Customer reviews are pivotal to any eCommerce marketing venture. Within this niche, Yotpo has positioned itself as a leading marketing platform offering merchants the opportunity to effectively convert their UGC into sales.
The Forbes Cloud 100 company with offices in New York, London, Boston, and Tel Aviv empowers brands to create and sustain customer relationships. How do they do this, and why us at Contra Collective use it as a marketing platform of choice? Strap on and read on!
Let’s take a look at some stats:
- The likelihood of a shopper purchasing a product increases by 186% after reading product reviews. Wow!
- 98% of consumers consider authentic reviews as the most influential factor in making purchase decisions.
- 77% of consumers trust authentic customer photos by real users more than professional photos. Shoppers who see customer photos and videos are 137% more likely to purchase.
- Featuring 100 reviews on a given product can increase conversions of that product by over 2x.
- 92% of customers will think twice before purchasing a product that does not have customer feedback.
These numbers highlight the importance of showcasing reviews on your site. So, it is all nice and clear only if you actually have reviews to display, right?
But what if you are just getting started? That’s the beauty of this app; it will pick you up from the ground up.
Introduction to Online Review Systems
Online review systems play a central role in all online marketplaces, from small local businesses to giants like Amazon or Walmart. It is a fundamental and transformative entity that influences the relationship between consumers and products.
Think about how you, as a consumer, are influenced by online reviews when choosing products and services. If you are looking for a restaurant to take your date to, you will most likely go to Yelp. Planning a vacation? You’ll turn to TripAdvisor. Looking for a hardware store close to you? You’ll turn to Google.
A well-executed review system is valuable for both buyers and sellers. Buyers find the confidence they need to buy a product or service they do not know about. In general, the more reviews a business has in review pages like GMB, Yelp, Airbnb, or G2, the higher the sales. On the other hand, Sellers obtain valuable feedback that allows them to take actionable steps to improve their business. For instance, ratings enable companies to remove poor-performing associates and improve the services they offer to their clients.
Do you remember when the last time you wrote a review for a product was? Why did you write it? Were you offered an incentive? If not, what motivated you? According to research, users’ decision to leave a review will depend on the experience they had. This means that they are likelier to leave reviews if they either enjoyed the experience or it sucked altogether. If a customer feels that a product simply does what it’s supposed to do, they are less likely to share their experience.
So, let’s begin this journey from the first step, which is to generate a good number of reviews to help you reach your brand goals. Next, we will present the Yotpo solution and how you can create an online review system that guarantees conversion of your UGC.
Ways to Help Generate an adequate number of reviews
The fight for getting customers’ attention has never been fiercest. The landscape is crowded, and the list of review readers outnumbers the list of review writers by a long shot. So, how do you engage your customers to develop this level of commitment to your brand? Yotpo has many tools to help.
Keep in mind that it is not only the number of reviews but the quality of them.
If all reviews of products are good, customers will find it more difficult to differentiate the good from the bad. If the reviews are fraudulent, they can harm the company’s effort to create trust.
Let’s take a look at some proven ways to help grow your reviews ecosystem. There are three general approaches that merchants may want to consider to generate a good amount of reviews.
It is ok to incentivize your customers to write honest reviews. Motivate them with money coupons or other valuable perks. Many websites offer money coupons, Amazon gift cards, or any form of financial good in exchange for a review. Offer bonus incentives to encourage customers to submit photos and videos as well.
Non-financial incentives may also motivate customers to write a review. Those could be in the form of in-kind gifts, status symbols, or loyalty points.
Take Google Local Guides, for instance, where users earn points for every review they write. They can later trade those points for Google products early access or Google Drive storage.
This will not only prompt your customers to leave a review, but it also has the effect of maximizing engagement and driving repeat purchases.
Offering financial perks may also backfire and be a challenge, especially if you have an extensive collection of products. If they are not well-designed and executed, you may end up with low-quality fast reviews that will not help other customers.
