New Collaboration Provides Merchants with Seamless Integration of Ratings & Reviews and Question & Answer Capabilities

CHICAGO – January 30, 2018 – PowerReviews, a leading provider of ratings, reviews and question and answer technology to more than 1,000 global brands and retailers, today announced a partnership with Magento Commerce, a worldwide leader in cloud digital commerce innovation. The partnership allows for fast, cost-effective implementation of ratings and reviews and question and answer technology, as well as increased review coverage through syndication for merchants on the Magento Commerce platform.

“Consumers are increasingly making purchasing decisions based on other shoppers’ feedback. Ratings and reviews are the top consideration for consumers making a purchase, behind only the price of a product,” said Sara Rossio, senior vice president of product, PowerReviews. “Our partnership with Magento will allow retailers of all sizes to seamlessly implement Ratings & Reviews and Questions & Answers to collect and display user-generated content on their sites.”

“PowerReviews is a global leader in user-generated content, and we are pleased to welcome them as a General Technology Partner for ratings and reviews,” said Ryan Murden, Head of Business Development at Magento Commerce. “We partnered with PowerReviews to deepen their Magento Commerce integrations, and help merchants seamlessly collect, display and syndicate product review content across the web.”

PowerReviews’ partnership with Magento provides merchants with:

  • Content Collection: Display authentic user-generated content, including star ratings, questions and answers and native photos and videos directly in the review display
  • Content Syndication: Access to the Open Network increases visibility by distributing reviews collected on brand sites to a vast syndication network of top retailer sites, reaching one billion shoppers across the web
  • Customization and Flexibility: Ratings & Reviews and Questions & Answers are easily implemented and fully customized to fit the look, feel and branding of any Magento merchant’s site
  • Analytics: Advanced reporting and metrics improve review collection and display, help Magneto merchants collect and analyze customer feedback to enhance products and the shopping experience

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 solutions from PowerReviews 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 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 www.powerreviews.com.

Choosing the Best Ratings and Reviews Provider for Your Business

Whether you’re new to ratings and reviews or have plenty of experience collecting user-generated content (UGC), searching for a new technology provider can seem like an overwhelming experience. This is especially true when you don’t know what factors to consider or which questions to ask.

To help you along the way, we’ve created a comprehensive ratings and reviews Buyer’s Guide, exclusively for Magento merchants. Download this guide to access:

  • Criteria to consider when evaluating your options
  • Questions to ask potential vendors in the Magento ecosystem
  • How to know when it’s time to switch to a new provider
  • And more!

The following is a guest post from our partners at Workarea

While Black Friday may be the “official” kickoff of the holiday shopping season, there’s plenty of sales to be made before and after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

What days, devices and industries drove the greatest gains during the 2017 holiday season? The Workarea Commerce Intelligence Unit gathered insights from over 300 sites running on the Workarea Commerce Platform. Here are the highlights of Holiday 2017 from Workarea’s exclusive study.

Holiday 2017 Online Shopping Review by Workarea

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About Workarea

Workarea is the modern commerce solution for medium to large businesses, with ecommerce, content management and analytic insights built as one platform.

CHICAGO – January 23, 2018 – PowerReviews, a leading provider of ratings, reviews and question and answer technology to more than 1,000 global brands and retailers, today announced five new products to be released in the next 30 days. These new products will enable brands and retailers to provide compelling user-generated content to help consumers make purchasing decisions, while also driving traffic, sales and insights across the e-commerce landscape.

These network-based products follow PowerReviews’ previous announcements regarding the establishment of an Open Network in March 2017, and the elimination of access fees for brands to syndicate to retailers in January 2018.

The five products and services being announced will benefit brands, retailers and consumers by increasing the amount of user-generated content available for syndication across the Open Network.

