When it comes to online sales, customer ratings and reviews influence buyer behavior more than any other form of advertising. We call this the band-wagon effect. Based on the B2B e-commerce platform landscape, customer ratings and reviews are key performance indicators stressed by many if not all e-commerce platforms. A great way to collect, manage, and promote reviews for your business is by using the seller rating extension called Shopper Approved.
Since Shopper Approved is web based–meaning there’s nothing to install–setting it up on your site only requires a few easy steps. We will walk you through the process to make this even easier, so you can begin collecting reviews for your business right away!
How Shopper Approved Works
Shopper Approved automates the process of collecting reviews once someone has downloaded or purchased an item from your website. Yes, you can collect random reviews, but the idea is to get reviews from actual customers. This customer review based credibility is one of several ways e-commerce businesses stay competitive against sales giants, such as Amazon.
- It is best to put your review request form or pop-up on the “thank you” page after someone has downloaded or purchased an item from you. On this page, they are given an initial survey which is displayed as either a pop-up or inline.
- After a certain amount of days based on your preference, Shopper Approved will send out a full survey to capture a complete review.
Need-To-Know Shopper Approved Facts
- Once a review is posted, you have 3 days to look over the customer review and reach out to the person, or contest the review if you feel that it was unjust.
- PPC (Pay Per Click) stars will begin to show up roughly 72 hours to a week after you have gathered 30 reviews via the platform or by importing previous reviews depending on the industry.
- Organic stars will begin to show up roughly 30 days after you have gathered 30 reviews. These will only show up on sub-pages of your website, not on the homepage. Unfortunately, people abused the system so Google stopped showing stars for organic results for homepages of websites.
- Shopper Approved has 3 types of accounts:
- Merchant: Reviews of your company in general.
- Product: Reviews of individual products.
- Local: For physical business locations.
Create An Account
First thing’s first, click Get Started and answer the opening questions. You will then be prompted to create an account by filling in information about your company. You may also want to set up billing during this phase.
There are three types of account: Merchant, Product & Local (For the purpose of this article we will not focus on Local reviews).
This is a general domain account. This type of account is for general services. Merchant Reviews are reviews are collected from your customers regarding their overall shopping experience. The initial survey collects information right after they buy or download a product, and then we send a full survey via email once they receive their order. These reviews are syndicated to multiple locations in Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Product Reviews are collected from your customers via an email survey, once they have received their physical products. These reviews are added to each product page on your site to help educate and motivate new potential customers to buy. This is for an e-commerce website that wants to collect reviews on individual products and syndicates their product reviews through Google Shopping and Product Listing Ads.
Are You Using WordPress?
Our team recently created Rich Reviews, a plugin which enables you to easily integrate Shopper Approved, collect reviews and get organic and PPC ratings. After installing the plugin, select the Shopper Approved tab (you can find the exclusive discount offer within the plugin) and follow these steps to set up within Rich Reviews:
- Connect your Shopper Approved account to your website by using your unique API URL. You can find this API URL by logging into Shopper Approved and navigating to Advanced Tools -> API and copy the JSON URL under ‘General Information’.
- Submit this URL to the Shopper Approved tab in your Rich Reviews installation. By doing this, your Shopper Approved account is now connected to your WordPress website.
- You can now pull Shopper Approved reviews to be copied and stored in your Rich Reviews database, and manage many of your Shopper Approved configurable options through your Rich Reviews dashboard.
Merchant Account Setup
Customize Your Review Requests
- Login into Shopper Approved.
- Customize the questions in the Initial survey and Full survey on the Advance tools >> Custom Survey page.
- Select Display options: Navigate to the merchant reviews >> Survey Options. You can select many review options from pop-up review form to inline, etc. (Note: if using Rich Reviews this option can also be set in the Shopper Approved Options Dashboard)
- Customize Follow Up email: On the same page you can customize the follow-up email and state how many days after the review you would like to send them the full survey.
- Setup review code via Rich Reviews: Add shortcode [RR_SHOPPER_APPROVED get=”trigger”] to your Thank You or sale Success Page. This will trigger the shopper approved review collection form to display. Further, a number of display options can be set within the Rich Reviews Dashboard in the Shopper Approved Tab. Options include the inline or modal display, font-size, and wrapper classes.
Product Account Setup
- Once Merchant Reviews is configured, you can move on to configuring product Reviews (if applicable). Note that Product Reviews must be added in addition to Merchant Reviews, so only after completion of the above steps can you configure Product Reviews.
