Jul 08

Google Product Search Seller Ratings - Part 1

(This post has two sequel posts: Part 2 and Part 3)

While searching on Google Product Search you'll frequently notice that some merchants have a "reviews" or "seller ratings" listed next to their store (see example). These ratings are incredibly important as consumers are more willing to do business with retailers they consider trustworthy — even if the product price is not the lowest.

Google seller ratings consist of a 1 to 5 star visual rating and also indicate how many reviews have been found for the merchant. Google extracts these merchant reviews from a variety of external websites.

Our mission: ensure that your online store has a positive Google seller rating next to your products.

To do this, you need to encourage your customers to submit reviews of your store. The only questions are how to encourage them and where to direct them. You need to choose a review site that is stable and trustworthy, one that we know Google will continue to extract merchant reviews from indefinitely.

After researching the subject extensively we think these are your best options:

Option 1:  Add Google Checkout as a payment method on your site. Google Checkout automatically follows up with customers and queries them for a review of their shopping experience on your site.

  • Google will automatically send review requests to customers which use Google Checkout on your site.
  • Google will intrinsically trust these reviews because they are created as part of Google Checkout itself.
  • In addition to having "seller ratings," your Google Product Search items will also display with a small blue shopping cart indicating you support Google Checkout.
  • If your run AdWords campaigns, your ads will display with a "Google Checkout" image.
  • Transactions processed through Google Checkout are subject to this fee schedule. However, you do not pay your normal credit card merchant account fees for Google Checkout orders.
  • Must setup Google Checkout on your website.
  • Only customers which use Google Checkout will be queried for reviews.
Option 2:  Create an account on ResellerRatings.com and email your customers a review request (after they have received their item).

  • Google Product Search has been extracting merchant reviews from ResellerRatings for a long time.
  • ResellerRatings is free, however, there is an optional for-pay Merchant Member solution that helps you monitor reviews.
  • ResellerRatings can be used to garner reviews from customers which utilize any checkout method on your website.
  • You will need to email customers once they've received their merchandise and encourage them to review your website on ResellerRatings.
  • While ResellerRatings appears to be a healthy company, if they go out of business your reviews could be lost.
Note that for any of the review sites it is universally against policy to offer any customer incentives for positive reviews. We all must play by the rules, and this is a golden one.

Parts 2 and 3 of the seller ratings blog series will cover Google Checkout and ResellerRatings.com in more detail — stay tuned.

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Google Product Search Seller Ratings Google Best Practices