Drive traffic, sales and insights with user-generated content

Reviews are important for consumers and businesses alike. And if your website doesn’t feature plenty of reviews for plenty of your products, you risk losing shoppers to a site that does. 45% of shoppers who can’t find enough reviews (or any reviews at all) on a brand or retailer site will go to a search engine, and 25% will turn to Amazon.

How can you start generating more reviews for your products? Download this guide to learn eight things you can start doing today to begin collecting more content.

4 Ways to Stay Ahead and Be Prepared to Navigate in New Directions

The retail landscape is constantly evolving, thanks to many factors including technology advancements, new (and different) competition, global market shifts, and the ever-changing expectations of shoppers. Marketers need to constantly be on the lookout for ways to lead the front edge ideas of tomorrow.

Earlier this month, Kim Feil, CEO of bizHive, spoke during the PowerReviews monthly webinar about the importance of going back to the marketing strategy drawing board in order to remain competitive in an ever-changing world. During the webinar, she shared these four ideas for staying ahead and being prepared to navigate in new directions.

  1. Encourage competition between cross-functional teams
    Make sure your cross-functional partners see and embrace the changes ahead. Assign cross-functional teams to compete with each other, and give them the task of playing the role of a competitor or an industry you want to understand better. Bring everyone back together and let them argue about how those competitors or an industry change could potentially put you out of business, and how you’d shift your strategy to prevent that from happening.
  2. Dedicate team time to debate impacts of external trends and identify contingency plans
    Think about the possible positive and negative impacts external trends will have on global industries and brainstorm ways your company can capitalize on possible business deals. In other words, ask yourself what these changes mean for your company and how you can pivot in order to come out on top. For example, if a particular technology is commercialized by a company, what can your company do to be stronger and better?
  3. Shop your category with Millennials
    Millennials have a lot of money and influence. They don’t care about how things were 18 years ago — they just want to know what’s available to them today. They constantly want more, and your company needs to be prepared to give them that. Shop your products with a Millennial, and you’ll get some really eye opening insights.
  4. Identify potential support partners and resources to be part of your strategies
    Ask yourself where can you create joint ventures and acquisitions (such as the case of Amazon and Whole Foods). Identify where you need to build, to buy and to ally.

Curious what else we discussed during the webinar? Check out the on-demand session today.

Alison Krakowiak

In her role as Product Marketing Manager at PowerReviews, Alison leads new product launches by focusing on communicating the value of our technology to our clients and partners. Alison is excited to bring the voice of our PowerReviews clients into everything she creates.

The following is a guest post from Lesli Esposito, Partner and Co-Chair of the Antitrust Group at DLA Piper.

How the Administration Views Consumer Protection and Reviews

User-generated content — including reviews, images and videos — has become an expected part of the path to purchase. PowerReviews research found that 86% of consumers consider reviews an essential resource when making purchase decisions.

In addition to helping consumers make informed purchases, user-generated content can be a valuable tool for helping businesses drive traffic and sales — especially when this content is of a positive nature. And some businesses can be tempted to modify user-generated content in their favor in order to attract — and convert — more shoppers. However, the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees consumer protection, actively works to prevent companies from engaging in this harmful and fraudulent behavior.

Earlier this month, the PowerReviews team invited me to present their monthly webinar. During the webinar, I shared some recent developments in consumer protection when it comes to reviews, as well as practical do’s and don’ts to help ensure businesses don’t break their customers’ trust — or the law.

Recent Developments: Consumer Review Fairness Act

If you’re not familiar with the Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA), now’s the time to get acquainted. The CRFA is a new federal law that, according to the FTC’s website, “protects people’s ability to share their honest opinions about a business’ products, services, or conduct, in any forum, including social media.” The law does this by prohibiting certain things, including:

  • Contract provisions that bar or otherwise restrict a person’s ability to provide a review of the company’s products, services or conduct
  • Contract provisions that impose a penalty or fee if someone gives a review
  • Contract provisions that require a reviewer to give up their intellectual property rights in the content of their reviews

In other words, the law ensures that companies can’t prohibit consumers from writing reviews, or penalize them for doing so. And, it’s worth noting, that for the purposes of this law, a review is defined as comments regarding a product or customer service and includes online reviews, social media posts, photos and videos.

Though it’s generally a best practice to avoid deleting negative reviews, there actually are a few circumstances when you should remove reviews, including if the review:

  • Contains confidential or private information
  • Is libelous, harassing, abusive, obscene, vulgar or sexually explicit
  • Is “inappropriate” with regard to race, gender or ethnicity
  • Is unrelated to the company’s products or services
  • Is clearly false or misleading

The penalties for breaking this law include financial penalties, court orders, and consent orders (with reporting requirements), so it’s important for businesses to ensure they have measures in place to comply.

