "Good Review". You will expect a good review from the customer, but don't manipulate the customer.

In fact, you should also consider the possibility that your product might get negative reviews. The 1–5 star rating system (usually used in E-Commerce) will make it easy for customers to leave their opinion on a particular item. Offering incentives improve the product review experience. If customers feel satisfied, they will tend to leave more positive reviews.


3. Design a section summarizing all of the reviews

Users rely on summarized information to get an overall picture of the product. After checking out, they can select a few reviews for more in-depth reading.

Failing to provide a user interface that displays the rating distribution will easily distract the user in two different ways:

  1. If users only see positive reviews on the first page of reviews, they sometimes speculate that those reviews are fake.

  2. If users see mostly negative reviews displayed first, they assume the product is not of good quality.

In both cases, the end result is that users will misinterpret product reviews, leading them to dismiss products they consider "non-transparent" in favor of more trusted products and services. Having a review summary at the top of the review section can help users get a better understanding of the product at a glance. This may include:

  • Service quality, product quality, product information, ... or all other functionality related to the product

  • Most popular/helpful reviews and negative reviews. When accessing the review section, many people will search for the most negative reviews to find out the product's shortcomings. When you provide this information in advance, you save your users’ time.

  • 1–5 star rating system.


4. Allow users to filter and sort reviews

Make sure these filters are findable and recognizable on the page. Search filters, such as “Latest”, “Most Favorite” or “Purchased” ensure that relevant reviews can be easily found by users.



Review and feedback system is a very important tool for building trust and providing valuable information to customers and businesses. To get the most out of this, make sure the reviews are trustworthy and easily accessible. When displaying reviews on a product page, make sure to present clearly as well as give your users some incentives to write their reviews and improve their experience.


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