In the digital age, where information is readily accessible, online reviews have become an essential tool for consumers in making informed purchasing decisions. With numerous review platforms available, it can be challenging to identify the best one. In this blog, we will explore the features and benefits of a top-notch review platform that benefits a business through the eyes of our marketing executive who have recently conducted the journey himself.
Our goal is to be the best and we are always looking at ways we can perfect the customer experience, which means customer opinion for us is invaluable. Reviews help us keep up with your needs and they also help others like you to make confident decisions about insurance. With this in mind, there are many factors you should consider when picking a review service provider
As a business seeking positive public perception, one way to do this is to align yourselves with a popular brand, using their brand to improve your image and create trust through association. Trustpilot is no doubt the ‘big name’ in review platforms, and with a free version, this seems to be the most appropriate option to begin review collecting with.
While Feefo has some big brands on the books (such as ourselves) its global recognition falls short compared to Trustpilot. Reviews.io are a relatively newer company so don’t have a reputation that adds value to the reviews on their platform.
While Trustpilot boasts a free version of its services, the benefits of this can be short-lived. In the free version you are limited to 100 invited a month, if you are a startup/scaleup company and things are going in the right direction, you should reach this quota very quickly.
This is a situation many companies face… At this point, you want to look at paid plan options to see the price of upgrading to the new Trustpilot features. To get everything that can be unlocked in the scale package you can be quoted up to £9600 a year. The paid version starts at £2700 a year. This substantial investment may prompt businesses to explore more cost-effective alternatives. It is usually at this point you reach a crossroads, Trustpilot is the name to be associated with but this can put a huge dent in your expenditure which could be budgeted elsewhere… Can you really justify that amount on the review’s budget?
The good news is you now have all these reviews to your name so you are well represented in the public domain, as Trustpilot is open source (we will go onto that later) you don’t need a profile to be on there. However, having a verified profile means customers can still check your Trustscore and reviews. However, it is a wise move to then look into obtaining reviews from another platform that can be used for your marketing materials and outreach to customers.
While the other platforms don’t have free versions, this can make entry to Trustpilot so much easier. However, the rates from Feefo and Reviews.io are a lot more reasonable for start-ups. With Feefo you can get pretty much everything Trustpilot offers for £300 a month, while Reviews.io is a great value £159/mo.
All 3 companies display their packages in separate ways. Feefos’ first metric is the number of invites, prom there the price of the ‘essential and enhanced change.
With reviews.io and Trustpilot, the number of invitations increases at each stage of the pricing table.
Reviews.io’s £159 professional package offer 2500 invites a month whereas the equivalent for Feefo and Trustpilot is 500 monthly invites on their up to 500 and standard plan respectively. For over 500 Feefo requires you to get in touch, while Trustpilot’s £800pm package offers unlimited invites.
When it comes to outreaching to audiences these platforms all have various integrations, all of which work particularly well with online stores. In our industry (insurance services) we don’t have products so Trustpilots Automatic Invitations (AFS) proves to be super useful. As a business, you are able to Bcc your own unique Trustpilot email into outreach and then the customer receives the review invitation from Trustpilot, unfortunately with only 100 invites a month we found we swiftly outgrew this
With Feefo a manual csv upload is required if you don’t have automation in place, but if you are a company with many staff corresponding to customers, it may be more organised to outreach in this method.
Reviews.io offer both Email and SMS messages, which like Feefo, can be branded and include custom question sets (depending on packages). They also have product attributes, and custom scales which is great for seeing customer perspective, such as how the customers find a clothing item fits on scale of loose to tight.
With Trustpilot the reviews are open questions so it is up to the customer to decide the format for the review.
Ownership and Licensing:
Trustpilot is an open source platform meaning all companies are on the platform if they have a domain, this means anyone can leave a review of your company even if you don’t monitor an account, while there are measures by Trustpilot to block fake reviews, this algorithm can frequently block your legit reviews from customers who have found you organically.
Even if you don’t tend on using Trustpilot, It is recommended you claim the domain as your own and create an account, this is good for SEO and you will be able to provide information about your company on your Trustpilot bio.
On the contrary, Feefo is a closed platform, meaning review invitations are sent out on invite only.
There are two sides to this. Having closed reviews mean only those you invite can leave a verified review, resulting in no foul play and fake reviews from competitors, you also have your own dedicated page which doesn’t show rival Trustscores, which may come up when people search for you on an open review platform.
However, an open review platform would argue that if you are sending out invites based on purchases only, this is limiting the freedom of leaving reviews at any stage of the journey.
On Feefo you have the ability to ask for feedback at both the enquiry and purchase stages which solves this dilemma.
Reviews.io gives you a balance of being able to open or close your reviews to either open source or invite-only, however in most cases I would recommend keeping it invite only if you are tracking all customers.
Another big difference between Trustpilot, Feefo, and reviews.io is the ownership of the reviews. As stated above, Trustpilot is open-source, this means that the customer owns the review, and with limited export tools in the free plan, essentially Trustpilot own the review, preventing you from using them in material alongside Trustpilot’s branding, without a paid package.
If you use Feefo and Reviews.io, you, the business own the review meaning when the customer leaves the review you then have the right to use it in your marketing material. Feefo and Reviews encourage you to use their branding alongside it. It is always worth checking the terms of service and licensing of your reviews partner before taking action with the reviews.
As all of these are google seller partners, you are able to collect reviews which will contribute to you google seller rating. Meaning if you are to collect the required amount of reviews (it is approximately 100 verified reviews in a year but can fluctuate by provider) star ratings can then be displayed in the app, this verification gives you the advantage over your competitors.
Trustpilot has limited widgets to use, on the free version only widgets with links to the Trustpilot page can be used, however with paid versions you can then start to display your star rating and specific reviews. If you opt for the Growth package you have access to the full 22 widgets.
Similar widgets are included in the Reviews.io plans, where you also have the ability to tag reviews so you can display them in a particular sector of your website in a filtered-down version.
Feefo has a wide range of widgets, with the ability to tag. They also offer some unique designs including sticky and pop-up widgets the other competitors don’t offer. These widgets are the best for incorporating into branding without interrupting the feel of a theme.
Trustpilot’s open source platform is something all businesses should utilise to claim a domain and grow a reputable Trustscore. However, if you are a growing business the best way to have full control of your review collection and invest in showcasing customer opinions with a limited budget is to use an alternative. Reviews.io is a solid choice for start-up companies, particularly in ecommerce, while Feefo offers similar benefits in a more well-rounded package with slick display widgets.
While starting your business adventure insurance is required to be sorted and ready for trading. Should coverage in professional indemnity, public and product liability, employer’s liability, and many more services and covers be requried, check out our services to see what we can offer. You may be interested in our Commercial Combined, Retailers Insurance, or Scale-Up Business Insurance
Please note all views are that of the author and do not represent SJL Insurance Services