Seed the system
There are two ways in which early-stage platforms can do this: by hiring reviewers or by drawing reviews from other platforms. It is not uncommon for starting merchants to hire people to try their services and write a review. The customer buys the item, writes their review, and after that, the company will refund their purchase. This can be done until the brand catches on getting organic reviews.
Sites that specialize in reviews, like Yelp, do not suggest the proactive request of reviews as they may hurt Yelp rating. They have automated software that recommends reviews based on authenticity. If a review seems to be encouraged or prompted by a business, they will not recommend it. Take note of these regulations and follow suit.
Other businesses can partner with sites that specialize in reviews, such as Yelp. It is important only to do this through this partnership and crediting the source. Amazon pulls reviews from Yelp and other sites to populate their sites.
Pool related products
You can have one review apply to a group of similar products instead of one product. This greatly helps with the number of reviews a site can amass for a particular business. For instance, if you sell shoes, you can have customers review an entire section of similar shoes instead of one by one.
The approach comes with the risk of subtracting value because a pooled review might fail to give customers information about a particular product they might be interested in.
Applying these strategies can help starting businesses collect an appropriate amount of reviews and help with review shortage. But remember, it is not only about the numbers but also about the quality of these reviews. So, as we go through Yotpo solutions, we will discuss some strategies and the tools to up your online review game.
It’s going to be exciting, so stick with us!
The Impact of Fake Reviews
Sometimes sellers will put on a black hat and write positive reviews for themselves or negative ones for their competitors. It is easy to see how this practice (known as astroturfing) affects the credibility of a business. This is considered false advertising and deceptive practices that can even turn into a liability.
Just imagine going into a store and finding the camera you need for your photography business. As a good shopper, before making a purchase decision, you turn to people’s opinions on the product (just like 98% of shoppers do) and find that they are pretty good. When you get the camera, you find out it’s a dud and cannot explain why people think it is good.
Yotpo says that this frustration is what drove Co-founder Tomer to develop the platform. Part of the mission is to provide authentic reviews to online shoppers and to help create successful experiences for everyone, all the way through the funnel.
How does Yotp do this? Offering a wide range of services to help merchants collect and market their UGC, Yotpo has established itself as a trustworthy service in this important eCommerce section.
The Yotpo Solution
Yotpo offers practical solutions to help businesses better optimize their customer feedback to notoriously boost traffic and sales. Moreover, Yotpo has partnered with companies like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google to easily connect brands with their customers through various options.
Yotpo was started in 2011 in Israel by CEOs Tomer Tagrin and Omri Cohen. They currently have offices in Tel Aviv, London, New York, and Boston. Their services include:
- Reviews and Ratings
- Loyalty and Referrals
- SMS Marketing
- Visual UGC
This article will focus on their unique online review systems and some of the rich options to gather and convert reviews into marketing content.
How Yotpo works to Leverage Reviews and Turn Customer Content into Sales
Yotpo has one of the most robust revenue driver systems that keeps on growing. They guarantee to turn your customer content into revenue by leveraging not only reviews but ratings and Q&A.
Their AI solution provides data-driven insights and tools to make the process of collecting feedback a breeze. In addition, they offer tools to both collect reviews and advertise them on your website. Through their ratings and Q&A, they seek to add high-quality revies and provides more value to your store.
If you want to reach your customers where they are, that being their cellphone, your customer-reaching collection should start with SMS.
- 82% of consumers have their SMS notifications on.
- Consumers spend 2x more time texting than emailing.
- Every 8 minutes, consumers are checking their texts.
SMS requests boost review generation, and brands see a 66% higher conversion rate than with email.
To provide this service, Yotpo has integrated with SMSBump, an enterprise-grade SMS marketing platform. To use this service, you must download the SMSBump app on your Shopify store, follow the integration guide, and you will be good to go.
One of the most effective ways of getting customer feedback is to ask after a customer purchases a product. Yotpo offers Automatic Review Requests, a feature that sends post-purchase emails and/or text messages within a specific customized range of time.
