Ahh, Google Reviews. Such a simple, innocuous collections of tiny stars but with such power of influence over your customers.
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Our research shows that over 83% of shoppers state that the presence of reviews will influence their buying decision. And almost two-thirds of shoppers value the opinion of other shoppers most highly.

Reviews are probably one of the most important things your online business should ask for. In today's world of online shopping, retailers and service providers try to get an edge over their competitors in any way they can.  One way to get an immediate uplift in click-through and purchases is to have Google display Google Seller Ratings next to your paid advertising.

Reviews can be displayed by Google in two forms, Seller Ratings and Product Reviews. The Seller Rating (also know as the Merchant Rating or Seller Review) is an overall rating of your business as a whole. The Product Review will apply at the individual product level throughout your website and across the internet.

Google sources Seller Ratings from reputable sources (such as Reviews.io) who collect and aggregate verified reviews for businesses. These ratings are then displayed underneath your Google Adwords text ads and Shopping ads in the form of a star rating.  Businesses which collect reviews and display them will show improved ad performance.

Google Product Reviews

Customers browsing the web will be heavily influenced by individual product reviews. If you're running a Google Shopping campaign you'll find tucked away in your keywords report a range of search terms from the generic (e.g "samsung tv"), right down to the product specific (e.g. "Samsung UE40K5500 LED Full HD 1080p Smart TV".  These search terms are at the extremes of the marketing funnel, from the more generic "I'm not sure what I want yet" query to the "I know exactly what I want, who shall I buy it from?" query (Incidentally, you should keep your eye on your Google Shopping keywords report frequently to remove any search terms which aren't relevant).

The customer will have chosen this particular model of TV based on a variety of factors; price, features and suitability of course, but reviews by other shoppers will have featured in their decision making. Product reviews therefore have a large part to play in this customer's journey because they consist of real feedback from other shoppers about the products which you sell, which in turn builds trust about the product.

Google Seller Ratings

When the customer has made decision on which product to buy, they'll use a much more specific search query. This is where the Google Shopping compact product listing comes into play.  The customer can now choose from a range of retailers and prices for this product. Google displays a list of Seller Ratings, and you can see them next to the retailers' names in the screen grab below.

The average consumer will likely be looking for 3 things when at the point of purchase; price, delivery and trust in the seller.  Price and delivery are easy to measure but trust is more difficult to quantify. The seller review star system provided by Google aims to put a figure on trust, and it works well.

Trust me, I'm a review

When there is an increase in perceived trust, conversion rates will also increase.  Sites which display Google Seller Ratings next to their Adwords or Shopping ads, along with the Reviews.io website widget, can expect an increase in conversion to sale by 28%.

Google Reviews increase conversion rates

Shoppers interested solely in product price would consider purchasing from the cheapest in the list of retailers. That particular merchant, however, does not have any seller reviews. Therefore, in the eyes of the shopper, not as much trust as the other three well-known brands.

Does brand strength matter?

Our research shows though that even the strength of your brand may not be enough to sway a potential customer.  In fact, while 42.8% of consumers state that price has the biggest impact on their buying decision, followed by 35% of consumers who believe Google reviews and ratings are the most important, only 9% of consumers consider brand as having the most influence.

A combination of price, google reviews and trust are required to rise above your competitors and win your customer's business.

We've talked about the why, but what about the how?

Collecting reviews needn't be difficult.  In fact it can be completely automatic. Using a single reviews collection and publishing platform like Reviews.io, you will be up and running in minutes.

You can get started straight away by linking your Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce or other supported eCommerce site to the Reviews.io platform.  Alternatively, triggering product review invites can happen in a number of other ways: via our API, a CSV upload or by BCC of order confirmation emails.

Once you've started collecting reviews, our algorithm automatically data-matches your customer's purchase with the products on your website. We then cross-reference this information with your data in Google Shopping and send the verified review back to Google.

There are so many ways that collecting reviews will help your business.  Our customers, on average, see a 10-25% increase in sales conversions when they show product reviews on their product pages.  Contact us to arrange a demo of our platform and we'll talk you through how reviews can help your business.  Just sign up using the button on this page.

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