Enterprise Ecommerce / How to Sell Online

Why and how to use product reviews on Bigcommerce (spoiler: they increase sales)

David Callaway / 3 min read

You’ve probably heard that product reviews are important for any online store. That’s why we built them into our platform. “But why are they so important?” you may be wondering. You are a keen asker of questions.

Let me overwhelm you with data:

  • According to Reevoo, reviews produce an average 18% increase in sales, and having 50 or more reviews on a product can increase its conversion by 4.6%

  • A MarketingSherpa study found that 58% of consumers prefer sites that offer reviews

  • iPerceptions claims that 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews

  • EXPO Communications found that consumer reviews are nearly 12 times more trusted than descriptions that come from manufacturers

  • Bazaarvoice says that visitors who read reviews have a 6% higher average order value than those who don’t

And that doesn’t even take into account the SEO bump you’ll receive from featuring reviews. Search engines love unique, regularly updated content on pages, and rank them higher accordingly. Every time a shopper leaves a new review, it counts as a new piece of content on that product page.

How to use reviews on Bigcommerce

At this point, you probably get that product reviews are a good thing. But how do you add them to your Bigcommerce store? It’s simple!

First make sure product reviews are enabled. From your control panel, go to Apps -> Comments -> Built-in, then check Product Reviews.

See that secondary checkbox below that says “Only accept product reviews from past customers”? I highly recommend checking it, because it requires anyone who wants to leave a review to enter an email address. Then we verify that address against your orders to make sure the person has actually purchased from you. We recently put this in place to fight spam reviews, and it really helps.

If you’ve made any changes, be sure to hit Save before you move on.

So now when shoppers go to a product review page, they’ll see a Reviews section and be able to leave a comment, similar to the example above.

Once the reviews start flooding in, you’ll need to curate them. Each new review will come in as Pending, and you’ll have to approve before all can see it. We’ve made it as painless as possible for you to add review approvals into your normal workflow.

When you bring up your control panel, you’ll see any pending reviews in the Events section up top. Just click the “product reviews” link to go to the approval section (you can also get there from Products -> Product Reviews).

To approve a review, click the checkbox next to it and click the Approve Selected button. In the example above, I’m approving a BigCommerce review about some magnificent shipping containers.

Now that my effusive review is approved, it appears in the Reviews section on the product page. Easy, right? For even more details, check out our Product Review KnowledgeBase article.

Actively cultivate reviews

Now that customers can leave reviews, you want to actively cultivate them. The best and easiest way to do this is to automatically email customers after they make a purchase and ask them to review the products they bought. Luckily, we’ve built that in, too.

To make sure the product review email is on and adjust the time that it sends, go to your control panel and click Settings -> Store -> Miscellaneous. The default send time is 7 days after an order is completed. We chose that because it gives the customer enough time to receive and use the product before asking for a review. But you can change it to whatever works best for you.

We let you fully customize the email, which you can do by clicking Design -> Emails, then clicking the gear icon for product_review_email.html and choosing Edit.

You can find more info in our Product Review Email KB article.

Protip: Be balanced

It’s tempting to only approve good reviews while leaving less-than-stellar comments to rot in Pending limbo. But I’d advise against that for a couple of reasons.

1) It’s important to be transparent to your shoppers. If someone posts a review with legitimate concerns or advice, you should allow everyone to see it. You can always respond to it politely with any counterpoints you might have. Of course, if someone posts a completely false review, it’s up to you whether you want to delete it or approve it and reply.

2) Balanced reviews help you sell more. It seems counterintuitive, but it’s true. Data from Revoo show that consumers who seek out bad reviews convert 67% more than normal shoppers.

So it’s definitely worth your while to allow those less-than-glowing reviews. Especially if you can answer them and provide great customer service.

Now that you’ve got the knowledge, go forth and gather reviews! And enjoy the bump in SEO and sales.


David Callaway

David Callaway

David Callaway creates and edits content for Bigcommerce marketing and the platform itself. He is a writer of words, sharer of ecommerce wisdom and digital high-fiver of Bigcommerce clients. He is also very tall.

View all posts by David Callaway
Leave a Comment

35 comments on “Why and how to use product reviews on Bigcommerce (spoiler: they increase sales)

  1. Nandita on

    is there a way utilizing the new topics to display both the item depiction and item audits on the item page? As it seems to be, one and only of the tabs shows at once.

  2. Tracey Wallace
    Tracey Wallace on

    Hey Cory, Thanks for commenting! We do show rich snippets for reviews, but only if you are using our built-in reviews AND if the product has at least one review. Otherwise, they won’t show up. Also, here is a support article explaining exactly how to make it work in the case you are working within code: https://support.bigcommerce.com/articles/Public/How-can-I-use-microdata-to-improve-my-search-results/?q=meta+data&l=en_US&fs=Search&pn=1 Finally, if you want some additional help, our in-house SEO expert is willing to take this off line to get you the answers you need. His info is [email protected]

  3. Cory Kleinschmidt on

    Any idea why BigCommerce product reviews don’t trigger rich snippets (star ratings) in Google search results? I’ve seen it work with PowerReviews many times but not with the BigCommerce product reviews. Thanks for any insight you can offer.