  • Brand Engage enables brands to answer questions submitted by shoppers, and respond to reviews that have been written on their retail partners’ sites across the Open Network. Brands, for the first time, will also be able to provide answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Q&A Syndication allows brands to syndicate questions and answers across the Open Network. Retailers will immediately see greater coverage of Q&A content across the products they sell, while brands will not have to answer the same question multiple times, and consumers will benefit by seeing a full selection of questions and answers.
  • Image and Video Syndication enables brands to collect images and videos from their consumers and syndicate this valuable content across the Open Network. This new syndication offering builds on previous image and video collection capabilities released in March of 2017, and is expanded with visual content-only collection. 72% of shoppers are more likely to buy a product that features photos and videos.
  • Retailer Activation helps brands syndicate content to the “long tail” of smaller retailers who have not previously been able to afford the effort and cost of participating in syndication. PowerReviews is the only provider to have a scalable platform that services emerging brands and retailers, while also providing “no fee” access to user-generated content from a global network of brands and retailers.
  • Sampling + Syndication combines sampling, a tried-and-true method of generating consumer trial with review collection and syndication, reaching one billion in-market shoppers. PowerReviews’ Sampling enables brands to quickly distribute samples to pre-qualified groups of consumers to try products and write reviews for syndication across the Open Network. PowerReviews also works with 20+ sampling partners to provide access to all across the Open Network.  

“The five products being announced today demonstrate PowerReviews’ commitment to innovation and the Open Network,” said Matt Moog, Chief Executive Officer, PowerReviews. “We look forward to working with brands, retailers and partners around the world to help them take advantage of these new capabilities and deliver powerful new content to consumers.”

PowerReviews has hundreds of major brands and retailers using its platform to collect, display and syndicate reviews to reach more than 500 million shoppers each month. In March 2017, PowerReviews also announced that 35 major retailers not using its platform including Walmart, Walgreens and Sam’s Club had signed direct syndication agreements to ensure continued syndication of content. Between clients using the PowerReviews platform and retailers who have signed direct syndication agreements, PowerReviews reaches more than one billion shoppers each month.

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 Open Network reaches more than one billion in-market shoppers every month, giving retailers and brands the power to reach shoppers wherever they are. For more information, visit www.powerreviews.com.

The (Growing) Power of Reviews

There was once a time (in the not so distant past) when the idea of asking for feedback from consumers — then displaying that feedback for the world to see — was a pretty radical concept. But that has all changed — and quickly.

Today, consumers have come to expect easily accessible information to aid their purchase decisions. And brand-provided information isn’t enough. Increasingly, consumers want to hear about the experiences of others like them. They satisfy this need for information by reading ratings and reviews.

More than three years ago, PowerReviews set out to explore the role ratings and reviews play in consumer decision making and found that nearly all consumers (95%) read reviews and 86% considered them an essential resource when making purchase decisions. However, we recognize that in today’s fast-paced world, consumer behavior continues to evolve. That’s why we again conducted a survey of more than 1,000 American consumers to better understand how consumer dependence has changed over the past three years.

We recently hosted a webinar to share the results of this survey as well as provide practical recommendations for businesses looking to leverage ratings and reviews to better attract and convert shoppers. Read on to learn five tips that we shared.

1. Collect Reviews

Our latest research found that 97% of consumers read reviews, and 89% consider them an essential resource when making purchase decisions. The message is clear — if you’re not already, now is the time to start requesting reviews from your customers.

Remember: the most effective way to generate this content is to send a post purchase email, asking consumers to write reviews for recently purchased products. Make sure the entire process for submitting a review is quick, simple and can easily be completed from any device. Finally, ensure it’s easy for your consumers to review multiple products at once, rather than requiring them to navigate to separate pages to write each review.

Message sent to buyer post purchase asking for a review    Form sent to buyers asking for a product review

 

2. Make Reviews Front and Center Online

When shopping online, 63% of consumers specifically seek out websites that have product reviews, up from 57% in 2014. And 77% of mobile shoppers are more likely to purchase an item if the website or app offers product reviews, up from 70% in 2014.

Once you’ve started generating reviews, start prominently displaying this content on your product pages so shoppers can easily find it, regardless of the device they’re using to shop. Look for opportunities to include ratings and reviews on other parts of your website too, including category pages and even your homepage.

