Let's face it, product reviews are critical to the customer's journey. With 9 out of 10 customers at least glancing at product reviews before making a purchase, it's a no-brainer that brands encourage their shoppers to leave feedback. Be honest with yourself, when's the last time you made a purchase from an online brand or marketplace without reading the reviews first?
Reviews are more important than you think
For most brands, reviews are an absolute necessity. Why? Because 49% of global consumers consider positive reviews one of the top 3 things that influences their purchases.
Reviews are the embodiment of social proof that consumers need to drive their confidence is purchasing from your brand.
Sure, you could simply post fake reviews, but that's a large undertaking that involves quite a bit of risk. Consider the fact that 83% of consumers agree that reviews must be recent and relevant in order to put any stake into them. This stat means that you would need to pay someone to continuously post reviews to all your products on a regular basis. Couple that with knowing that 68% of consumers trust products that have a high quantity of reviews. You'll soon see the only sustainable option is having your customers leave legitimate reviews.
Consumer confidence isn't the only benefit to encouraging or incentivizing customers to review their recent purchases on your website. Having your customers add unique content to your product pages can benefit your SEO.
Are no reviews better than negative reviews?
Absolutely not, you should try hard to provide each customer with the best experience possible. If you're worried that your brand will be inundated with bad reviews, then you need to address your customer's journey. Reviews are wonderful indicators that your customer experience strategy is paying off.
Having a good CRM is a great way to manage customer relationships so you can avoid negative reviews, and work with your shoppers to change negative ratings.
Remember, without reviews it's hard for would-be customers to determine the reliability of your product. Sure, they might be able to find mentions of your products on external websites like social media, but then you risk not being in control of the conversation.
What do you do if you receive negative reviews? Should you remove them? Glad you asked, let's discuss some simple strategies when it comes to handling reviews.
Tactics to keep in mind when managing reviews
It's wishful thinking if you believe you'll be able to set it and forget it when planning a product review strategy. Sure, this list of best review apps for Shopify Plus checks the box for automation, but you'll still need to keep an eye on product reviews.
[Goal] Make sure products are always receiving reviews.
[How to achieve] With 83% of customers only trusting recent reviews, you'll need to make sure your Shopify Plus review app is capable of following up and incentivizing customers to post a review immediately following their purchase. By relying on personalized messaging, you can reinforce this strategy through the use of building campaigns that focus on customer feedback.
[Goal] Customers value authenticity over perfectly-scored reviews.
[How to achieve] Over half of consumers trust reviews that consist of mixed ratings. That means you should only remove negative reviews when they are not truthful to that specific customer's journey. Honesty goes a long way. Your customers will accept mistakes, but they will not appreciate being manipulated.
[Goal] Consumers want reviews that involve a customer's personal story with the product.
[How to achieve] Make sure you encourage your customers to share their story and customer journey throughout their review. This can be done through incentivization or sending a template with pre-formatted questions to your customers.
What are the best review apps for Shopify Plus?
We highly recommend using a Shopify Plus app to power your reviews. Sure, they tack on another cost for your brand, but the alternative would be manually running an ongoing product review campaign.
Judge.me is a Shopify Plus Certified app that offers a free or paid plan for $15 a month. They market themselves as a leave-it-and-forget solution that completely automates the review process.
Judge.me uses star ratings and will solicit your customers after they've completed a purchase. Reviews are placed on your products' pages and appear to be SEO friendly. Reviews are collected through SMS and email through the use of templates to allow easy image and video uploading. While there is no built-in incentivization, they do offer integrations with Loyalty Lion and Smile.io.
Final Verdict - Judge.me is a wonderful and affordable app that should satisfy budget conscious brands not looking to spend an arm and a leg for reviews. However, many brands looking for something a little more than the basics will want to look at other options in this list. Here's Judge.me in action.
Yotpo is the original product review app. While they offer an expanding suite of services, product reviews have always been their backbone and their pricing is dependent on the number of monthly orders you receive. There is a free plan available for up to 50 orders a month.
Yotpo displays star ratings, along with options for customers to include photos and videos. Their reviews are SEO-friendly and are embedded into product pages.
Final Verdict - Yotpo is perfect for brands that want to incentivize their customers to leave reviews. Yotpo powers a lot of successful D2C brands and is one of the most trustworthy Shopify review apps in the marketplace. They offer a multitude of different options that are geared toward brands that want more than just a simple product review. Here's Yotpo in action.
Okendo is a product review solution that is geared more towards enterprise brands. Not only can you automate reviews with Okendo, you can also reward customers for posting their product review. Basic pricing starts at $29 and goes up to $500 a month.
Okendo prides itself on being flexible and offering a versatile API. Brands can place specific reviews strategically throughout the buyer's journey, and offer a question and answer section within their product reviews.
Final Verdict - Okendo's versatility coupled with their built-in rewards feature makes them a great fit for brands that want to have something more than just starred reviews. Their sleek design and premium offerings do not come cheap, however. If you are looking to collect user generated content for your brand, then Okendo checks all the boxes. Here's Okendo in action.
Stamped is another easy to install product review app that automatically solicits feedback from customers after they've made a purchase. This no-frills app relies on star ratings and user generated content from customers. Pricing starts with a order-limited free package up to $119 a month.
Stamped offers a lot of the same features as Yotpo, but lacks 1st party customer incentivization.
Final Verdict - If you're looking for a basic, easy to use review solution for your brand then it's worth giving Stamped a more in-depth look. Stamped does offer some interesting insights and reporting for your review campaign as well. Here's Stamped in action.