- Compiled catalog of products: First you will need to compile a catalog of all products that you have listed on your website. This is referred to as the “product feed” in the Shopper Approved Product Reviews “Integration” tab. This file will need to be in CSV or XML format and contain the fields as laid out in the Integration tab of the Shopper Approved Product Reviews dashboard. If you are using the Rich Reviews integration, this process can be automated through the PPC and Organic Rating tab of your Rich Reviews dashboard. You can automatically fetch existing product data in one of two ways. If all of your products exist under a common “post type”, enter the slug of that post type to the Product Reviews Integration section of the PPC and Organic Rating tab of the Rich Reviews dashboard and Rich Reviews will fetch and populate associated product data from your product posts. If you do not have a common product “post type”, but have been collecting reviews in the past through rich reviews, you can select the option to use Rich Reviews categories, which will populate all of your Rich Reviews categories, to your Shopper Approved Catalog. In either case, information collected will likely be insufficient to generate a complete product feed file as specified by Shopper Approved, and for this reason after generating starter data, you should view and edit your product listings in the provided interface. Edits made here will automatically update the feed file located for Shopper Approved to read. The file will be written in CSV format.
- Upload product file: Next, you will want to upload this file both to your Shopper Approved account, as well as placing it at an accessible URL on your site. You will upload the file in the Integration tab of the Shopper Approved Product Reviews dashboard. This is also where you will submit the URL at which Shopper Approved will read your product feed. This is done so that Shopper Approved can be kept updated on changes that you make to your product catalog. If you are using the Shopper Approved integration, after having generated and edited your product feed file in the manner discussed above, you can download this file from the PPC and Organic rating dashboard to upload to Shopper Approved as discussed above. The URL to submit to Shopper Approved will also be generated and provided for you.
- Customize Review Form trigger script: With your product catalog configured, you will need to customize your Review Form trigger script that is provided in the Integration tab of the Shopper Approved Product Reviews. The script requires an object containing pairs of product IDs and product names. These product IDs and names should correspond directly to the products listed in your product catalog. Once this script is edited and contains the comprehensive list of your products, you will want to copy and paste this script to your “Thank You” page alongside the script from your Merchant Reviews Integration. Note: Without the Merchant Reviews script, the Product Reviews script will not work properly; it must be included in addition to the Merchant Reviews script. If using the Rich Reviews integration, the script will be edited automatically and populated with your indexed products, as well as output along with your Merchant script. The single shortcode described in the Merchant Reviews integration will recognize a configured product catalog, and output your edited product review script automatically.
- Submit a test review: Now that the Product Review process is set up and configured, you can run a test purchase and submit a test review to be certain that all is working as expected. Further, you can customize product review questions to be asked in your product survey in the Custom Survey tab of the Advanced Options dashboard on Shopper Approved. In addition, a company favicon can be uploaded to be displayed alongside your product reviews in Google; you can find this in the “Integration” tab of the Product Reviews dashboard on Shopper Approved.
- Further instructions on displaying your product reviews are available on Shopper Approved in the Product Reviews dashboard. Further Rich Reviews integrations to simplify this process are to come in the very near future.
Add The Schema Code aka Organic Star Ratings
Under the Advanced Tools tab and API subtab, you’ll want to copy and paste the Schema Code (GET) onto your website footer for search engines to display your ratings and stars directly in the search. This is a very important step!
Warning When you add the Schema Code from Shopper Approved without using the Rich Reviews plugin, your website may slow down. This is because every time your website loads, it contacts Shopper Approved to get the Schema Code. To get around this issue, use Rich Reviews WordPress plugin.
Rich Reviews Specific Schema Setup
Add the shortcode [RR_SHOPPER_APPROVED get=”schema”] to the footer of your website. This will provide Google’s data crawlers with the structured review and rating data on every page of your website.
Gather 30 Reviews to Show Ratings
Google requires you to have a minimum of 30 reviews in order to have the rating stars to appear organically and in PPC. These reviews can be collected from local listings, Google+, Yelp! etc. Each review is required to have the reviewer’s first and last name, calendar date it was made, the number of stars (out of 5 stars), and the review itself. By aggregating these reviews, every subpage of your website will start showing star rating in organic search. For e-commerce websites, you will need to gather 30 reviews via the shopper review plugin before your reviews will start displaying in PPC results.
You will want to gather these reviews in a CVS file and submit it to [email protected]. You will be sent a Content License Agreement to sign electronically and return. This agreement basically states that your reviews are not fraudulent.
For added SEO benefits, go ahead and fill out the About Us under Advanced Tools and make sure to include a link to your website. This is a really easy way to get a quick backlink from a high domain authority!
Once all the steps have been completed, Google will have your stars showing up organically within a few weeks and in your PPC ads in 72 hours to a week. You will then begin enjoying the benefits of an increased click-through-rate and syndication throughout Google, Bing & Yahoo!
If you have any questions or things that you would like to be added to the tutorial, please comment below. We will update this post on a regular basis.