It recently came to our knowledge that some individuals were being spun a tale about our platform and services. We don't know whether these false statements were created deliberately, or were genuine oversights through misunderstanding of our solutions. Whatever the reason - we're here to set the record straight.
Below is a screenshot of the original statements. It's a little hard to follow, so we've pulled out and deciphered the main points, and written beneath to the best of our knowledge what we believe the claims are.
We've then gone on to explain in detail how each statement is either false, unsubstantiated, or has an unclear grasp of how certain solutions and features, such as SEO and traffic, actually work.
Claim: “Reviews live on REVIEWS.io site as well - you want people to read about you on your own website where they can convert”
Clients' reviews appear on their company profile page on REVIEWS.io site, as well as their own website via badges and widgets, or through our custom API feature.
“You’re losing SEO because reviews are duplicated”
Because a client's reviews appear on their company profile page, and through badges and widgets on your site, this means their content is duplicated.
Our Answer: Whether customers find a business in the SERP's to read reviews on their site, or through their company profile page on ours, they will always be reading about that company, and have access to the company’s website if they wish to click the link to their webpage.
The bottom line is, if customers are reading a company’s reviews, they are either going to buy from them or not, whether that’s via the next step from that company’s own webpage, or if they go from their company’s profile page on ours. This actually increases a company’s visibility online helping generate traffic to their site, rather than reducing it.
Our own clients Direct Cars and The Pen Company have seen great conversion rates since joining our platform. Direct Cars' website conversion double from 4% to 8% since using Reviews.co.uk, and The Pen Company increased their conversion by 90%, from 2.55% to 4.88%.
Duplication of content? False. By having reviews on their company profile page on our site, and via badges and widgets on their own website, clients are not duplicating content. This is because the merchant reviews displayed on a company's profile page can be set to noindex, meaning the reviews on their own website are therefore not duplicated, and see all SEO benefits.
Furthermore, we have some inline SEO widgets which host review content directly on your page, for maximum SEO benefit.
Claim: “Customers compare you to other businesses. You will be showing your customers to your competitors, not a good idea”
Customers will see your brand against competitors on our site.
Our Answer: We do not have a list of company comparisons on our site. If a customer searches for a company by name, they will be directed to their company profile page from an available list in the results. Any other searches including that company name will also display. See an example below.
However, through their own initiative, customers will have most likely compared any company against a competitor before making a purchase. Customers read reviews to make well-informed shopping decisions. Thus, reading reviews for a company against a competitor is all part and parcel of building a shortlist, whether Reviews.io or Yotpo for that matter existed and were used, or not.
Claim: “All reviews are published”
Genuine reviews are published, therefore not censored through moderation or deletion.
Our Answer: As they should be. Through freedom of speech, all of a company’s reviews if found to be genuine - from 5 stars to 1 star - are published. We are flexible and sympathetic to our clients circumstances, but in order to protect freedom of speech, all genuine reviews are published online, which reflect authentic experiences.
Yotpo go on to state:
“If you want to un-publish you have to contact them and explain why. Not the way Yotpo operates."
Yotpo suggest un-publishing reviews. Not only is this unethical, it completely defeats the point of a review being left and published. Reviews are not to be cherry picked, but are there to represent how people feel about a company, scathing or shining.
This is the whole purpose of impartial review platforms such as ourselves and Yotpo - or should be - so customers know a company isn’t only publishing their good reviews, but instead show all experiences, across the board. As we are an impartial review collector, if there is a dispute with a review we welcome clients to get in touch, but do not allow them to remove reviews through their own moderation.
Any reviews flagged by clients - “..contact them and explain why.” - will be put under investigation, and if found to violate any of the rules, will be removed. However, if a review left by a genuine customer is simply unfavourable - a 1 star review stating customer service was bad - we will not remove such content. This is an honest experience, and allows companies to rectify problems, resolve customer issues to make their experience more pleasant, and ultimately improve their services to do better in the future.
See an example by our client Raw Generation, who responded to a customer complaint by not only rectifying their problem, but also publicly reaching out to amend any issues
We can infer that the way Yotpo operates, their system completely undermines the impartialness of a third party review site. Without third party moderation, and thus a company moderating their own reviews, the customer's voice is left susceptible to being silenced, eradicating freedom of speech.
This system also leaves future customers inaccurately informed, and as such bad experiences unnecessarily had. This negatively affects a client's customer base further, because although they have free-will to moderate and select their reviews as they wish, traffic will be reduced due to lowered trust, thus negatively affecting conversion and revenue.
Claim: “You can’t send a product review without asking for a site review as well”
We only combine product review invitations with company review invitations.
Our Answer: False. Clients can send one of four invitation types:
Yotpo may have confused our combined invitation as the only invitation available. We’re all human and make mistakes, but stating we’re unable to send product invitations separately and thus create more friction, is a false statement.
Claim: “No product grouping”
We do not offer product grouping on-site
Our Answer: False. What more can we say than we do offer product grouping. Again, misinformation, but with multiple false statements stacking up, you would think Yotpo want to damage our good reputation!
Claim: “Very thin product - their solutions are basic and not complete”
We offer half-hearted solutions which don’t measure up.
Our Answer: Thin, basic and incomplete are subjective statements, but the fact we offer a greater scope of solutions which benefit small and large businesses alike, suggests our services are superior. Not only that, but by offering monthly rolling contracts, we let our service and solution speak for itself. If our solution was at all flimsy, we would no-doubt take a locked-in 12 month contracted approach, yet we don’t, because we place our client’s needs and circumstances first.
We’ll go ahead and take the statement of offering basic solutions as a compliment. Although used in a derogative manner, we strongly believe certain features should be considered standard review collection, which should be the baseline for all review platforms, rather than advertised as a premium feature, and charged at eye-watering prices.
But don’t take our word for it. We are the highest rated review platform on G2Crowd, and score higher than Yotpo, Trustpilot, and Feefo. We have also recently earned the High Performer badge for 2018, which we don't believe we achieved through thin, basic and incomplete solutions.
Claim: “No auto reminders”
Clients aren’t notified of reviews as and when they come in.
Customers aren’t sent reminders if they haven’t left a review.
Our Answer: The first statement is once again false. Clients can choose which reviews they are automatically notified of when a customer leaves a review and it appears in the timeline. Review notifications can be set to only positive, only negative, both, as well as product specific reviews. Being able to keep on top of your reviews in real-time means any grievances can be addressed quickly, leaving customers more satisfied, and negative reviews rectified and possibly reversed.
If Yotpo are referring to resending review invitations automatically, then this is true. We believe sending an initial invitation automatically is enough for customers to leave a review or not. Automatic resending of invitations moves away from polite invitation, into hassling email which actually hinder a client's chance of receiving a review.
If customers feel at all pressured or hassled, not only may they not leave you a review, it is more likely they’ll go out of their way instead to leave a more negative review highlighting such pushiness, even if they have had a positive experience.
Re-sending review invitations is done manually through the dashboard, which we believe helps reduce the chances of coming across as demanding, and improves review conversion rather than harming it.
Claim: “No custom review forms”
You can’t customise your review invitation email
You can’t customise your review collector page
Our Answer: False to both. Invitation emails can be customised across all our plans by editing a simple email through multiple customisable features. Or through some coding, clients can fully-customise their review invitation emails using our HTML editable email feature. This means whatever plan our clients are on, they can make their review invitation emails match their brand.
The review collector page, which customers access through the email invitation can also be customised. Clients can choose here any additional questions they’d like to ask their customers, as well as ask their customers for photos, and include discount vouchers.
Yotpo go on to say:
“You can ask additional questions but not show them on-site."
The review collector already includes the vital questions clients need to ask their customers to create a well-rounded review, including a star rating and the written content of the review.
Any further questions - such as our multiple choice question option - can actually be included on a client's site through badges and widgets using our API feature. These additional questions aren’t automatically added, because we always make sure our client’s individual needs are met, therefore our solutions are flexible, rather than static - one size does not fit all.
