What is Review Syndication?
Imagine you're sitting in your apartment in New York City and you just opened the morning newspaper to read the latest from a well-known national columnist. At the same time, a rancher in Texas, a surfer in California and a retiree in Florida are opening their respective local papers, too — but you're all reading the same column.
This is called syndication, and in numerous industries, it's the key to getting lots of exposure for a single piece of content.
Most people are aware of syndicated comic strips, sitcoms and radio shows, but here's something you may have never heard of: review syndication.
Review syndication can be the key to growing the reputation of your eCommerce business and helping you reach new heights — so what is it and how does it work?
What is Review Syndication?
A syndicated radio show appears on multiple channels, and so does a syndicated review. But what does this actually mean?
Essentially, review syndication is what happens when a review on a single retail site or marketplace appears on many different retail sites or marketplaces, increasing the exposure of this priceless user-generated content (UGC) (also known as "customer-generated content" or CGC) around the internet.
Therefore, review syndication is a practice that helps you increase customer trust, brand awareness, and social proof — everywhere your products are sold.
Why Is it Valuable for eCommerce Businesses?
Look at it this way. If you have a new eCommerce store, it can be a struggle to grow quickly in the first few years. You don't have much brand recognition so it's going to take a lot to get noticed by new customers.
Imagine you make a sale on Walmart.com and the buyer leaves a review talking about how much they love your product and how enthusiastic they are to recommend it to their friends and family members. Great news, right? But because it's only on one site, only a few people will see it and the overall impact is limited.
Now imagine that the same review is initially left on Walmart.com, but is now appearing on Walmart.com, Etsy, Amazon and eBay, in addition to your own eCommerce site. Suddenly, the number of prospective customers that see this customer-generated social proof is multiplied — and we know that online reviews are trusted by consumers more than almost anything else. The result is faster growth, more sales and the ability to foster brand loyalty that will pay dividends for your business both now and in the future.
Here are some of the other benefits of a reliable review syndication system:
It Increases the ROI of Review Generation Efforts
Review generation is the process of contacting verified buyers of your products with surveys or feedback requests so that you can get more reviews to feature on your website or on other retail websites where your products are sold.
Certain tools and plug-ins (liked Stamped.io) can help you improve your methods with less manual work, but review syndication can take review generation to the next level. It means that instead of asking for a review and getting one piece of feedback for one of the sites where your products are sold, you can ask for a review and then ensure that this feedback is leveraged as extensively as possible, increasing the return on your time spent.
It Allows Brands to Leverage UGC to a Greater Effect
It's easier to get simple text reviews than rich photos and videos on marketplaces and social media sites. That's why it's so important that when you are able to get a customer to take the time and create a valuable piece of multimedia content, you can make sure it goes as far as possible.
With review syndication, you can take a review left on Facebook, for example, and reproduce it on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, in addition to a range of online retail websites.
It Helps Consumers Learn About the Products They're Interested In
In the scenario above, we mentioned that review syndication increases your brand awareness by attracting more eyes to the experiences of your customers. It also helps consumers who may have already been considering your products consider the experience of previous buyer.
Customers want to read reviews before they buy so that they can get an idea of what to expect, and by making sure your reviews appear in more than one place, you're helping them in the decision-making process.
How does Review Syndication Work?
The review syndication process involves assisting with review generation, curating and matching new reviews to relevant locations all over the internet, as well as combing marketplaces and social media platforms for existing UGC and making sure it's leveraged on as many properties as possible.
How Do I Syndicate Reviews?
It is possible to syndicate reviews manually, but the process is very time consuming. For example, Stamped.io allows you to pull reviews and ratings from other sites and display them on your website, but the time and effort it would take to try to take these reviews and submit them on other marketplaces is most likely considerably more than you're willing or able to spend.
To truly capitalize on review syndication, you'll need a knowledgeable team to help you out. At Stamped, we've partnered with the experts in syndicated content, Bazaarvoice, to help our users get the most out of their eCommerce review management strategy.
Syndicated Reviews in Online Retail Marketplaces
Bazaarvoice partners with some of the largest online marketplaces like REI, Walmart and Best Buy to make sure that customer reviews are always in places where new customers will find them.
Not only does this help with building the credibility of your brand and increasing overall rating across multiple sites, it also boosts your products ability to appear in searches: most marketplace search functions give the top spots in search results to products with high ratings, and the most (and most recent) reviews.
Syndicated Reviews on Social Media
Just like Stamped enables you to pull content directly from social media and display it on your website using stylized galleries and creative arrangements, Bazaarvoice gives you the power to feature social media content on multiple platforms and websites.
This is important, considering that many of the most valuable UGC for your brand is created by influencers (or at least users with a large following) on social media. If you're able to generate this type of content, you need to be able to leverage it in as many places as possible.
Start Reaping the Benefits of Review Syndication Today
At Stamped, we're proud to put simple, yet impactful review syndication tools in the hands of the eCommerce entrepreneurs that benefit from our software day in and day out. For more information on how to harness the power of review syndication for your store, check out our free Bazaarvoice integration today!