Driving Revenue Through Social Validation: Ratings and Reviews Enhance Onsite Product Recommendations

My most recent relatively expensive online purchase – a winter parka by Helly Hansen – was due to the power of social validation.

As a returning online shopper, Helly Hansen doesn’t need to convince me of their brand anymore because I recognize them as a proven manufactured of rugged sailing gear. However, I wasn’t exactly sure of their extreme cold weather jackets. After viewing the selection of parkas, I had narrowed down suitable options for my price point and other requirements to just three parkas but I was still a bit hesitant if any of them would be suitable for the harsh weathers on the 60th latitude where I live. To ease the mind of a worried shopper like myself, marketers at Helly Hansen use Yotpo’s technology on their website, and to their praise, one particular review by a satisfied Canadian using the jacket in similar conditions sealed the deal for me. See it yourself, recommendations like below can make a huge difference:

Why Should Retailers Embrace Social Validation?

There’s very little doubt that social validation – commonly deployed in form of ratings and reviews on ecommerce websites – is a huge influence in driving revenue. Consequently, this makes technologies like Yotpo, Trustpilot, and Bazaarvoice almost a must-have for any e-retailer. As a side note, sites and stores which have fast stock-rotation, where ratings and reviews might not yield the same punch, can – and should – use social photography to strengthen the brand itself.

Connection point between ratings and reviews and Nosto’s recommendations is straightforward and almost equally as powerful as the ratings and reviews themselves. When the data – the number of reviews and average rating of a product – is mapped to Nosto for further processing, it can enhance Onsite Product Recommendations by adding an additional layer of relevance to the shopping experience.

Shoppers can discover not only the most relevant products thanks to our AI-powered personalization, but also those which are the most popular in terms of ratings and reviews, depending on the selected recommendation setup. The result: stronger social validation – a key ingredient of the personalization journey. In the next section of this article, let’s see how this works.

3 Examples of Product Recommendations Fueled by UGC

First, when ratings and reviews are used in recommendations, it creates a visually consistent experience for the shoppers, and also subtly drives traffic to products which are most popular according to social validation through Nosto’s recommendations. In turn, this maximizes the impact and return-on-investment of both technologies.

Puravida Bracelets combines both user-generated photography and reviews in their recommendations as seen below:

Below is an example on saa.co.uk using Trustpilot and their recognizable star ratings, a brand establishing trust of its own!

Third, an example by Fjellsport and Magento’s built-in rating & review mechanism:

For example, for merchandizing purposes, if there’s a need to highlight only highly approved products, Nosto supports using ratings and reviews as inclusion rules for Onsite Product Recommendations. To give an example of this, see below. Should the rule as here be used, Nosto would recommend only products with a minimum Rating of 4 and at least 20 reviews.

How to Set Up Your UGC Integration

The beauty of it all is the simplicity of the integration. If ratings and reviews are tagged according to Google’s aggregateRating schema, Nosto has already indexed the ratings and reviews. For Magento’s rating-value and review-count metadata, this is as simple as flipping one switch. For Yotpo clients, the process differs slightly depending on the platform but is equally as simple and you can read guidelines for  Magento 1, Magento 2 and Shopify. Trustpilot can read clients our Trustpilot integration guide. If you’re on another ecommerce rating and review platform, mapping out that detail is still achievable but we recommend reaching out to our product specialists for a closer review.