Apparel online product reviews

 

3. Feature Reviews In-Store

A growing number of consumers are turning to reviews to inform in-store purchases. In fact, our latest research found that 39% of consumers won’t buy products in stores without first reading reviews.

In addition to ensuring this content is easy to find and read on your website from any device, look for opportunities to display review content in your brick-and-mortar store locations. For example, include star ratings and excerpts from reviews on signage alongside key products.

Example of an instore review. Makeup.

 

4. Syndicate Reviews

Syndication is the transfer of user-generated content (UGC) like ratings and reviews collected on a brand site to its retail partners. If you’re a brand that syndicates content to retail sites, you’ll benefit from getting this content in front of more shoppers in more places. And if you’re a retailer that accepts syndicated brand content, you’ll benefit from increased review coverage and depth, without having to generate that content yourself. Today, retailers receive an average of 58% of their review content from syndication.

syndicated reviews

5. Embrace Negative Reviews

85% of shoppers seek out negative reviews, up from 82% in 2014. Notably, this number jumps to 91% among consumers age 18-29, pointing to the growing demand for transparency, especially among younger consumers. In addition, our research with Northwestern University found that purchase probability peaks when a product’s average star rating is between 4.2 and 4.5.

No business should aim for negative reviews, but allowing them on your site adds a level of authenticity to your content and helps you build trust with shoppers. And, as our latest research found, shoppers are actively seeking out this content in order to make well-informed purchase decisions.

Learn More

Curious what else we covered during our recent webinar? Check out the on-demand session now!

Recently our competitor, Bazaarvoice, made an announcement that implied they, and not retailers, control what consumer review content appears on retailers’ websites. They announced that an “Open Network” is one where they continue to control access and charge access fees to the retailers in their network. PowerReviews defines an Open Network as one that permits content to flow without a gatekeeper and without access fees.

With so many eyes focused on the Open Network, I want to take this opportunity to provide clarity and certainty to the industry on how PowerReviews plans to protect the broad availability of consumer reviews.

Here are the facts.

What is well understood about review syndication?

As most brands and retailers know, review syndication is an important best practice that ensures optimal review coverage and depth. Brands collect reviews from their customers and syndicate those reviews to retailers for the benefit of consumers, the retailer and the brand. Brands and retailers count on companies like PowerReviews and Bazaarvoice to perform the mechanics of collection, moderation, syndication and reporting.

Most brands and retailers also know that for the last six years, Bazaarvoice and PowerReviews have “cross-syndicated” brand content to our respective retailers. And the industry is generally aware that Bazaarvoice was compelled to do so because a court determined they had violated the law and acted anti-competitively when they acquired and were subsequently forced to divest PowerReviews nearly four years ago.

What is not well understood about review syndication?

What most of the major retailers never fully understood or specifically agreed to, was Bazaarvoice’s practice of charging brands “access fees” for their reviews to appear on retail sites. These fees resulted in many brands not being able to afford syndication — and retailers, brands and consumers missing the benefit of better review coverage. It is common for retailers to charge fees to brands, it is unheard of for a third party technology company to do so without the explicit consent and knowledge of the retailer.

I liken this practice to a vendor who supplies shelves to a retailer and then decides, without consulting with the retailer, they are going to charge slotting fees to brands. Or an e-commerce technology platform vendor telling a retailer that brands that sell on the retailer’s site must pay the vendor a fee. Both of these examples seem absurd, but this practice of charging brands for access has been the Bazaarvoice business model for years. In fact, we estimate that Bazaarvoice has charged brands at least $100 million dollars in access fees over the past six years.

Not only has Bazaarvoice been charging exorbitant access fees to brands without informing the retailers of the practice, but for years they also required brands to use the Bazaarvoice collection platform if the brand wanted to syndicate review content. Under competitive pressure from PowerReviews and the industry, Bazaarvoice only just recently announced they would syndicate content from brands not using their platform.

