The Proof’s In The Pudding: Product Reviews & Why They Matter

| By Shannon McFarlane

The Proof’s In The Pudding: Product Reviews & Why They Matter

Today, we were all talking about social proof and its importance to online stores. We’ve jotted down our thoughts, as well as our top 3 apps for your store to get those reviews rolling in!

We all ask our friends for their opinions - or they give us their unsolicited opinion - but either way, it affects the way we make our purchases. When making an online purchase, how often do you read the reviews before buying? Often? Thought so.

We all tend to avoid products with poor reviews. If you're buying a gift for someone you don't know well and don't know too much about the things they like, you're more likely to buy something with an amazing review even if you're totally clueless about what exactly it is. For so many people reviews are the only thing they have to guide them!

How product reviews help your SEO ranking

Reviews in terms of local search engine optimization (SEO) are their own little Google SEO area. When you search for, say, "stationery shops Atlanta", Google isn't just searching "stationery shops Atlanta" in terms of titles, metas, and on-page content. They also look at directory listings, and within those they look at the reviews.

Here's another example: say a customer is looking for "teeth cleaning near me". Now, yes, Google will pull dentists, but more specifically, they'll pull dentists that have "teeth cleaning" in their reviews.

For Shopify product reviews, these reviews count towards your on-page SEO. They build trust with the customer, which helps increase the customer's time spent on a product page, further helping SEO. And a little bonus: if keywords you would like your store to rank for are mentioned in product reviews, they can also enhance your store's SEO ranking!

How product reviews benefit your store from a marketing perspective

As we discussed above, if you're buying an item and you're not sure what to get, you'll likely trust a review more than the pretty product photos or amazing copy. Social proof is all psychological, and people are becoming more and more informed every day thanks to how easily exposed we are to social influence online. Over 86% of consumers consider reviews an essential resource when making a purchasing decision, and over 76% say that they are more likely to purchase a product if the website has product reviews. Think of the sales opportunities that can come just from product reviews!

Reviews are a great way to let others speak for your product, to make sure your product is genuine. You can take a pretty photo, and you can say on your social media that your products are amazing, but of course you’d say that. But seeing a review of a product from another customer saying “Yes, this is just as amazing as they say!” triggers something psychologically that all the amazing social media in the world can’t replicate.

Our 3 Favorite Shopify Product Review Apps

When it comes to online shopping, anecdotal evidence sells. When's the last time you read reviews for a product on Amazon before placing an order? The last time you read through a store's Facebook page seeing what others have to say about a product before placing your order? The social proof of having reviews on the ready for each of your products can be what pushes a customer to place their first order. Reviews are particularly useful for capturing new customers for this reason. Here are three of our favorite Shopify review apps in the app store:

1. Shopify Product Reviews (Free)

This one's a free, no frills reviews app that does the trick. If you're looking for a quick and easy way to get reviews on your site on a budget, this is the way to go. It's clean, allows your customer to leave a rating from 1-5 stars, and write a review alongside the rating.

Shopify Product Reviews app from Marc Skid


2. (Free - $15/mo)

Customers can be automatically alerted a set number of days after placing an order via email to leave a review - directly in the email itself! Merchants can also incentivize with coupons, reply to reviews, allow their customers to submit picture reviews, along with may more features.

Yotpo product reviews from Gun Goddess


3. Yotpo (Free to enterprise-level custom plans)

    Similar to, Yotpo supports photo reviews, customers can easily share reviews on social media, you can offer a question and answer section, promote the reviews on Google, and ask your customers questions specific to the product being reviewed (e.g. fit, ease of use, quality), among many other features.


    Convincing your customers to leave a review

    You installed a product reviews app onto your Shopify store - now what? Here are some useful tips to get your customers to write a product review.

    • Automate the process. Have the app send out the review request approximately 2 weeks after purchase. That gives your customer plenty of time to test out the product and form an opinion so they can leave a thoughtful review.
    • Incentivize reviews. Use an app such as to give your customers a future discount off of an order if they write a review.
    • Respond to your reviews. With an app like Yotpo, you can thank your customers for their kind words or apologize if they didn't have a great experience with your product. Showing you care either way helps tremendously.
    • If you have a brick and mortar store, don't forget to ask your customers to leave a review on websites such as Google and Yelp for your store! Your local SEO will greatly benefit from this, further solidifying the level of trust for your customers.


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