How to Leverage Seller Reviews for More Business
While seller reviews offer some clear benefits, many people aren’t sure if they are worth the extra time to set up. Once a business has decided to move forward with seller reviews, they may still be unsure how to best proceed. HEROweb has compiled some frequently asked questions (and answers!) to help figure out if seller reviews are right for you and your business.
How do I get seller reviews to appear on Google and Bing?
Both Google and Bing automatically pull seller reviews from their partner websites. They associate the reviews with your ads and products based on your business’ URL. Their only requirement is that you maintain enough positive reviews. Once you’ve crossed the threshold, both Google and Bing will begin showing your reviews.
For Google, the threshold is 30 reviews of 3.5 stars or higher in the past 12 months. If you want your reviews to continue to display, you need to be receiving reviews as often as possible. If 12 months pass and you have fewer than 30 reviews of four stars, your reviews will stop showing on Google.
For Bing, the threshold is much lower. Your business must receive 10 reviews of at least four out of five. Currently, Bing does not enforce a sunset policy on the reviews, meaning that once you have the required number of reviews, Bing will show them indefinitely.
Where do these reviews come from?
Google pulls its reviews from a plethora of sources, although they do not explicitly state which ones. While no one can offer a comprehensive list, Bizrate, PriceGrabber, Reseller Ratings, Review Centre, Trustpilot, eKomi, Epinions, and Google Wallet are just some of the known sources from where Google draws its data.
Bing is more explicit in clearly stating that their reviews come exclusively from PriceGrabber, Bizrate, and Reseller Ratings.
Does it cost anything to start getting reviews?
Reviews can come from many places, and the cost associated with each varies greatly. There are some good free options out there for receiving reviews. Bizrate and Review Centre both offer good, free services.
Other services, like Trustpilot and eKomi, charge a monthly fee to manage a review service for your business. The cost can range from under one hundred to several hundred dollars per month depending on how many reviews you want, the number of users on your account, or if you desire additional services, such as a customized widget, site seals, and social integration.
How do I get the reviews once I’ve signed up with a service?
Some providers, like Bizrate, will bring up a review form in the customer’s browser after completing a transaction. Others, like Trustpilot, will send out an email to your customers after they have completed a transaction, asking them about their experience.
Others, like Review Centre, are just third party websites that rely on you to find a way to entice customers to your page to leave reviews. This is often done by including a link in confirmation emails and trying to encourage feedback by offering a coupon or discount on a future purchase.
Which of these services is right for me?
HEROweb has gathered information on the following services to help you decide what will work best for you and your business.
Bizrate is a free service provided by Shopzilla. Reviews do not have to come through Shopzilla, meaning the purchases don’t need to start on Shopzilla’s comparison shopping site, but the vendor must have a Shopzilla account (which is free to set up). Bizrate is a great source for reviews because it is used by both Google and Bing to compile data.
Review Centre is another good free source for reviews. It is very easy to set up - just send an email with your company name, logo, and business category and they set it up for you. Also, the review process is quick and easy on the user end. The drawback of this service is that it’s up to business owners to drive users to Review Centre to leave feedback once they’ve made a purchase. To help encourage customers to complete reviews using this service, you may consider:
- Including a link in the purchase confirmation email
- Offering a coupon or other promotion if they leave a review
- Placing a direct link on your website, perhaps near the existing MightyMerchant product reviews.
Trustpilot appears to be a good paid seller review solution as far as value and service goes. They will customize customer emails to look more branded for the merchant, rather than simply offer a generic review email. Just BCC their service on a confirmation email and Trustpilot sends a follow-up email. Their pricing starts at $99/month for one domain (12-month contract), but they do offer a 14-day trial, free of charge.
eKomi is similarly priced to Trustpilot at the starting rate, but is more transparent in their pricing options on the higher end, including what is covered in the “pro plus” and “premium” plans. They also offer a demo account for free. eKomi also offers to provide mediation between unsatisfied customers and the merchant when a negative review is provided.
Google Wallet pulls reviews from its own payment processing. This is obviously a more complicated system. Google handles the review process by automatically asking people who pay with Google Wallet to leave a review, but users must enable Google Wallet payment on their sites for this to work. That being said, this obviously has other benefits outside of the reviews for customers who may already be considering setting this up on their site; the reviews act as an added benefit. Google Wallet can either be integrated with an existing payment processor and be used for online commerce API, or Google can act as payment processor with transaction processing fees, starting at 1.9% + $0.30 per transaction. Users of Google Wallet can cover the cost of payment processing along with additional benefits, such as fraud protection, PCI compliance, and the Payment Guarantee Policy.
Reseller Ratings has been accused of following questionable billing practices and, as such, HEROweb does not recommend this service. Reports reveal that the service will start at a $99/month fee (although many businesses do not even get that rate to start) and then ratchet up the price without warning. They say that they charge on a month-to-month basis, which basically means that the bill can vary from month to month.They are one of the services that Bing draws from, but we would encourage any retailer who adopts this route to tread with caution.
“Getting, Using, and Leveraging Reviews Part 1: Getting On-Site Reviews” – HEROweb Marketing & Design
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