If you could watch me shop online, you’d see that I’m crazy about reading product reviews. It doesn’t matter to me if I’m buying bath towels or a new TV. I’m almost ashamed of how much time I’ve spent reading the Sweethome or the Wirecutter.
I always try to ensure I’m getting value for the money I spend, so product reviews are important to me (and almost 9 in 10 shoppers). Research shows many online customers shop this way:
85.57% of the participants stated that they read reviews often or very often before they purchase online. Of the participants who read reviews, 83.65% compare positive and negative reviews with each other.
– Advances in Economics and Business
Despite the overwhelming evidence that product reviews matter to online consumers, some eCommerce sites don’t include reviews as part of their product pages because they either don’t want to manage reviews, or are afraid that negative reviews will affect sales.
Yes, if you enable product reviews, bad reviews can happen (though if you read our research on reviews, you know they can actually improve conversions). However, WordPress allows you the ability to respond to these reviews in a comment, which can show you customers a lot about your brand. You can address concerns or feedback so readers can see if the review is fair.
However, this upside can create an issue: how do customers know that the response is from the shop? Some review systems allow customers to comment on reviews, which means that your answers to reviews may be mixed in with others.
You could require custom gravatars for all shop employees with your logo to set their comments apart, but adding a badge before their names is very easy to do and doesn’t require you to use gravatars on your site. Badges will show customers which comments are “official” in order to draw attention to them and designate official answers vs customer replies. This easily solves the issue of knowing which reviews come from your store.
Easy Digital Downloads doesn’t include the ability to accept product reviews in the core plugin, but the Product Reviews extension ($32) creates a review system for your downloads. Customers can leave a rating, write a review, and vote reviews as helpful or unhelpful.
However, this plugin is one that allows replies / comments for reviews, and thus your replies can be mixed in with customer comments and replies. Typical reviews and comments will just show the user’s name.
Let’s add some badges to show which comments belong to store employees. As EDD is frequently used with the Frontend Submissions extension to create a marketplace, we may also want to display a badge for vendors to show that the product “owner” or vendor is replying.
Here’s a code snippet that can be used in a custom site plugin, Code Snippets plugin, or your functions.php file to create badges. You’ll need to adjust the
$badge_text set here for administrators and vendors. They can be same if you’d like, or you can differentiate them to show admins and vendors separately. You can also adjust the badge styles (i.e., the background color) to match your site.
Once this code is added, this badge will appear before the comment author’s name, indicating whether the commenter is a shop employee (admin) or a vendor and helping them tell customer replies apart from store replies.
WooCommerce doesn’t typically allow customer replies to reviews, so you probably won’t need to add badges to your product comments. However, it’s not a bad idea if you want to make it obvious that replies are “official” and from you or your employees. Fortunately, you’ve got a couple of options to add employee badges to your product reviews with WooCommerce.
If you use WooCommerce Product Reviews Pro ($79) to add improved review capabilities (and the ability to reply to reviews for both customers and shop employees), you’ll be able to add badges automatically without custom code once the next version is released. Version 1.0.5 adds a setting to add admin badges to any reviews, contributions, or comments added by shop administrators or managers:
If you’re using the built-in WooCommerce reviews, you will need some custom code to add badges. By default, all reviews and comments will look the same in your shop:
Let’s add badges for both administrators and shop managers. Again,
$badge_text and the styles can be changed as desired.
Once this code is added to your site, your employee answers to reviews will now contain a badge to show customers that the answer is coming directly from your shop.
Most other eCommerce plugins for WordPress have limited product reviews, or none whatsoever, but there’s a third-party plugin that can help you out here. If you use Shopp, iThemes Exchange, or WP eCommerce, you can add product reviews using the Easy Ecommerce Reviews plugin ($29) from CGD, inc.
This plugin adds ratings, reviews, and “helpful” voting for comments. If ratings are required for reviews, only shop admins can reply to them. However, if you don’t require ratings, customers can leave replies as well.
Add admin badges with Easy Ecommerce Reviews is pretty easy as well. I’ll use Shopp in this example, but this snippet will work for any other eCommerce platform as well. Shopp creates a “customer service manager” role that would be helpful to check for, so I’ll include that here and you can change the badge text for admins and shop managers as needed. Note that this snippet will still work for other platforms.
Once added, your shiny new badges will be displayed with the comment author’s name.
Product reviews should be an important part of any eCommerce site, and badges to designate “official” responses can help you insure that they show customers which responses are correct and from your store. They can also help you build trust by showing how you respond to both positive and negative reviews publicly, and they’re very simple to implement.
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