If you've ever wondered how some products manage to boast thousands of reviews across different retail platforms, you're not alone.
Review syndication is often the secret behind this phenomenon, allowing brands to distribute their customer reviews efficiently and reach a wider audience. Today, we'll explore what review syndication is, why it's essential for brands, how it works, and who benefits from this powerful marketing strategy.
Review syndication involves distributing a brand's reviews to various websites of retail partners that sell their products. This means that a single review can appear on multiple retailers' product description pages (PDPs), as well as on the brand's website.
The goal is to ensure a substantial amount of customer review information across different retail platforms, making content available wherever customers might be shopping.
In the world of consumer packaged goods (CPG), review syndication has become an essential part of any eCommerce strategy. Why? Because in order to maximize sales, maintaining a large audience reach and a positive brand reputation is key.
There are a number of factors that play into the importance and necessity of review syndication for eCommerce brands, including the following:
Review syndication helps brands maximize the amount of traffic that comes to their product display pages. Brands can reach consumers across multiple retail channels, expanding their content's visibility and reach.
There’s no question that social proof significantly impacts shoppers. High review counts and positive ratings serve as powerful social proof, influencing potential customers' purchasing decisions. With social proof, more really is more. The more positive and reliable feedback consumers have access to, the more likely they are to purchase a product.
Generating thousands of reviews for each retail channel is unrealistic for many brands, especially when it comes to products with numerous variations or an expansive product catalog. Review syndication allows brands to do more with fewer reviews, saving time and resources.
Although it may sound simple, review syndication is a complicated process with a number of areas that each require close attention.
There are various platforms that specialize in review syndication, such as BazaarVoice, PowerReviews, and Reviews.io. Review syndication platforms maintain stringent procedures to ensure things like duplicate reviews or mismatched review listings never occur.
Most review syndication programs are operated on automated platforms with countless steps that go on behind-the-scenes. In simple terms, however, here are the key components of a review syndication process:
Customer reviews from various sources are collected and aggregated into one central database.
Each review is carefully vetted to ensure authenticity and accuracy.
Each product receives a unique identifier, enabling the matching of reviews to the correct products and retailers.
Each unique review is distributed to the appropriate location on a corresponding product display page.
Finally, review syndicators ensure there are no duplicate reviews and that each review is distributed only once.
In the age of customer-centricity, it’s easy to believe that brands and retailers go the extra mile just to make the shopping experience as easy as possible. In reality, every player has a stake in the game of review syndication.
Simply put, more visibility means more conversions. Here is how each stakeholder group benefits from review syndication:
Ensuring that each retailer displays ample review information leads to higher review counts and more accurate star ratings for each retailer. Furthermore, in many cases, the higher the review count, the higher up on the search page a retailer will display a product. By keeping retailers happy, brands can optimize their market share.
Providing shoppers with more content per product benefits retailers in more ways than one. Not only does this drive sales and engagement for products on their website, but it also increases competition between products within their channel and improves SEO for their website.
Review syndication allows shoppers to find relevant answers across various platforms, enhancing their shopping experience. By syndicating reviews, brands enable shoppers to research and compare products without leaving their preferred retail channel.
While review syndication offers significant advantages, like everything, it has its critics.
First, syndicated reviews typically include a caption or label indicating that they were taken from another website, which critics say can impact shoppers' trust. Some argue that shoppers are more likely to scroll past syndicated reviews, preferring to rely on locally sourced reviews.
What’s more, retailers like Best Buy have seemingly started to deprioritize syndicated reviews. All though they haven’t publicly released a statement on the topic, Yogi CEO & Co-Founder speculates that this move aims to amplify the voice of their discerning customer base, choosing not to dilute the detailed reviews from their loyal customers.
While traditional review syndication for eCommerce brands is the distribution of online product reviews to multiple retail platforms, it deserves to be mentioned that there are a few additional ways to syndicate product review data as well.
Sharing reviews on social media, for example, is another way to distribute reviews across various channels to increase their reach and impact.
Another example of non-traditional review syndication is displaying reviews on a website, typically using a widget, allowing visitors to see customer feedback easily.
Review syndication is a powerful strategy that empowers brands to reach a broader audience, build trust with potential customers, and enhance their overall online presence. By utilizing review syndication, brands can efficiently distribute customer feedback, delivering a more informed and satisfying shopping experience for consumers across various platforms.
But for many brands, it doesn’t stop there. While redistributing product reviews across various retail channels is an imperative part of making the most of reviews, another important piece is mining the review data for customer insights.
The most successful product review strategies operate in an advantageous cycle: generating customer reviews, analyzing those reviews for insights, implementing changes accordingly, and in turn, garnering continued customer engagement. This is what we call the product review flywheel.
At Yogi, we believe the most impactful step is analyzing product reviews that can fuel change and create better customer experiences - and that’s exactly what our platform does.