Google Product Ratings are the star-ratings that appear under product listings in Google Shopping. They can, occasionally, also be shown in organic search results.
The star rating is from 1-5 and designed to give customers an overview of the product's performance. Unlike Seller Ratings, the reviews here are unrelated to the performance of the company selling the product.
By clicking on the Product Rating, you can access a more in-depth product page, where the reviews aggregated to form the Product Rating can be seen in full. A list of merchants bidding on the item in Google Shopping will also be shown, along with further information such as pricing, offers and Seller Ratings.
To get Google Product Ratings in Google Shopping, the product you're selling will need to have at least 3 product reviews which can be aggregated to form an overall star rating. These can be sourced from various places, including your own site, a Review Site you use, such as Reviews.io and Google Customer Reviews.
Unlike Seller Ratings, Google Product Ratings are product specific, not seller specific. It is the product's performance that is being rated here, not the business providing it.
In order to do that, reviews for the product are aggregated from multiple retailers, marketplaces and third-party review sites. This is all done using globally unique product identifiers such as GTINs, or other metadata information such as SKU, Brand + MPN pairs and product URLs.
When a search is performed for a product - such as 'red kettle' - a list of different models of red kettles will be listed, with aggregated Product Ratings where applicable. Merchants selling this model can then be located by clicking on the individual listing.
If a more-specific search was to be performed - one including your brand, such as 'Wilkinson's Red Kettle' for example - the Product Rating shown will be aggregated from reviews you and you only have collected for that product, be it through Google Customer Reviews, on your own site, or with a third-party review partner.
The benefits to having product reviews on your own site differ from the perks of Google Product Ratings. Let's have a look at three main benefits now.
The most obvious benefit of having Google Product Ratings is to make your goods stand out amongst your competitors. This is partly aesthetic - after all, who doesn't love a flash of gold?
If someone is looking for 'red kettles' and some listings show stars where others don't, the eye will naturally be drawn to them. Apparently there's a little gold digger inside all of us!
We have had the concept that stars = trust and quality ingrained into us, and will usually have a bias towards product listings that feature them.
Products with Google Product Ratings stand out amongst those without, leading to more conversions and sales.
Google Product Ratings don't just make some products stand out over others, they increase the amount of information customers can gather.
Most eCommerce sellers rely on manufacturer descriptions of the products they sell to populate their product description pages. There's nothing wrong with this - it is, of course, the most effective way to ensure that all the specifications are as accurate as possible.
But, let's be honest, how many of us read this information? It can be a little impersonal, 'scripted', and many customers now realise it is written by marketers whose job it is to sell the product. In fact, the sad truth of it is that most of the people writing the product descriptions will not have even seen the product they're selling, let alone tried it.
That's where product reviews come in.
Reviews that are aggregated to form Google Product Ratings often contain really valuable information that could make or break a sale. Someone saying that the red kettle you're considering is 'quite noisy' could put you off if you're partial to a tea in the middle of the night when your housemates are asleep, whilst another reviews that boasts the boiling speed might seal the deal for you.
Customers who know more about the product they're purchasing are also less likely to be disappointed. It's why 78% of buyers who read reviews are satisfied with their final purchase.
More informed customers leads to more confidence in your product and an increase in conversions.
Perhaps the best thing about Google Product Ratings is the impact they have on the buyer journey. Customers that arrive at your site after seeing a Google Product Rating are much more trusting, informed and confident.
They are, therefore, already quite far along the buying journey, with a high intent when they arrive on your site.
Increased trust off site leads to an increase in on-site conversions, sales and profits.
Unlike Product Reviews, Google Product Ratings are not unique to you - they are aggregated from many different sites. In Google Shopping, all of the sites that sell the product are listed along with the aggregated review, meaning that, technically, you're competing against other retailers selling the exact same product with the exact same Google Product Rating.
So, how do you stand out?
There are four stages to leveraging Google Product Reviews to win over your customers.
The products that stand out the most in Google Shopping are those with high Product Ratings aggregated from lots of product reviews.
If you want to succeed in Google Shopping, therefore, it's important to sell products that can achieve the above. Focus on stocking products that have previously been rated highly to make sure you stand out - in a good way. Or, if you're selling own-branded products, make sure you're collecting high-quality product reviews and sending them to Google.
So you've made it: you're officially a merchant for a product with a high Google Product Rating in Google shopping. The next question is: how do you compete?
In order to win customers over on the Product Page, you'll need to make sure you're optimising your listings and bidding high. This will help position you in the top spot, making customers much more likely to end up on your site than that of your competitors.
Thought Seller Ratings were redundant when it came to Google Shopping? Think again! When it comes to comparing sites from which to buy a specific product, Seller Ratings and Product Ratings go hand in hand.
Now customers know the product is good, it's time to decide if you, as a seller, are trustworthy and reliable. Each retailer on the product page can have a Seller Rating, so it's essential to have a great one if you're to compete.
Last but not least is your pricing. In Google Shopping you're pitted against your competitors - all of you selling the same product with the same Product Rating.
You've looked after your Seller Ratings - the final thing to do is price. Even if you've got a flawless Seller Ratings, if you're 20% more expensive than your competitors, it's likely to put customers off.
If you're one of many retailers selling the same product, keeping tabs on its average price across the web should be a priority. Ensuring you're offering a competitive price is the final piece of the puzzle to making the most of Google Product Ratings.
There's no denying that Google Product Ratings come with many benefits, but getting them is just half the battle. Make sure you optimise your pricing, bidding and descriptions to help stay ahead of the pack on product listing pages and get customers choosing to shop with you.
Want to know more about Google Product Ratings? Head over to our website to jump on live chat with one of our advisors and we'll be more than happy to answer any of your questions.