But here’s the thing. It is really not up to Bazaarvoice to decide on behalf of the retailer what content will and will not appear on the retailer’s site — it is up to the retailer. And the majority of Bazaarvoice’s largest retail customers agreed nearly a year ago to continue accepting content from brands using PowerReviews. And we expect the rest of the major retailers to follow suit in the coming months. The fact is, retailers want the most content possible on their site.

They don’t want their technology vendors trying to lock their brands in to a specific technology platform, and they certainly don’t want their technology vendors charging exorbitant access fees which ultimately prevent them from receiving as much content as they could from their brand partners.

So what is PowerReviews going to do about it?

PowerReviews is making the following commitments to retailers and brands:

  1. PowerReviews will not charge access fees 
  2. PowerReviews will continue to syndicate brand content to retailers who do not use our platform
  3. PowerReviews will continue to accept syndicated content from brands that do not use our platform
  4. PowerReviews will drive innovation and competition in this space

Should Bazaarvoice attempt to block access to review content we will work directly with retailers (as we already have been) to ensure they have access to the content, and we will make sure brands using Bazaarvoice’s technology have access to retailers using our technology. Our simple message to Bazaarvoice clients is “Bazaarvoice does not own your content and does not control what content appears on your site. You do.” Period. Full stop.

The agreement we currently have in place with Bazaarvoice has established methods of exchanging content, and we pay each other for basic services such as onboarding clients, moderating content when needed and product matching. We have nearly six years of operational experience with these methods. We have provided them with a proposal months ago to continue this relationship beyond July and thus far they have not responded.

We hope and expect that pressure from retailers and brands who do not want to see any interruption and see the power of choice and competition, will persuade Bazaarvoice to eventually agree to extend this agreement. However, for now it appears they are retaining a position that they can return to the old way of charging access fees.

So, to ensure continued syndication without access fees we are establishing direct connections with retailers and brands, and will be providing a solution that eliminates access fees and helps more brands and retailers benefit from syndication.

Some things you should know about PowerReviews

  1. PowerReviews has over 1,000 customers who reach more than 500 million shoppers each month. We currently syndicate 60 million pieces of content, across 4 million products, from more than 500 brands, to more than 500 retailers. Brands and retailers that use our platform represent hundreds of billions in sales.
  2. The direct syndication partnerships PowerReviews has in place with major retailers that do not use our technology help us reach another 500 million shoppers each month.
  3. The PowerReviews platform is capable of efficiently and affordably servicing the smallest to largest retailers and brands. We are proud of our ability to handle global clients with hundreds of sites and brands while also working with new, innovative and emerging brands. Our goal is to introduce tens of thousands of brands and retailers to content syndication.
  4. PowerReviews is based in Chicago, has 150 employees and has been in business for eleven years. We have an intense focus on the needs of our clients and a passion for the value of reviews and user generated content and feedback. We believe passionately in the power of transparency and accountability. And we have seen 95% net retention of our clients.
  5. Nearly 200 Bazaarvoice customers have switched over to the PowerReviews platform over the last three years.
  6. Over the last four years, PowerReviews has made substantial investments in the flexibility and sophistication of our moderation and matching technologies and services. We consider our capabilities to be best-in-class. And we have some new and innovative network-based services being released this year. We look forward to sharing those with you soon.

In conclusion, PowerReviews will operate a truly open syndication network that does not charge access fees, respects brand relationships with retailers and does not dictate to retailers what content can appear on their sites. We will accept content from brands that do not use our platform and we will syndicate to retailers who do not use our platform. This approach will benefit retailers, brands and consumers alike by encouraging competition and choice.

For more information please see our Open Syndication Network position paper and fill out this form to learn more. For current clients if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Client Success Director

Thank you,

Matt Moog
matt.moog@powerreviews.com

Matt Moog

Matt Moog

CEO Matt Moog has more than 20 years of experience scaling technology companies, both public and private. He has launched several successful startups, hired hundreds of employees and raised over $200 million in outside investment. Matt is passionate about entrepreneurism and the transformative role that technology can play in our lives, especially when it allows people to share their experiences and brings transparency and accountability to all facets of life.

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