Should I collect company or product reviews?
It's well known that collecting and displaying reviews on your Shopify store can help grow your business.
One question I get all the time is if Shopify stores should collect company reviews, product reviews, or both.
My response is usually, it depends on what you're trying to do.
What's your goal?
Showing reviews in search results
If getting your reviews into search results is a top priority for you, then I recommend focusing on product reviews.
Google stopped allowing, what they call "self-serving" company reviews to be used in the Rich Results in their September 2019 algorithm update. It seemed like too many websites were misusing company reviews so Google no longer allows them in search results.
You can collect Google customer reviews which can show up on the right sidebar of branded searches. But that review data can't be included in the structured data or the actual search results.
If you're collecting company reviews, I recommend directing folks to leave a Google review. This way you can benefit from company reviews in branded search results.
Google may also show seller ratings in organic results from approved review apps. This may be worth the effort if you're using free shopping listings or paid ads. The downside is that they do have specific criteria you must meet before seller ratings show up in organic results.
To better understand customers and improve customer service
If your focus is on your customers, collecting both company and product reviews can be helpful.
Sometimes reviews can help you to understand what's working well and what needs improvement.
When the product is the issue, it's time to check to see if the product can be improved, or if it's time to drop the product and focus on what's working. Acknowledge any shortcomings of the product and make steps to resolve it one way or the other.
If customer service is the loudest complaint in your reviews, time to look inward. Focus on better training, adding clarity to support communication, or find other ways for your team to be supportive of customers taking the time to reach out.
Incorporating customer feedback is a superpower and a way to stand out above your competitors. Your customers will say "I spoke and they listened" which is so important when building trust with your customers.
If acquiring more customers is your primary goal, I recommend focusing on product reviews.
When looking at products, customers will look at other reviews to find reasons NOT to buy your product. They may have concerns such as if it runs small or did it break after one use. So they'll use other reviews for the product to see if it's right for them.
Use negative reviews to your advantage by responding to and acknowledging their experience. How you respond to negative reviews can influence if another customer buys or not. So keep your response positive and try to make it right.
Try adding screenshots of product reviews to your social media, ads, and email marketing to build trust with customers.
If not already, consider a review app that allows customers to upload photos. This helps future customers to see what your product looks like in real life.
We have a lot of customers who use JSON-LD for SEO but don't have reviews because their products are one of a kind such as antiques or pre-loved.
If you can only sell one item, then company reviews make more sense. More explicitly, I'd recommend using Google reviews so that you can at least get your review stars to show up on branded searches.
In a nutshell
As an overall strategy, I recommend focusing on product reviews. The social proof alone can drive more purchases on your site and can often bust objections customers may have.
Customers of JSON-LD for SEO can also benefit from product reviews by integrating with any one of the 20+ review apps we work with.