Reviews can have a monumental impact on a consumer’s decision-making process. When looking for a new restaurant to try, you go to Yelp. When exploring new career options, you go to Glassdoor. When in the market for a new vehicle, you check out Edmunds. When it comes to choosing what to spend a hard-earned dollar on, reviews and ratings can greatly sway consumer behaviour. In initial tests, Google reports that including product ratings in Product Listing Ads (PLAs) has already helped increase click-through rates.
Would you be more likely to make a purchase after seeing a commercial, or hearing a suggestion from a friend? When it comes to trust, peer recommendations tend to trump advertisements. And now, Google has finally caught on to the review revolution by adding reviews and ratings to PLAs.
Product ratings will appear in the form of stars and review counts. The five-star rating system is derived from a collection of reviews pulled from multiple sources, such as merchants, third-party aggregators, editorial sites and users.
Google claims that the little stars will help consumers find product information easier — essentially decreasing the steps in the research process — and increase quality traffic for retailers.
For now, product ratings are available only to retailers targeting the US, but Google does plan on extending this feature to other countries in the coming months. Mike Capsambelis, Google Shopping product manager, makes the following disclaimer on Google’s blog: “Product ratings are one of several extensions we may show with Product Listing Ads, so please note that just because a product has reviews does not mean that we’ll always show ratings.”
We’ll be keeping a close eye on if and how this feature progresses.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in enabling the new rating system for your PLAs, the initial step is to submit this form to Google. Google will then determine if and how it collects your product reviews and will reach out to you with details.
Blog post by Jordan Nowlin, social media & blog manager, ChannelAdvisor