Keeping up with online reviews is one of the easiest ways for brands to address feedback and maintain a positive brand image. And yet, with all the operations that come with running an eCommerce business, finding the time to manage and monitor your online reviews can seem like an unrealistic fantasy.
To take out some of the guesswork, here are our useful tips and tricks to help you stay on top of your online review game.
How to monitor online reviews?
Manual review monitoring
If you’re managing online reviews manually, there’s no way to sugarcoat it – this option is a lot of work. Eat the elephant by breaking it down into these steps:
- Set Up Google Alerts: Google Alerts is a free and easy-to-use tool that allows you to monitor mentions of your brand or product across the web. By setting up alerts for your business name, product names, or relevant keywords, you'll receive email notifications whenever new content matching your criteria appears online. While this method may not cover all platforms, it's a good starting point for basic online review monitoring.
- Check Social Media Platforms: Regularly check major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and LinkedIn for mentions and reviews of your business. Utilize search functions and hashtags related to your brand to find relevant feedback. Interact with users who leave reviews, addressing both positive and negative comments professionally and promptly.
- Check Online Review Sites: Keep a close eye on popular online review platforms such as Yopto, Shopify, Sendlane, and other industry-specific review sites. Set aside time each week to browse through recent reviews, paying attention to the sentiment, feedback, and overall trends.
- Analyze Your Competitors: Don't forget to monitor the reviews of your competitors. Looking where they excel and falter can help you identify your unique niche within your industry.
- Review Customer Feedback Forms: If your business uses customer feedback forms or surveys, review them regularly to understand customers' experiences and preferences. Analyzing this data can reveal patterns and highlight potential issues.
Review monitoring tool
If you found the manual list overwhelming, take a deep breath and remember, you don’t have to live this way! Sendlane has a fleet of tools that can streamline your business processes. Instead of having to complete many of the tasks listed above on a daily basis, you save time and ultimately money (because time is money) by investing in a service that automatically sends review requests, helps you approve and respond to submitted reviews, and displays your reviews on site so you can sell more.
Looking at a swimming pool is an entirely different experience from diving into one. Likewise, monitoring online reviews is only the first step; taking action based on feedback is equally important. Engage with customers, address their concerns, and celebrate positive experiences!
Staying proactive is so important to the long-term success of your business. If you, like most business owners, simply don’t have enough hours in the day to monitor reviews alone, an eCommerce product review monitoring tool is essential to grow your brand.
Why do you need to monitor your reviews?
Benefits of online review monitoring
The importance of reviews in eCommerce is that they can be used as free advertisements for your business. Their detailed feedback highlights what people love about what you’re doing, as well as what needs some work. Paying attention to what people are saying helps you grow your business to match the needs and desires of your target audience.
When a customer has an exceptional experience, they often take the time to express this. Responding to their feedback in a timely manner. creates a feeling of trust between your audience and your brand, resulting in loyal lifetime customers. Also, the more positive reviews you get, the greater your visibility online as well – lucky you!
Now we can’t forget the negative reviews. We know they can leave us wanting to crawl into a hole somewhere, but often these reviews are the most important. While you have little to no control over what others think of you or your business, you do control how you respond to it. Responding to customer feedback, especially negative customer feedback, showcases you care about providing a positive experience to every customer, even as the reviewer's attitude may make you feel the opposite entirely.
Regularly checking insights from customers can guide your business decisions as well. Targeted marketing strategies, product/service improvements, and identifying opportunities to differentiate your business from competitors all help you to get more customers using your brand.
5 Tips to manage and monitor your online reviews
1. Respond to negative and positive reviews
Engaging with both positive and negative feedback allows you to establish a strong brand reputation and have a greater influence over your brand message. You show strength of character and a desire to be your best to your customers by facing positive and negative feedback head-on. When addressing negative reviews, it’s always best to take the higher road. Avoid getting defensive or confrontational; offer solutions or ask them to reach out directly to discuss the matter further. Responding to positive reviews is equally important, albeit a lot more fun. Thank the customer for their kind words and express your appreciation for their support!
2. Ask for customer reviews
Increase customer reviews by encouraging your satisfied customers to leave reviews by proactively asking for feedback (and dissatisfied ones to lose this number). You can include a gentle call-to-action on your website, in emails, in SMS messages, and in pop-ups. Many customers happily share their experiences when asked, and positive reviews can help counterbalance any negative ones that may occasionally arise.
3. Use an analytics dashboard or review management software
Review management tools like Sendlane can be incredibly helpful in streamlining the process of monitoring and responding to customer feedback. Set up your review request within your post-purchase funnel to automatically collect reviews via email. When reviews come rolling in you can approve them, reply back to shoppers and display them on-site all within one dashboard.
4. Regularly check social media
Social media influencers regularly try and review different products on their platforms. Make it a habit to regularly check your social media channels for any new mentions or reviews. Respond promptly to comments and reviews on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, as social media has a wider reach than your existing target audience. Turn passive scrollers into new superfans by being proactive.
