Why Reviews are Important?
Customer reviews are the key factor for online businesses from any industry. Reviews help customers decide where and what to buy. Here are some important facts about customer reviews:
- 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- Customer reviews are significantly more trusted than descriptions that come from shops
- Reviews contribute to Google search rankings
- 27% of people will trust reviews only if they believe the reviews are authentic
How Does It Work?
Before explaining how to set up the plugin, let's have a look at the main steps of the review process.
The overview mentions the concept of aggregated review forms. Please refer to this article to learn more about them: What is an Aggregated Review Form.
Review Reminder Settings
After making sure that the plugin is compatible with your WordPress and WooCommerce setup, let's proceed with configuring the plugin. Here, we will describe the recommended configuration but you are welcome to adjust settings according to your specific needs.
Go to the Review Reminder tab in the plugin's settings and tick the Enable Automatic Reminders checkbox. This setting will instruct the plugin to send automatic follow-up emails with a reminder to submit a review. A follow-up email will be scheduled after an order is marked as "Completed" with a delay defined in Sending Delay (Days) field. Automatic emails will be sent only for new orders and orders which haven't been completed yet. It won't send review reminders for old completed orders retrospectively.
Important note: if you decide to send follow-up emails with review reminders, you must adjust terms and conditions on your site to mention that a customer might receive an email with an invitation to review their order. Customers must accept your terms and conditions before placing an order.
By default, the plugin will collect reviews without third-party verification. It means that review reminders will be sent via the default WordPress mailer. Aggregated review forms will be hosted locally on your website. If you would like to change this setting and enable verification of reviews, please select the Independently Verified option.
The remaining settings on the Review Reminder tab enable you to set up when and how follow-up emails with reminders are sent. It is possible to restrict the sending of review reminders to only specific categories of products and also set a limit for the number of reminders that can be sent for the same order.
If you would like to send review reminders manually, you should tick the Enable Manual Reminders checkbox. This option will add two new columns on the Orders page in WooCommerce. You can use the "Envelope" button in the Actions column to send review reminders manually. Manual follow-up emails with review invitations are sent without any delay.
Please make sure to adjust settings for your shop name and configure emails. You can settings for basic emails on the Emails tab. To learn how to customize the "From" address and name for emails, please refer to this tutorial: How to Configure "From" Address and Name for Emails.
There are multiple options to customize email templates for review invitations and review form templates. It is possible to adjust the wording and visual aspects of the templates. A detailed guide about customizing email templates can be found in this tutorial: How to Set Up Basic and Advanced Email Templates.
Finally, there is an option Send Test for sending a test email to verify that both the email and review form look great. You can find it on the Emails tab after selecting one of the email templates. Please save settings before sending a test email. A test email will be sent to the email address that you specify.
Review Extensions Settings
The next tab in the plugin's settings is called Review Extensions. Here, you can configure various extensions to native WooCommerce reviews.
The first group of settings is related to the attachment of images to native WooCommerce reviews. This option doesn't apply to aggregated review forms where it is possible to attach media files (images and video) by default. You don't really need to enable this option because from our experience it is rarely used by customers. On the other hand, there is no harm in enabling this option either.
The next group of options is related to reCAPTCHA. If you enable them and enter reCAPTCHA keys generated for your site, then our plugin will require people to answer a reCAPTCHA before being able to submit a native WooCommerce review. If you are interested in this option, you should obtain your site keys from the official reCAPTCHA website.
We recommend that you enable the standard WooCommerce option Reviews can only be left by "verified owners" located in WooCommerce Settings -> Products -> General. This is the best way to prevent SPAM reviews. If you follow this recommendation, then you don't really need to enable reCAPTCHA because it will add an unnecessary check for customers verified by email addresses.
The next group of settings enables additional visualization elements for the display of customer reviews. Reviews Summary Bar checkbox can be used to show a histogram table with a summary of reviews on a product page. It is also possible to enable upvotes and downvotes for reviews on WooCommerce product pages. To do this, use the Vote for Reviews checkbox.
Next, there is an option to remove the plugin's branding from the reviews summary bar. This option is enabled by default but we would appreciate it if you could disable it and show support for our plugin.
There is also a setting to customize the standard 'verified owner' label added by WooCommerce to reviews and an option to display customer avatars using initial letters of their names. It could be useful to enable the Customer Avatars option because customers almost never add any avatars to their profiles themselves.
The last section of the Review Extensions page enables you to enable Lazy Loading for reviews. If you enable this option, the plugin will replace the standard WooCommerce reviews block on product pages with a custom one like shown on the screenshot below.
Review for Discount Settings
The next tab contains settings for sending discount coupons to customers who submitted reviews. If you enable the Enable Review for Discount checkbox and configure parameters of discount coupons, the plugin will automatically send a coupon to each customer who submits a review. We recommend to mention the availability of discount coupons in the email with a review reminder. Review for discount option provides several benefits:
It stimulates customers to write more reviews
It rewards customers with a coupon for their time spent on reviewing products
It is fair because customers will receive the same coupon whether they write a 1-star or a 5-star review
It helps to get more sales as customers would want to spend their coupons
Similarly to review reminder settings, it is important to specify BCC and Reply-To email addresses there.
The plugin can generate a new unique coupon for each customer or send the same existing coupon. This is controlled with the field Coupon type.
Settings for the generation of new coupons are very similar to the standard WooCommerce options for creating coupons, so we won't talk too much about them. They are relatively straightforward. For example, you can define the amount, minimum spend, etc. If you define some conditions when a coupon works, please don't forget to mention them in the email template. Otherwise, you will receive lots of complaints from customers that coupons don't work.
Additionally, it is possible to configure Discount Tiers. For example, you might want to offer better discounts to customers who attach photos to their reviews. Please refer to this article for more information about Discount Tiers: How to Use Discount Tiers?
Please make sure to check and test the discount emails by using the Send Test option on the Emails tab. It is a good idea to send a couple of test emails and verify that they look good.
Next, there is a tab with settings for trust badges. The plugin enables shop owners to optionally verify reviews submitted by customers via an independent website (www.cusrev.com). This helps to solve one of the main problems of selling online - gaining the trust of customers and establishing the authenticity of reviews.
The plugin can show summaries of verified reviews using so-called trust badges. These are visual badges that include a shop's name and a star rating. There are different versions of trust badges, so you can pick one that best fits the design of your site. You can place a trust badge anywhere on your site using shortcodes.
If you enable trust badges, it is also necessary to set up a page with verified copies of the reviews. You can choose the URL of this page and it is recommended to use the name of your shop as the last part of the URL. Please take into account that the field Verified Reviews Page accepts only alphanumerical characters.
Trust badges will contain no-follow links to the pages with verified reviews.
If you prefer video tutorials, please check out the tutorials created by our partners.
Here is one more video that talks about the difference between 1st-party and 3rd-party reviews: