Online reviews influence the consumer behavior of all of us. Companies are recognizing the importance of this and are addressing the issue more and more professionally. “Review syndication” is becoming increasingly important, whether for product reviews in online retail or for location reviews on Google. We explain what it’s all about.
1. What is review syndication?
Nothing attracts buyers more than a product with a positive review, and nothing deters more than a negative review. Except maybe no review at all. Today, this counts not only for the online world, but also for brick-and-mortar sales. Consumers get information online, no matter where the purchase ultimately takes place. Amazon is now the No. 1 product search engine, and product reviews influence the algorithm for displaying the search results page and thus guide the consumer to make a purchase.
The same applies to location reviews on Google. Whether it’s a brick-and-mortar retailer, gas station, bank branch, etc., consumers are influenced by reviews on Google. Good reviews help the business, bad reviews sometimes lead to the consumer not even stopping by the store.
Review Syndication. Over the last few years, software solutions have been established on the market that help companies to accumulate and distribute reviews. The goal is to reach even more consumers with the existing reviews. Review syndication is thus intended to distribute user-generated content from one website to several.
For example, brand manufacturers can distribute reviews generated on their own webshop to the product detail page of other eTailers. In this example, it is also conceivable that a review from the German webshop is transferred to the company’s own English or French webshop.
Review syndication for Google or location reviews works in exactly the same way. The aim is always to make the existing reviews visible to the consumer across different platforms.
2. How does review Syndication work?
Normally, the process starts with review generation by the manufacturer. The manufacturer or a service provider ensures that consumers write new reviews. There are now a wide variety of ways (and tools) to do this, for example after-sales newsletters, social media, etc..
This user-generated content – star rating, review text and, if applicable, image/video material, is then brought together and passed on to the appropriate parties. This content can then be displayed either on further own websites or retailer pages etc.. Through this network effect, one reaches significantly more consumers.
The “multiplication” of reviews and thus interaction opportunities with the user must also be managed. Accordingly, companies must not only take care of the reviews and comments on the original channel, but also on the other channels.
Monitoring, alerting, analysis and interaction apply here to an even greater extent.
3. Why does review syndication make sense?
The aggregation and distribution of reviews between brand manufacturers and e-tailers has become common practice, especially in the U.S.. Many brands work closely with various online retailers, not least in order to challenge Amazon’s authority on the subject of reviews.
Both sides usually benefit from this, because they alone often cannot generate the critical mass of reviews per product or service or even across the board.
Review syndication can significantly increase both the number of reviews per product and the number of products with reviews. Likewise, it enables a coherent presentation across platforms, as the number of reviews and star value are approximately the same. Of course, this also and especially applies to companies that are active internationally.
Review syndication also influences SEO. The original website – usually the brand manufacturer’s web store – benefits most from user-generated content. However, the content also helps the syndication partner with search engine discoverability.
4. What are the dangers of review syndication?
As is generally the case with reviews, authenticity is essential in review syndication. User-generated content has become so important in recent years largely because of customer trust.
This is why the label “Rating originally from Website xyz” is so elementary in review syndication. Likewise, syndication must also ensure and make transparent that the reviews are not manipulated, edited, filtered or otherwise changed. This also means that not only positive, but also negative reviews are passed on.
5. Analysis of syndicated reviews with the gominga Review Manager
However, duplicated reviews can complicate the analysis. We have therefore further developed our technology to display syndicated reviews accordingly in the analyses.
We offer the possibility of a more precise analysis: Now reviews can be distinguished; is it a review from the original platform or a duplicated, or syndicated review. With the gominga Review Manager you can filter all syndicated reviews and thus perform various analysis.
For example, you can see how many reviews (with which star value) your products have on the different platforms. Which platform has the lead in reviews? Amazon? Or MediaMarkt or Saturn? But what does the picture look like without “syndicated reviews”? Do the best reviews come from your own web store and are merely passed on to the various e-tailers?
These and other questions can be addressed with the gominga Review Manager.
If you have any questions, please contact us!