Additional review questions may contain sensitive business information such as whether a customer is looking to renew their service, which needn’t be splashed across the web. In sum, review invitation emails and the review collector page can both be customised, and additional review questions can be published on site, where applicable.
Claim: “Very basic Q&A, only answers from the store. Missing an opportunity to create a community around your products - drive past customers back to your site”
Our Questions and Answers tab is very basic, and questions can only be answered by the company, and not customers.
Our Answer: This is correct. This means accurate and correct responses can be left by professionals within that company, reducing room for error in customer personal responses. More importantly, customers being able to answer questions is not GDPR compliant. If a company sends their customers emails asking for answers, this breaches European GDPR guidelines.
A company's Q&A’s can be implemented on their site using our badges and widgets, which helps to broaden the scope of information for your patrons.
Claim: “No email upsells”
Other products from said company are not displayed in the review invitation email.
Our Answer: Quite rightly so. Review invitation emails are what they say on the tin; An email asking customers to leave a review for your company’s services which they have used. By adding further information such as other products they may be interested in, customers are then directed away from leaving a review. Also, including marketing in a feedback request is once again against GDPR in Europe.
Although we enable companies to see great revenue increases, we do so by helping businesses establish a review collection, publication and management strategy. If customers are directed away from the invitation email - which may or may not lead to a sale - they are not leaving a review as per the email request. Thus, a client’s conversion dwindles and they start to lose all the review benefits they were reaping.
With fewer reviews, companies may not reach their 100 target to get their Seller Ratings in Google. This decreases their visibility within the SERP’s, reduces traffic and conversion, and thus sales. Organic reviews may take over, which are often more negative in nature. This then reduces a company’s rating consistency online, reputation control is lost, and thus the same disadvantages of less traffic, trust and conversion occur.
Therefore, we do not advocate product upsell in our review invitation emails due to GDPR compliancy, and because we want our clients to get their customers to leave a review, not leave the review invitation email.
Claim: “No dynamic coupons”
Clients are not offered the opportunity to include coupons for their customers for leaving a review.
Our Answer: It’s getting tedious stating things are false, so we’ll say it differently: This is untrue. We do offer our clients voucher codes to be included in the review collection page to thank customers for taking their time for leaving a review.
Claim: “No performance analytics”
Clients are unable to see any statistical or analytical data from review collection, publication and management
Answer: This may come as no surprise, but this statement is also false. We provide our clients with a whole host of statistical and analytical data which clients can find in their dashboard, created through their reviews. This ranges from their overall review and NPS score, all the way through to in-depth information about their review invitation conversions and sentiment analysis.
Yotpo go on to state that our clients have:
“no way to see ROI” (return on investment)
This is correct. We do not provide information such as this, as in-depth statistics and analysis for our clients focuses on their review journey, and the benefits they see from their valued customer experiences.
Information such as ROI is for a company themselves to determine, and we do not feel should be bundled into review collection, publication and management statistics such as conversion rates. We believe our solution sells itself, and we needn’t hammer this home in our clients' review statistics and analysis, which should be about data garnered from their reviews alone.
Claim: “Going with Reviews.io simply makes no sense. Yes, they are cheap. That is for a reason. They don’t make you any money.”
If you choose Reviews.io you must be out of your mind, we offer no benefits, and you won’t see an increase in sales.
Our Answer: Lastly, the only thing that doesn’t make sense is where Yotpo got their facts from. Every statement is either false or unsubstantiated, with an unclear grasp of how review platforms should operate.
We like to think - and thousands of our happy clients would agree - that we offer great, affordable solutions, with far-reaching benefits, that we are able to offer to all manner of businesses. Not only that, we provide our clients with a review service which means their customers can wholeheartedly trust their reviews, and thus put trust in their brand, due to our third party status.
Our plans cost what we believe review collection, publication and management should be, with our clients having complete control of their money due to our non-contracted service.
So to set the record straight, by signing up to our platform, a company can see the benefits below, but not limited to:
To see our customer reviews and G2 Crowd ratings, click the highlighted link. Or to find out more about our solutions and features, head to our homepage, where you can sign up to a free trial, to really see the benefits yourself.