QOTD: Did You Read Any Reviews Before Buying?

by Mitch Turck

QOTD: Did You Read Any Reviews Before Buying?

Our latest Question Of The Day has a familiar brick & mortar “clienteling” ring to it — but for Ecommerce brands running Fairing, the responses you receive here can be immediately routed toward optimizations in CRO and attribution across your marketing stack.

Question Architecture

The key to this question architecture is one of the fundamental unlocks in customer listening: don’t overlook the importance of what you’re asking for.

The knee-jerk reaction might be to think of “Did You Read Any Reviews Before Buying?” as a binary yes/no question, but in fact, the reason it’s worded that way is only to ease the cognitive load on the consumer — not to limit their available responses to a dead-end yes or no.

Instead, craft your responses to tease out a follow-up question that feels like an organic conversation (see Use Cases in the next section). There’s no specific best practice as to what response options you should offer, but consider your business goal for this data and you’ll likely brainstorm a bunch of relevant conversation starters.

As to how this question fits in your Question Stream™ , we recommend you target this question to New Customers only, unless the product itself is new — in which case you’d want to target buyers of that specific product line.

Use Cases: CRO, Attribution

Some of the next steps in this customer conversation might seem obvious; others, not so much. Let’s dive in:


If the consumer’s response is “no”, and especially if the options you provide them allow for a response like “no, I saw an ad”, then this is a viable opportunity to add a follow-up version of “How did you hear about us?” to your Question Stream (or move it behind this question, if you already have one). This is obviously a subset of your customer base, but crucially, it’s a subset who claims to have no significant exposure to social proof… so getting a pulse on their attribution could imply some serious expansion to be done in certain direct response and brand channels.

If the consumer’s response is “yes”, you’ve got some good CRO follow-ups to ask on the heels of that; but, you could instead opt to clarify this response for attribution if you prefer. Ask a follow-up question like, “Do you recall where you read the best reviews?”, and you’ll effectively be asking the customer to illuminate a potentially dark attribution source which could bring more revenue your way if you invested further into that channel or platform.


Now, if you are indeed going to focus on CRO, then a customer answering “yes” sets you up for the kind of follow-up insights that only zero party data can provide. Asking “What was the most convincing benefit you read about?” will generate a veritable pipeline of ad creative keywords and PDP benefits language. Rephrasing that question ever so slightly to ask “What was the most surprising benefit you read about?”, could reveal some of your product’s value props that aren’t apparent on the surface (or, in your ads).

Alternatively, if you have your own reviews platform, this might be a good time to use our custom HTML success message and ask these shoppers to leave their own review. Context is key in getting great reviews, and if you know this customer has already been primed by reading a few great ones, it’s less of a hurdle for them to write one of their own.

This article is part of our Question Of The Day (QOTD) series, where Fairing teams up with the industry’s smartest qualitative marketers to deliver expert perspectives on zero-party data. Find more of these best practice questions in our Question Bank.