We’ve always known that reviews are the best sales driver. 90% of all shoppers read online reviews before visiting a store and 88% of them trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family. If you want to read more on this matter, you can check out our article on online review statistics.
All reviews matter, but Google shopping reviews are a special kind of bang for your buck. Google Shopping has been on a steady growth fast for the past few years and that trend is not set to stop any time soon.
Let’s take a quick look at why this matters to your business and what you can do to get Google shopping reviews to work for you. But first, a primer about the platform itself.
What Are Google Shopping Reviews?
Google Shopping reviews are a tool that allows your customers to leave reviews for your products or for your shop. Once you are accepted into the Google Shopping program (membership is free!), your customers will be able to leave reviews.
There are two types of Google Shopping reviews: product ratings and seller ratings. Both of them use a star-based system (one to five stars). This rating is displayed next to your products (for Google Shopping listings) and next to your shop (for Google Shopping ads).
This is what they look like:
Image via Search Engine Land
Now for the question that most eCommerce business owners ask: why should you bother to add Google Shopping reviews if you’re perfectly content with selling on your own store?
A fair question! We strongly believe that having your own store is the most important step in a successful eShop. Selling on third-party channels only is like building your home on someone else’s land.
In other words, Google Shopping can increase your sales volume tremendously. But, of course, it’s not enough to have your products listed there. You also need to build social proof through reviews.
There are two factors that matter a lot in Google Shopping reviews: their quantity and their quality (or the actual rating). You need to have as many reviews as possible and you need them to be as good as possible.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just four- and five-star reviews that bring sales. British retailer Ann Summers found that even going from zero reviews to a single 1-star review (the worst of the worse, you’d say) helped increase their conversions by 76%! In fact, shoppers seem to place the most trust in eStores that are just under five stars. Perfection is overrated and...pretty hard to believe in.
Bottom line: you need as many reviews as possible. Even bad ones help! A recent study proves that eCommerce businesses with over 82 reviews bring in 54% more yearly revenue. Better yet, businesses with more than 200 reviews see a near doubling of their revenue.
To recap: Google Shopping can help increase your yearly revenue dramatically, especially if you have a lot of reviews. So far, so good. But here comes the real kicker: how do you get Google Shopping reviews fast and without investing too much time or money in the process?
How to Get Google Shopping Reviews for Your eCommerce Business
Let’s start with the bad news first: Google explicitly forbids you to incentivize your customers to leave reviews. You can’t offer coupons, discounts, or organize contests with the explicit purpose of getting more Google Shopping reviews.
I know, it’s not ideal. However, it can work in your favor. Google’s policy has been created in order to encourage honest reviews from actual buyers instead of fake, paid reviews. Thus, in the end, this works out great for businesses with their eye on long-term gains instead of gate-rich-quick schemes.
Here’s how you can get Google Shopping reviews the right way:
Leverage Reviews from Other Websites
Google works as a review aggregator. This means that it pulls reviews from third-party websites like eBay, Amazon, TrustPilot, and more. The three main sources of reviews for Google Shopping are:
- Your own website
- Third-party review aggregators like Trustpilot
- Google customer reviews
This is the beginning of your multi-channel online review strategy. Your own website is an excellent place to start because, typically, this is where you’ll have the most reviews. Now all you have to do is add those reviews in Google Shopping.
Did you know that Wiremo can pull reviews from your website, your social media profiles, and many other third-party services into a single feed that you manage from a single dashboard? Reputation management and getting reviews for Google Shopping become a breeze with the right automation tool. Try Wiremo for free!
Add Reviews to Google Shopping through the Merchant Center
If you don’t work with a review aggregator, you can still add the reviews manually through Merchant Center. The process is fairly simple and, most importantly, it’s 100% free.
The only two things you have to keep in mind are:
- You need to have at least 50 reviews to be considered for the program. Google displays an average of your star rating, so they need more reviews to make that average relevant.
- You need to do this periodically -- update your reviews monthly to remain eligible. You can do this with an automated fetch system that prompts Google to scan the relevant files on your website.
Sounds like a hassle? It doesn’t have to be! Wiremo can automate this for you -- our solution scans your website automatically every 24 hours and generates a unique link that helps Google automatically fetch the Shopping feed and reviews.
Please note that if you sell identical products to other sellers, your product rating will appear alongside ratings from other merchants. Google uses globally unique product identifiers found in your product description like, for instance, ISBNs for books.
Ask Your Customers for Reviews
I know, it seems like a no-brainer. But you’d be surprised how many people get stuck on Google’s incentivization policy and forget about the basics: sometimes you just have to ask.
People love to brag about the new stuff they bought and they also love to see they have the power to influence others’ decisions. Most of them will be happy to leave a review if you simply remind them even without offering something in return.
Better yet, if you ask for a review to be published on your own website, you can incentivize the customer with a small discount.
Publish Reviews on Landing and Product Pages
Whether you run Google Shopping ads and rely on landing pages or simply have a “regular” product page, populating them with reviews helps you with a lot of things:
- Get a better ad quality score in Google (user-generated content is a very strong quality system).
- Improve your organic ranking (for the same reason as above).
- Boost sales by displaying social proof at the most important moment: when the buyer makes the purchase decision.
- Get more reviews: yes, this is a circular process! When shoppers see product pages with a lot of helpful reviews, they are more tempted to add to the “pile” and share their own reviews.
Respond to ALL the Reviews (Yes, Even to the Bad Ones!)
In fact, respond especially to the bad ones. Businesses that reply to at least some of their reviews get an average of 35% more revenue. Plus, as you’ve seen above, bad reviews don’t necessarily spell financial losses for your business.
The way you handle them can do that, though. So remember to always be tactful and pay extra attention to Google product reviews (in Google My Business). Not only are they always among the first results to pop when someone searches for your business, but they are also the foundation layer of eligibility for your Merchant account and the starting point of your seller rating.
Last but not least, answer all the reviews because customers expect a conversation, not a monologue. If they are set to leave a review for you but when they open your Google My Business page they notice that you haven’t answered any of the previous ones they legitimately ask themselves “why bother?”. And they’d be right because it looks as if you aren’t even looking at your reviews.
No time to answer every single review? We’ve got you covered! Wiremo comes with an auto-reply trigger that puts customer interaction on auto-pilot. Try it out for free and see how it can help increase your sales.
While reviews are undoubtedly beneficial to eCommerce businesses, it’s not always easy to get them. To be more accurate: it used to be hard to get Google Shopping reviews and to manage them on Google and all the other platforms.
This is one of the reasons why we started Wiremo. We wanted to offer a quick, affordable, and easy way to leverage your reviews in Google or elsewhere. With the Wiremo dashboard, you have all your reviews from all your platforms at your fingertips, in a single user-friendly dashboard.
Wiremo makes it easy to get a lot of reviews (and we’ve seen why numbers matter more than the actual rating!), to publish them, and to reply to them without switching from platform to platform.
Want to add more Google Shopping reviews? Don’t be discouraged by the process! Automate it with Wiremo! You can try it 100% FREE, so what have you got to lose?