Practical Advice: The Do’s and Don’ts of Reviews

The good news is, complying with this new law isn’t hard to do. The key is to maintain transparency and authenticity.

I wrapped up the webinar by sharing some practical advice for brands and retailers. Read on to learn the do’s and don’ts I shared for being compliant — and transparent — when it comes to reviews.  

8 Do’s for Reviews

In order to protect consumers — as well as the trust you’ve worked hard to earn — make sure your business does these eight things.

  • Remove provisions in contracts with consumers that restrict a customer’s right to give a review or penalize a customer for giving a review, including negative reviews
  • Remove provisions that require reviewers to give up their IP rights to the content of their reviews or claim copyright over someone’s review
  • Remove reviews that contain confidential or private information
  • Remove reviews that are libelous, harassing, obscene, inappropriate as to race, gender, ethnicity
  • Remove reviews that are unrelated to a product or customer service
  • Remove reviews that are clearly false or misleading
  • Disclose material connections with endorsers
  • Ensure all claims are substantiated

8 Don’ts for Reviews

There are also eight things brands and retailers should avoid when it comes to reviews. Make sure you don’t:

  • Restrict a customer’s ability to review a product or customer service
  • Penalize a customer for giving a review, including a negative review
  • Claim copyright over the contents of a customer’s review
  • Remove negative reviews
  • Post false reviews
  • Fail to disclose material connections in a clear and conspicuous manner
  • Blame social media constraints for failing to disclose
  • Ignore state or foreign laws

Watch the On-Demand Session Now
Curious what else I covered during the webinar? You can watch the on-demand session now.

About the Author

Lesli C. Esposito focuses on complex commercial litigation and government investigations, concentrating in the fields of antitrust and consumer protection. She represents a wide range of corporations, as well as individuals, as both plaintiffs and defendants.

Lesli has extensive experience litigating antitrust and consumer protection matters in both federal and state courts, as well as representing parties in class actions. She also has extensive experience representing clients in antitrust and consumer protection government investigations, including investigations conducted by the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration and state Attorneys General.

She represents clients in a variety of industries, among them pharmaceuticals, healthcare, consumer products, telemarketing, oil and gas, mortgage lending and legal services. Her matters have involved a wide range of claims, including but not limited to allegations of price fixing, abuse of monopoly power, conspiracy, false advertising, and tortious interference, as well as alleged violations of various FTC, FCC and FDA regulations, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.


Rossio to drive product strategy and roadmap to help retailers and brands increase sales and create actionable insights across channels

CHICAGO – July 18, 2017 – PowerReviews, a leading provider of ratings, reviews and question and answer technology to more than 1,000 global brands and retailers, today announced that the company has hired Sara Rossio as senior vice president, Product Management. In this new position, Rossio, will focus on identifying and developing innovative products that deliver value to customers, enhance the open network, and unify and amplify the voice of the consumer.

“Sara has a proven record of delivering creative and differentiated solutions to solve critical customer problems. Her experience and leadership will accelerate our delivery of product innovations that help consumers make better purchasing decisions, across all channels, growing sales and actionable insights for our customers,” said Matt Moog, chief executive officer, PowerReviews. “We are thrilled to welcome her to our team.”

Rossio, a 2015 Crain’s Chicago Business “40 Under 40” recipient has more than 20 years of experience in product management and marketing. Before joining PowerReviews, Rossio served as vice president of Product for Gogo, where she led a team to develop the product strategy and roadmap for the leading inflight internet and entertainment provider. At PowerReviews, Rossio will drive the product strategy and roadmap to continue to expand our suite of products to encompass all types of consumer feedback and content, including images and videos, across all channels and throughout the consumer journey. She is also charged with optimizing and expanding the open network.

About PowerReviews
PowerReviews works with more than 1,000 global brands and retailers to deliver cloud-based software that collects and displays ratings and reviews and questions and answers on websites. PowerReviews unifies and amplifies the voice of the consumer throughout their journey, across all channels to help consumers make better purchase decisions and to help businesses drive conversion and improve products and services. Ratings and reviews are essential for consumers as they search and shop online and in-store, driving traffic on more than 5,000 websites, creating actionable insights to improve products and services, increasing conversion, and growing online site-wide sales. The PowerReviews Open Network reaches more than 1 billion in-market shoppers every month, giving retailers and brands the power to reach shoppers wherever they are. For more information, visit

Meet the Team is a recurring series on the PowerReviews blog, allowing you to get to know the people behind our success.

