I have been planning to write a Trustpilot review for a while; I’ve finally found a spare hour to put my thoughts, feelings and experiences onto a page for you to read.
Just in case you’ve been living in a cave and you’ve never heard of Trustpilot, it is a review platform. Simply logon to Trustpilot.com and you can leave a review for companies you’ve shopped with online.
Before I start, I want to discuss with you why I decided to signup with Trustpilot and integrate their widgets on my website. I found the conversion rates on my website were good, but nothing amazing. I brainstormed some reasons for this and did lots of research – one of the key reasons for this is trust. When people make a purchase on Amazon or eBay, they trust these websites because they’re huge companies – they’re household names. These websites have extensive buyer protection policies in place to ensure consumers don’t fall victim to unscrupulous sellers. Buyers trust Amazon and eBay a whole lot more than they trust my website, or your website for that matter!
The Internet is great – but let’s face it – it’s rife with scams. I decided that in order to make more sales I had to inspire confidence and trust in potential buyers – and to do that I needed some kind of review or feedback system so other people could share their thoughts about our service and our products.
There were lots of different review platforms that I could have used, but I shop online a lot and I’m often contacted by Trustpilot to leave a review for merchants I’ve used. To me, the most iconic online review platform is Trustpilot, so I decided to roll with Trustpilot. Trustpilot is widely known and respected, so our reviews carry extra weight.
To summarise my reasons for using Trustpilot: In order to increase conversion rates I decided we had to give customers the confidence to buy from us. How better to inspire confidence than by giving potential customers positive reviews from our existing customers, at a glance?
Too many people misunderstand what Trustpilot is all about – I’ve heard people say crazy things like “why would I pay Trustpilot to publish reviews about my company?”
It is there as a tool to inspire trust in your company, and give potential buyers that little boost they need in order to feel confident enough to purchase from your website.
Trustpilot allows buyers to have their say about a website or company, and it allows websites and companies to leverage reviews by displaying them to new customers and potential customers, spurring them on to make a purchase.
The way it works is real simple:
- You signup to Trustpilot
- Send out review invitations to customers via email
- Customers leave reviews on Trustpilot
- You add the Trustpilot widgets to your website displaying the good reviews, giving other buyers confidence
- These widgets can lead to higher conversion rates, higher average checks, and better profits for your business
Trustpilot isn’t just there to give customers a voice – it’s there to help your business with the trust issues people so frequently experience when shopping online.
During the research stage, I realised that Trustpilot wasn’t cheap. In fact, my initial thoughts were that it was pretty damn expensive. There’s no pricing on Trustpilot’s website (well there wasn’t when I looked anyway!)
Now, I’ll hold my hands up here and say that I was too quick to jump to conclusions. Trustpilot’s prices might appear high, but I can honestly say that I’ve seen a ridiculous ROI on my monthly fee, so I do feel like I’ve had a very good deal.
Trustpilot probably won’t thank me for this, but there’s usually some movement with prices. Don’t just settle for the first price they throw at you – be persistent and you should be able to secure money off.
Don’t discount the idea of using Trustpilot when they tell you the price, look at the bigger picture and the benefits that Trustpilot can bring to your business. If you can’t make a positive ROI on your subscription fee after signing up to Trustpilot, then it’s probably time to give up running your online business.
Trustpilot widgets were integrated on our website mid July, here are the conversion figures for the months surrounding July:
September (so far): 8.86%
As you can see, we’ve increased conversion rates by over 1%. At first glances that figure isn’t great, but a 1% conversion rate increase meant we saw around 14% more conversions in total – which is a very healthy increase.
It’s not just the total number of conversions that increased – average order value did too:
September (so far): £13.30
As you can see, the average order value has also increased by around 11%.
So, not only are we taking more orders because of Trustpilot, we’re also taking more money from each customer.
A huge added bonus when using Trustpilot is that you get the little stars underneath your text adverts on Google AdWords and Bing Ads (providing your reviews hit certain criteria).
