May 2016 App of the Month: Product Reviews App

social selling through Shopify

We recently wrote about how to encourage product reviews from customers and featured the Product Reviews app by Shopify. The app allows you to add a reviews area to your product pages, and manage these reviews, including bulk actions.

In this post, we take a deeper dive into the free Product Reviews app and look at the various options in the app.

Product Reviews app: Why use reviews?

There are two main reasons to include reviews on your store. First, product reviews help grow sales of your products. Customers no longer only depend on the sales copy to make a decision about their purchase. According to a Zendesk report, an overwhelming majority of customers said that their purchasing decision was influenced by online reviews.

Almost 90% of customers’ buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.

Think of the last time you made a purchase at an online retailer, like Amazon. In the sea of search results, was your decision influenced by the rating on a specific product? In addition, most people tend to scroll down to the review area to understand different use-cases by other customers, and their first-hand experiences.

Second main reason to use reviews is to boost search engine optimization (SEO). Reviews capture user-generated content that is included on your store site. This content is unique and very specific to your products. As new reviews are published, the content on product pages is continuously updated. All these help increase SEO for your store.

seo product reviews app

Example of how rich snippets form search engine data (Source)

When you include search-friendly review scores, the rating for that product appears on Google search listings. This helps differentiate the rich listing from other standard listings.

Product Reviews app: Installation

Once you “Get” and install the Product Reviews app, you will need to install a code snippet to your product pages. The instruction screen will show you the snippet you need to add to your “product.liquid” file, under the “product.description” tag.

code snippet product reviews app

Installation instructions for code snippet

Once you save the “product.liquid” file, the snippet will add the reviews area to your product pages, and create SEO-friendly reviews.

You also have the option to add review badges to your product listings page by adding a different code snippet to the “snippets/product-loop.liquid” file.

Product Reviews app: Actions and options

Once the snippet is verified, you can start receiving reviews on your products. Customers can use the reviews section on each product to rate it and write a review.

product page product reviews app

Review area on product page

By default, the app is set to auto-publish reviews. This means that the review is published without going through your approval. You can disable this in the “Settings” area of the app. Once disabled, each review will need to be approved by the store administrator before it is published to the store.

Within the app, you can manage reviews in a number of ways:

  • approve to publish reviews
  • unpublish reviews
  • delete a review
  • flag a review as inappropriate, and unflag reviews
  • reply to a review
  • filter and sort reviews based on ratings, products, etc.
manage product reviews app

Manage reviews (Source)

You can also apply bulk actions to the reviews through the review management area. In the Settings area, you can opt to receive an email each time a review is submitted.

Product Reviews app: Style and layout

The app allows you to customize the style, default text, and layout of the reviews area to align with your store theme and brand.

In the Settings area of the app, you can:

  • set the color for the “star” icon in the ratings
  • change style of the review box including border color, divider color, and padding
  • change the default text, like changing “Customer Reviews” to “What people are saying”, etc.
  • default text in the review form
  • review badge text

Through these options, the app allows you to change many aspects of the default style and layout without having to change any code.

Product Reviews app: Summary

Product reviews are an essential part of eCommerce stores. Almost all online shoppers look at reviews by other users before making a purchase. This is because reviews often answer questions or provide information about specific aspects about your products that may not be present in the product copy. Reviews also provide search-friendly user-generated content for your products that can help boost SEO.

Shopify’s free Product Reviews app allows you to include reviews on your product pages, and score badges on your product listings and product pages. You get complete control of review management including bulk actions. You can also import or export reviews via a CSV file if you use other platforms to gather or display reviews. Lastly, you can change the style and layout of the review widgets and area to align with your brand and store theme.

Do you use reviews for your store? What has your experience been like? Please share in the comments below.

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Jai Sangha

Content Specialist
Jai helps ShopStorm app users earn more via their Shopify stores by writing about helpful shop tips and useful apps.

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