5. Respond to email reviews
The best people conduct themselves with the same grace in private as they do in public. In addition to reviews left on public platforms, customers may also send feedback via email. Treat these reviews with the same importance as public ones and respond promptly. Address their concerns, express gratitude for their feedback, and assure them that you value their opinions.
Best online review monitoring tools
Pricing and plans
Sendlane offers some of the most flexible pricing in the industry. Sendlane tiers are based on the size and scale of your brand, with pricing based on your email list and desired features. There’s rarely a budget too small (or too large!) for Sendlane to tackle.
Sendlane’s intuitive and user-friendly design makes it easy to do everything from tracking and responding to customer reviews to creating eye-catching email campaigns (even if the coding you taught yourself to deck out your MySpace profile in the 2000s has escaped you). Sendlane’s customizable templates and drag-and-drop functionality enable users to craft visually appealing emails and review responses that align with their brand identity.
In addition to Sendlane’s state-of-the-art review monitoring tools, they also offer email marketing automation with a host of powerful features. Sendlane’s advanced automation workflows, behavior-based segmentation, A/B testing, and real-time analytics track campaign performance and help you to get more positive reviews. Of the platforms included, Sendlande is the only one specializing in eCommerce.
Pricing and plans
Yotpo’s pricing is tailored to suit businesses of all sizes. Their plans are structured on a quote-based system, with packages starting from a basic free plan for small businesses with limited review management needs. Their premium plans offer advanced features and scalable options for larger enterprises, with pricing dependent on the volume of reviews and additional services required.
Yotpo prides itself on providing a user-friendly and customizable interface for businesses to match their brand aesthetics seamlessly. The review widgets and badges can be easily integrated into websites, product pages, or emails, enhancing the overall customer experience.
Yotpo features include sentiment analysis, review moderation tools, and robust analytics that help businesses gain valuable insights into customer sentiment and preferences. With the Yotpo platform, businesses can also generate and display user-generated content such as photos and videos, encouraging greater engagement and trust among potential buyers.
Shopify Free Reviews
Pricing and plans
Shopify Free Reviews, as the name suggests, is a free built-in feature available for all Shopify store owners. Every Shopify store automatically has access to this basic review monitoring tool. However, for more advanced functionalities and integrations, users can explore third-party apps available in the Shopify App Store that might come with pricing plans.
The design of Shopify Free Reviews is simple and seamlessly integrates with the Shopify store theme. While it offers limited customization options compared to third-party apps, it provides a clean and efficient layout to display customer reviews.
Shopify Free Reviews enables store owners to collect and display customer reviews for their products. Users can moderate the reviews and showcase star ratings on their product pages, contributing to increased credibility and conversion rates. However, it lacks some advanced features like sentiment analysis or multimedia content support.
BigCommerce Free Reviews
Pricing and plans
Similar to Shopify, BigCommerce offers a free basic review functionality for all BigCommerce store owners. For more advanced capabilities, users can explore third-party apps from the BigCommerce App Marketplace, some of which might have pricing plans.
BigCommerce Free Reviews comes with a straightforward design that can be easily integrated into the existing store layout. Customization options are limited, but the reviews section remains neat and user-friendly.
BigCommerce Free Reviews allows businesses to collect and showcase customer reviews and ratings, enhancing product credibility. However, like the other free options, it lacks some of the more sophisticated features present in premium review management tools.
What to consider when choosing an online review monitoring app?
With so many great options available, the only way to get the best monitoring app for your brand is to get really clear about what you as a brand are looking for.
While time is money, as a small eCommerce brand, the more you can achieve with less, the better. Different platforms offer various pricing models, such as subscription-based plans, pay-as-you-go options, or tiered packages based on the features and functionalities provided. When choosing the right app for you, look at your budget and look at the services offered. Choose the one that will give you more of what you need without breaking the bank.
As an eCommerce brand, a platform that will integrate with your sites is essential. Check if the review monitoring app can integrate with your existing management tools, or optimize beyond the scope of those tools. A review management strategy that lacks integration will prove highly ineffective.
The best way to value your customers is by making sure you take the appropriate security measures to safeguard sensitive information. To do this, your app must comply with industry-standard security protocols, such as SSL encryption and data protection regulations like GDPR or CCPA. Look for reviews or testimonials from other users to gauge their experiences regarding data security and privacy. A trustworthy and secure platform will give you peace of mind while handling customer information.
As you get acclimated with a new interface, even the most tech-savvy among us needs help. Access to support through various channels, such as email, live chat, or phone, makes all the difference. Check for the availability of support, including response times and the support team's expertise. A responsive and knowledgeable support team, like the one at Sendlane, feels like a helpful friend making sure you get the most out of the app's features – 24/7/365 support, holidays included.
How to monitor and respond to online reviews with Sendlane
With Sendlane, you can leverage truly unified email, SMS, and reviews all within one platform. Easily collect post-purchase feedback via email, respond to customer reviews within the reply center, and use the display widget to add reviews on-site and within product pages.
If you’re ready to unite your customer experience, talk to a Sendlane expert today!