Google has announced that, through a partnership with Shopzilla's Bizrate Insights, it will begin displaying the full text of seller reviews in product searches—rather than just a star rating—in order to give buyers a more complete representation of a merchant before they make a purchase.
Now, when sellers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany submit their products to Google Merchant Center and participate in the Bizrate Insights program, any reviews left by their customers will be visible in relevant product searches.
Such information has come to be trusted by online shoppers, according to market experts, who say as much as 70 percent of users consider the opinions of other consumers before buying something.
"The Insights program gets reviews from shoppers who have actually completed a transaction on your site, which means that it's content you can trust to help you improve and promote your customer experience," says Google's Kinnari Jhaveri, in a blog announcing the partnership. "Bizrate ratings have been an important component of our seller ratings, and we'll now be able to include the full text of the review, so shoppers can get the full picture before they buy."
Approximately 6,000 retailers now participate in the Bizrate Insights program, which reaches more than 800,000 verified buyers a day, according to Shopzilla. The company points out that, for independent merchants, the increased exposure of having ratings appear next to their brand name in search results can bring significant increases in traffic and conversion rates.
The program is "a critical source for customer feedback for our retail partners seeking to build customer loyalty," according to Shopzilla President Bill Glass.
Other Entries by this Author
Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.