We recently sat down with Sara Rossio, our SVP, Product Management to chat about life at PowerReviews and what attracted her to a career in product management.

Sara Rossio of PowerReviews

Tell us about your career path before joining PowerReviews? How did you get into product management?
I started my product management career at Eaton Corporation, and have worked in Product Management for the last 15+ years. I was given the opportunity to run a sensor product line after I created a price sensitivity analysis that guided the pricing decisions for the product line. I fell in love with the job because of the diversity of what I got to do everyday. Since then I’ve worked for two other technology companies, to support product management, including NAVTEQ and Gogo.

What initially attracted you to this role at PowerReviews?
I was excited to work for a technology company in a high growth stage that offered a value proposition that I am excited about.

What does a day in the life of an SVP of Product Management at PowerReviews look like?
Everyday is a bit different. I traditionally spend the day meeting with people to understand what our customers value, how they feel about our products, and the status of development to ensure we deliver the most impactful product offerings.

What most excites you about product management?
I love making customers happy, and delivering more than they expected.

You’ve only been here a few weeks, but what’s your favorite thing about PowerReviews so far?
I am so impressed by all my interactions with everyone at PowerReviews. The team is passionate about making our customers happy and willing to openly share information.

What’s your favorite way to unwind after work?
I love listening to music.

6 Ways to Increase the Reach of Your User-Generated Content

This blog post is the fourth in our series of key takeaways from the keynotes and breakout sessions from the 2017 PowerReviews Digital Commerce Summit.

OK, so you’re collecting user-generated content such as ratings and reviews, photos and videos. And you’re displaying all of this great content on your product pages. But how can you get this content in front of more shoppers in more places — beyond the product page? 

Earlier this year, I led a session at the PowerReviews Digital Commerce Summit, exploring strategies for generating and displaying reviews online, in mobile apps and in-store to lift sales across all channels. Read on to learn six strategies I shared during the session that can help you get more mileage from your user-generated content.

1. Include UGC in Other Marketing Initiatives
Consumers trust the opinions of others like them. So look for ways to integrate user-generated content — including reviews, photos and videos — into other print and digital marketing initiatives, such as email, social and display campaigns. For example, our friends at Duluth Trading Company tout the number of 5-star reviews they have for their Buck Naked underwear in a number of different marketing initiatives across channels.

2. Highlight Ratings on Your Home Page
Want to influence where a visitor goes once they hit your homepage? Include star ratings and reviews for a featured product on your homepage. For example, our friends at JanSport highlighted their best selling “Superbreak” backpack on their homepage (just in time for back to school shopping), along with the average star rating and a written review for the product.

3. Highlight Visual Content on Category and Home Pages
After you’ve collected visual content (such as photos and videos) and prominently displayed it on your product pages, use this content to enhance other parts of your website, too, including category pages and even your homepage.

4. Include Ratings and Reviews in Catalogs
Consider including star ratings and written reviews in printed and digital catalogs to capture attention for key products. For example, if you’re an online and catalog retailer (like our friends at UncommonGoods) preparing to send a Holiday 2017 catalog, include written reviews that mention your key items being great gift items. 

5. Amplify the Voice of the Consumer In-Store
Shoppers aren’t just turning to user-generated content while they’re shopping online. They also want access to this content when they’re shopping in a brick and mortar store. In fact, PowerReviews research found that around 70% of shoppers would like to access product ratings and reviews while shopping in-store.

Be sure to allow consumers to find user-generated content when they’re shopping in your physical store locations. There are a lot of different ways to do this that range from high- to low-tech.

On the high-tech end, build functionality in your mobile app that allows shoppers to scan a product while in a store and access reviews for that product. Or feature localized user-generated content in your fitting rooms like Fabletics does.

If you don’t have the technical resources available to do that, consider featuring star ratings and customer reviews on cardboard signs alongside your products — similar to what Amazon does in their bookstores.

Or incorporate consumer feedback into your in-store displays, touting the positive aspects of your product reviews — similar to what our friends at Benefit Cosmetics do.

6. Participate in the PowerReviews Open Network
Review syndication is the distribution of user-generated content, including ratings and reviews, collected on brand sites to retail ecommerce sites. Brands that participate in the PowerReviews Open Network and syndicate their content benefit from increased reach —  your reviews get in front of more consumers on more websites. Retailers that accept syndicated brand content benefit from increased review coverage and depth — you get the benefits of having reviews on your site without having to generate them yourself!

Ready to start collecting and leveraging more ratings and reviews? Schedule a free demo today!