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Customer perception of your brand is your brand. Retailers failing to recognize that simply will not be successful, or as successful, in today’s current commerce climate. The following data points are repeated often, but they drive the point home:

This data makes the argument that if you win a millennial’s purchase, you win their loyalty. Why does this matter? Because there are 80 million millennials in the U.S. alone and they represent about a fourth of the entire population, with $200 billion in annual buying power.

You want the customer lifetime value of a millennial, but you have to earn it –– authentically. Ads aren’t your solution here. Pricing, while important to millennials (a generation which knows well how to search for online deals and the lowest price), doesn’t outweigh convenience or empathy. Loyalty is the currency in which millennials deal –– but you have to prove to them you’re worthy.

Brands demonstrate their value via social proof and customer reviews. Reviews have become so important, in fact, that some studies are showing millennials trust online strangers (i.e. reviews) more than their friends or family (i.e. traditional word of mouth marketing). That’s a huge shift in the way retailers think about marketing, loyalty and customer engagement. And, for many smaller retailers out there nipping at the heels of the bigger box brands, this is one aspect of the marketing game that is difficult to execute well.

Why? Because it takes time, and managing multiple selling channels, ensuring your inventory is properly accounted for and getting items out to customers in a way that competes with Amazon’s timeliness is hard enough.That makes it easy for customer engagement outside of social media and product delivery to fall through the cracks.

This is where Yotpo comes in –– an ecommerce integration which automates the gathering of reviews process and then combines all reviews into a mini-site, giving your brand ample customer testimony and promotional content as well as increasing your SEO.

Just check out how Grand Slam New York uses Yotpo to power reviews, SEO and more.

In fact, Yotpo is one of the most popular ecommerce tools in the business, used by more than 15,000 online stores. It’s likely that if you’ve left a review for a product, assuming you bought from a brand rather than a marketplace, you’ve used Yotpo to do so.

Given the popularity of the app, we caught up with a couple Bigcommerce merchants using Yotpo to get the insights into how well it works, how it has helped their business and more.

Could you describe your experience using Yotpo with your Bigcommerce store?

Scott Gutschke, President at GTech Fitness: The ability to post product reviews from my store directly to Facebook and Twitter definitely helps create a social buzz about the product itself, as well as helping to promote the Gtech Fitness brand.

Daniel Nunney, Owner at Golf Cart Garage: We’ve used the Yotpo app for Bigcommerce for about a year and a half. We originally started out with the free plan and in the past six months bumped it up to their premium plan. We’ve had great success with reviews and the Yotpo app. Many of our competitors do not utilize reviews, so it has been a very nice differentiator in our industry.

How do you use the Yotpo app to increase sales and better connect with your customers?

Daniel Nunney, Owner at Golf Cart Garage: We send a “Please provide your review” email 10 days post-sale, and then again 24 days post-sale, if they haven’t yet given a review. We’ve had very good participation from our customers. In addition, we include a “site reviews” section where customers can view reviews specifically about our store. This has been a nice feature that we’ve added to our homepage.

We also use the comment and Q&A features to really connect with customers. This allows us to connect directly with customers who provide reviews or have specific questions. Most importantly these comments/Q&A’s show up on product pages which give prospective customers more information and a view inside how we communicate/take care of customers. Awesome stuff.

Have there been any unexpected outcomes from using the app?

Scott Gutschke, President at GTech Fitness: I went back and forth with Yotpo for a while, not sure if I wanted to use them. They were extremely patient with me, responsive and great to work with, so I’m forever sold now.

Prior to using Yotpo, getting customer reviews on a regular basis was almost non-existent. Yotpo makes it much easier for customers to actually review products. Plus, it is much easier on me as a store owner by taking the burden from me to try and collect reviews.

What advice would you give a business considering installing the app?

Scott Gutschke, President at GTech Fitness: Install it. If you are looking for an all in one solution to collect product reviews, Yotpo makes it simple.

Daniel Nunney, Owner at Golf Cart Garage: Do it. At least for our business, it has been one of the most important CRO methods that directly increased sales.

Are there any other apps in the Bigcommerce marketplace you’d recommend?

Scott Gutschke, President at GTech Fitness: Order Desk. It helps me to keep orders organized.

Daniel Nunney, Owner at Golf Cart Garage: AfterShip. This app gives you the ability to let your customers know when products ship, when they are out for delivery and when they’ve been delivered. Many customers compliment us on these emails.

Bigcommerce customers can download the app here.

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  • I’ve documented a work around for getting Google review rich snippets with Yotpo:

  • Rupert Cross

    There is a major issue with Yotpo that they don’t tell you about. The Rich Snippets are not indexable by Google (which is easy to do and works with the standard BC themes). They are supposed to be working on a workaround for a client of ours, but the deadline keeps slipping…

    Not worth the money as it stands…

  • First off, I can’t say enough good things about Yotpo. We love it! It totally transformed the rate of which we were receiving reviews from virtually none to now several hundred.

    That said, there are a couple problems with the BC / Yotpo integration. In terms of SEO, the mini-site is a workaround due to the fact that Google does not currently crawl any javascript loaded text, and it is debatable whether it actually provides benefit. It would be much better if the reviews text could be crawled directly on the product page.

    Also, BC does not import the reviews from Yotpo, and so the BC stars/ratings vs the Yotpo stars/ratings for products are completely out of sync. When a customer goes to “sort by avg. review” this will go be the BC internal review system, which, if yours is anything like ours, was hardly ever used. Same is true for faceted search I presume. Filtering by rating is meaningless if you use Yotpo on BC.

    Further along these lines, Google doesn’t crawl the Yotpo stars/ratings, and so the products in search listings do not have stars listed with them. If BC had a sync with Yotpo, perhaps the BC stars could be hidden visually on the page, but still crawl-able with the proper schema markup to show stars in the search listings.

    All this to say, Yotpo has become one of the most popular add-ons for Bigcommerce, and here they are being promoted in a BC blog post, yet there are still some very key things lacking with the integration. It seems BC and Yotpo could be working together to improve these areas.

  • Thank *you* Curt for reading!

  • Curt W

    Great article! Thanks.

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