  4. Jessica Malnik
    Jessica Malnik on

    @BeerCartel:disqus : Your customers will only be shown the last product purchase that they made in the product review email, similar to Yotpo.

  5. Beer Cartel on

    Hi Guys, with the Bigcommerce reviews email are people shown all the products they purchased in one email? Was going to use Yotpo on our BigC site but their product review email only invites customers to review one product at a time

  6. Jessica Malnik
  7. Jessica Malnik
    Jessica Malnik on

    @Goodfelladotcom:disqus: Unfortunately, there’s no way to preview the product review emails at this time. :(

  8. Goodfella on

    Is there any way to see what this email looks like to the customer? The template is just lines of code. I’d like to add some more information but how can I see what this looks like as I make changes?

  9. Kelsey on

    Thanks a ton for getting back to me.

    Well it seems that even whenever I turn up the throttling number, I still get the error but instead of saying “you may only post 1 review ever 30 minutes” it says “you may only produce 3 reviews in 15 minutes” (what I changed it to). Turning off the throttling would be fine, but only if we can just have previous customers comment.

    When I turned throttling off, a new problem arose. When the previous customers only box is checked, the email field does not show up on the form (or when it is off). Do you know where or how I can fix that problem (other than turning off the previous customers only setting)?

    Thanks again for your reply!

  10. Jessica Malnik
  11. Kelsey on

    Hey Jessica,

    Hoping to find a solution to my current problem with the built-in reviews on BigCommerce.

    Whenever anyone tries to leave a review, they are given an error that tells them they may only submit 1 review ever 30 minutes and to please try again later (even if this is the first review they’re trying to submit). I tried turning off the built-in comments and then re-applying them, but that didn’t seem to resolve the problem.
    There was some customization on our site, but nothing that involved the review area, aside from the buttons that were just customized in the CSS.

    If there’s any suggestions you can give me that’d be super helpful!


  12. Emily on

    We love the reviews feature. I have one query on this blog though. – it mentions ‘responding politely with counterpoints’ to any negative reviews you might receive. However I can’t see a way to respond to reviews – only to approve or disapprove them. It would be great if responding was an option so if I am missing something then can you point me in the right direction?

  13. Jessica Malnik
    Jessica Malnik on

    Hi Paul,

    If you are looking to create a blog, I would recommend using WordPress and install the Disqus plugin on there. Then, linking that to your store.

  14. Paul on

    Mmm, thought so :-(

    Ok another question, if I create a new page, can I install disqus on that for comments? I’m thinking blog.

  15. Jessica Malnik
  16. Jessica Malnik
    Jessica Malnik on

    Hi Paul,

    That’s a great question. You can import reviews into Disqus. However, it will be a manual process, as you cannot import/export product reviews from your control panel.

  17. Jessica Malnik
  18. Alvaro Pastor on

    In Regards to Yotpo, I think its a great product and it really has increased the number of reviews we get, but do you know if there is any SEO bump or benefits from Using Yotpo or would we only get those by using the integrated Review System?

    thank you

  19. Paul on

    But can existing reviews be imported to discus? I like discus and to use it on BC would be great but I’ve hundreds of product reviews on the built in system. Plus, what about the star rating?

  20. Ron Greenspan on

    I’ve been trying out a free listed review app called https://www.yotpo.com/ (Yotpo) that integrates easily with BC – so far it’s done a much better job than I have been able to do using the built-in reviews. It features a site-wide side-link to reviews. It also stamps the reviews as “verified buyers” when they respond to automated emails from Yotpo.

  21. Derek on

    Just cut it out of the accordian or tabs and paste into the product page in the product details panel. BC is notoriously using JS for EVERY fix nowadays….CSS and panels cover 90%, its rare you actually need JS in bc to change something.

  22. Jessica Malnik
  23. Jessica Malnik
    Jessica Malnik on

    Hi Jean,

    Yes, you absolutely can use Disqus. It’s integrated in your store’s control panel. If you are looking for pros and cons, we recommend asking this in our community forum. Many of our clients are very active and willing to give helpful tips to other clients. http://forum.bigcommerce.com/

  24. John on

    Hi Jessica,

    A suggested feature on spam reviews, would be to automatically delete all reviews with a hyperlink in them. As all spam we get has links to other sites, genuine reviewers never have (in my case anyway).


  25. Jessica Malnik
  26. Jessica Malnik
  27. Daniel on

    Is there a way (using the new themes) to diplay both the product description and product reviews on the product page? As it is, only one of the tabs displays at a time.

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