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How to Evaluate a Review Management Platform

May 2, 2023 | 7 minute read

How to Evaluate a Review Management Platform

Megan Wenzl

Content Marketing Manager

In today’s fiercely competitive world of ecommerce, harnessing the power of customer reviews has become a game-changer for any Shopify brand striving for success. The ability to leverage the authentic feedback and opinions of satisfied customers has emerged as a crucial factor in building credibility, establishing trust, and ultimately driving sales. 

But building strong customer relationships through reviews is about more than merely collecting and displaying positive reviews. It’s about selecting and integrating a review management platform that provides the tools needed to fully maximize the impact that reviews can have on the long-term success of a brand.

So what exactly does the “right” customer review platform look like? In this article, we’ll help you identify a best-in-class solution by highlighting a variety of features that Shopify brands should look for when choosing a review platform

Features To Look For In a Review Platform

Ability to Collect High-Quality Reviews

More than simply collecting and displaying as many product and site reviews as possible, review optimization ensures that satisfied customers relay their experiences in as much detail as possible. In fact, there are many ways in which maximizing the generation of high-quality reviews can improve your Shopify business.

There are a few main factors that make a review high-quality: 

  •  It should come from a verified buyer to ensure the highest level of authenticity. 
  • The review should include some form of user-generated content (UGC), such as photos or video that clearly displays or highlights your product. 

An ideal reviews platform will allow you to collect customer attributes as part of the review process. With attributes, you can learn more about customers and prospects and provide more personal experiences for them. Examples of attributes include the customer’s age, gender, or even behavioral information like how the customer uses a product. 

Of course, there’s no guarantee that customers will go out of their way to provide additional information and UGC as part of their review. This is why you’ll want to find a provider that gives you the ability to leverage incentives like coupons or promotional offers in exchange for high-quality feedback. 

For example, after integrating Okendo reviews, innovative infant sleep solution developer Dreamland Baby used 10-15% off coupons to incentivize photo and video content from their customers. As a result, nearly 30% of the brand’s product reviews now contain UGC. Moreover, the brand continues to utilize the information they receive from customers to send personalized communications and create individualized experiences for their customers.

Review Features That Can be Customized to Your Brand

The best review management platforms go beyond standardized review displays; they allow you to customize review displays and widgets around the unique characteristics of your brand in order to create a consistent experience across all touchpoints in the buyer’s journey. 

In addition to being customized to your brand’s unique feel, reviews should be displayed alongside valuable insights into your products, and provide users with the opportunity to submit their own attributes as part of the review process. 

Moreover, a comprehensive solution like Okendo will give you the ability to build advanced, multi-channel, and highly personalized and on-brand review request flows to enable smooth post-purchase experiences while maximizing the collection of zero-party data (ZPD). 

For example, your review request emails should feel similar to your website for a consistent customer experience. The way to do this includes using brand voice in the email copy and using styling that’s similar to your website. The right platform makes this easy. 

Optimized for Site Speed and Performance

While customized review displays are certainly important, it’s imperative that their integration doesn’t negatively impact the overall speed and performance of your website. This happens to Shopify brands more than you might expect after adding new features, and can be incredibly frustrating to customers looking for fast, efficient experiences when browsing product reviews or making purchases. 

In fact, according to a survey by Unbounce, an astounding 70% of consumers say that site speed has a direct influence over their desire to go through with a purchase from an ecommerce store. So while it may not be the first priority that comes to mind, it’s absolutely crucial to consider performance and speed when evaluating a reviews management platform. 

Strong Integration System

While you ultimately want to choose a reviews program that improves the experiences your customers are having, you’ll also want to keep the experiences of your marketing team in mind. Above all, this means choosing a solution that integrates seamlessly with your marketing tech stack and the tools your team already uses on a daily basis. This will make your workflows more efficient and your programs more impactful. 

For example, Okendo’s Klaviyo integration allows Shopify brands to bring reviews into the fold of their pre-existing email and SMS campaigns. The integration offers a range of powerful functionalities, including the ability to send automated review request emails upon purchase, showcase star-ratings and reviews as part of product recommendations or abandoned cart reminders, and automatically sync valuable customer insights obtained through reviews into customer profiles. Additionally, whenever a customer leaves a review, the metrics associated with that particular event can be immediately utilized toward the design of Klaviyo Flows. 

In addition to Klaviyo, Okendo integrates with 50+ commerce enablement technologies including Attentive, LoyaltyLion, and Gorgias. 

Google Connection

Reviews should be generating positive impacts whether they’re being accessed on or off your website. And this is why having a direct connection with major search engines like Google should be a top feature to look for in a review platform.

When your reviews provider is an official Google partner you get a number of distinct benefits, including the ability to easily push star ratings to Google Shopping Ads, Google Seller Ratings, and Google Rich Snippets. This not only significantly decreases ad costs and extends the reach of social proof generated through reviews, but it also leads to an exponential increase in your overall click-through-rate (CTR).

For example, after leveraging Okendo’s Google connection, artistic topography seller Muir Way was amazed not only by the ease of the integration, but by the near-immediate impact this feature had on its CTR. As Jared Prince of Muir Way, said: “Setting up Okendo to push our reviews to Google Shopping was incredibly easy. Once live, the click-through-rate of our ads increased by 50% literally overnight.”

Flexible Pricing and Plans

In today’s increasingly uncertain economy, affordability is an important factor when evaluating any software solution. This means not only looking for the best available price, but also for the most flexible arrangement to suit your individual needs and budget. 

More specifically, cost-conscious Shopify merchants will want to seek out providers offering monthly subscriptions as opposed to binding annual contracts. This can remove a considerable amount of stress from the process of integrating a new technology.  No one wants to be locked into an expensive solution, especially if it turns out you’re not satisfied with the platform’s features or how it works with pre-existing marketing tools and workflows. 

Strong Customer Service and Support

Finally, a reviews platform will only be as effective as your ability to utilize it to its full potential. The last thing you want is to run into a problem with a newly integrated technology, only to wait hours, days, or even weeks to receive the support needed to resolve the issue.

With a provider like Okendo, strong customer service and support are viewed with the same level of importance as the actual solutions provided by the platform. This means in addition to the availability of 24/7 support, Okendo clients receive both personalized onboarding and dedicated account management to ensure success throughout all stages of the reviews optimization journey. 

Overall, making the most of product reviews today requires more than increasing the volume of reviews; it requires selecting and integrating a platform that both maximizes review collection and expands the positive outcomes associated with customer feedback. By working with a provider like Okendo, Shopify brands can begin to pave a sustainable path toward consistent positive buyer experiences, reliable high-quality review generation, and increased customer advocacy. 

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