For example, you can choose for the AI to send an email within seven days after purchase. By default, the system has it toggled on two weeks, but you can adjust it to account for processing and shipping times. This ensures that the customer gets a review request after receiving it and allows them to try the product and generate an opinion about it.
A community Q&A is a very powerful tool to generate quality feedback from your customers. It makes it easy for visitors to ask questions regarding their experience right from a Reviews Widget on the product pages.
Whenever a customer leaves a question, you will receive a Yotpo’s system email letting you know that a visitor wrote a question. You then get the option of either answering the question yourself or sending it to past customers. The Community Q&A page in the Yotpo admin page also allows you to send these questions automatically to your past customers.
Yotpo’s AI will then send the question to five past customers, another five the next day, and the third. If there is no response after three days, Yotpo sends an email to the store owner.
Yotpo offers the premium feature of Custom Questions form to add to your page and your customer request emails. Use this feature if you want to collect more impactful reviews tailored to the customer’s interests.
This provides shoppers with relevant information and key conversion points during the buyer’s journey.
The information gathered from custom forms can also be used to create targeted campaigns and enhance your brand’s content strategy. Questions in the Yotpo form can be focused on the customer with segments such as age group and personal traits relevant to the product or focused on the product characteristics such as quality, resistance, etc.
As we have mentioned earlier, you can incentivize customers to write reviews. Coupons are a great way to achieve this and convert repeat shoppers.
Yotpo provides the option to offer coupons through the Automatic Review Request emails. Coupons can be offered in exchange for a review on the site or for writing and sharing their reviews on their social media channels.
Once a customer leaves a review, they will automatically be able to redeem the coupon at the store. Yotpo also offers a coupon reminder feature to remind customers before the coupon expires.
Pro tip: Money coupons are more enticing than percent coupons. For example: “$10 off your next purchase” sounds more appealing than “15% off on your next purchase.”
When your customers enter your site, they can glance at what your past customers think about your products. Showcasing reviews on your homepage increases the time on the site and helps build trust.
You can easily create a lovely “My Posts Gallery” featured on your homepage with social media reviews. These posts auto-sync with Instagram with the most recent content.
The reviews of a product right off the bat also help increase conversions.
Yotpo offers a badge design that is displayed right on the product page. When visitors click on that badge, the Reviews Tab will show all the relevant reviews for that product. This badge can also be placed on the homepage and pretty much wherever you want it.
A final social proof of the quality of your products is nicely placed on your checkout page. Yotpo also offers this as an option to increase trust and credibility. This will help them not get distracted with other options and abandon their cart. Also, the checkout page is not the end of the journey with a particular client but an opportunity to convert them into repeat shoppers.
Social Media Ads
Yotpo has several ways in which you can connect your reviews with social media:
- Social Ads. Reviews are converted into Facebook Ads and blend within shoppers’ newsfeeds.
- Social Push. Automatically share your top customer content on social media.
- Social Share. Your customers share their content using your product on social media.
Social media ads with UGC have a 3x higher clickthrough rate. To provide these powerful windows, Yotpo has partnered with Facebook to offer these services through the social giant and Instagram. In essence, you are turning your customer reviews into nice Facebook and Instagram ads.
Integration with Google
Yotpo users can also take advantage of their official partner: Google. With this feature, you can incorporate customer reviews into your paid and organic ad campaigns. The many elements from this partnership offer robust solutions to increase performance and traffic across Google and social media.
The suite of solutions will help a business stand out on Google search:
- Google Shopping Ads.
- Google Seller Ratings.
- Rich Snippets.
Other Yotpo Solutions
There are several more options that Yotpo offers that merchants could take advantage of. They all aim towards creating more traffic and boosting your sales.
If you have decided to give your store a boost with the myriad of opportunities Yotpo provides to enrich your online review system, give us a call, and we will get everything done for you. We are all about Shopify and can’t wait to show you everything you can get done easily and efficiently.