These little stars increase the amount of screen real estate that your advert takes up – they also catch the eye, and lead to click-through rate (CTR) increases. The little stars won’t appear until you have at least 30 reviews on Trustpilot – and even then it takes a while for Google and Bing to catch on to those reviews. It wasn’t until we had nearly 150 reviews on Trustpilot that the stars started to appear below our ads, which was somewhat disappointing – but the stars are better late than never! (I should add that wasn’t Trustpilot’s fault, rather Google’s for ignoring our 100+ positive reviews for so long!)
We’ve seen a CTR increase of around 13% simply by having the stars on our text ads. The niche that we operate in is fairly competitive, so it’s nice to have an edge on other advertisers by having those stars. Anything that drives more clicks and sales to our website can only be a good thing, right?
Integration & Support
Once we signed up with Trustpilot we were handed over to the “onboarding team”, where a very helpful individual called Nicholas helped me to set things up. I’ve been blown away by Nicholas’ kindness and willingness to help me out – even after I’ve sent a few less than polite emails out of pure frustration. I have to say, the technical support side of things is great.
I cannot edit a string of code to save my life, so I had to pay a professional to integrate the Trustpilot widgets and badges to my website. It was done inexpensively.
Just so you know, here are the integrations that we opted for:
- Email invitations to customers seven days after their purchase, inviting them to leave a review
- Trustpilot widgets showing comments added to homepage and the first checkout page
- Trustpilot badge added to product pages next to the buy button
They seem to work really well in this combination – evidenced by the sales and conversion increases I mentioned earlier on. That said, the perfect layout for a website cannot be determined without A/B testing. Now we’ve got used to the Trustpilot system and we’ve got lots of great reviews, we’re working on A/B testing how and where our Trustpilot badges and widgets are displayed.
Our A/B testing is in the very early stages, but we’ve seen an 11% increase in the number of people hitting the “add to cart” button by adjusting the position of our Trustpilot widgets (moving them to below product descriptions). We’ll work long and hard – testing lots of variables and positions – to discover the very best layout for maximum conversions, and maximum average transaction value.
Getting Reviews Removed
I wanted to add a section dedicated to having reviews removed. There seems to be some kind of myth online that companies can send an email to Trustpilot and have any/all negative reviews removed at the press of a button. I can tell you; that’s simply not correct.
I’ve had two experiences where I’ve requested reviews to be removed:
Experience #1: A customer left a review for us that was factually inaccurate. They bemoaned the fact we reneged on our “free next day delivery” promise. On our website we do not offer or imply free next day delivery – and we never have. I reported the review to Trustpilot and they refused to remove it. In my opinion, that’s pretty unfair – what the customer wrote in their review was untruthful. Trustpilot wouldn’t remove it and the comment remains. I’ve stopped caring about that particular review now because there’s clearly nothing I can do.
Experience #2: One of our competitors likes to cause as much trouble as possible for us. They decided to purchase from our website then leave a terrible review. The address stated on the order was the same address used on their website for returns. I reported the review to Trustpilot, they investigated and removed the review within a couple of days because it clearly contravened their policy guidelines on competitors leaving reviews.
So one of my experiences led to the review remaining for my company – despite it being wholly inaccurate. The other review was removed as per my request because I was able to prove that a competitor left it.
Don’t sign up to Trustpilot and expect to be able to have reviews removed whenever you want. Reviews will only be removed if they contravene Trustpilot’s strict guidelines. Remember, customers will be extremely frank and honest in their reviews – if you provide a bad service or poor products, your customers will say so in their reviews!
I’m really happy with the results we’ve seen as a result of integrating Trustpilot reviews on our website. The adoption cost wasn’t particularly cheap, but when you compare that cost to the increase in conversions and sales that we’ve witnessed, the ROI is absolutely incredible (no, sorry, I can’t share that bit with you!)
If you spend a fortune on marketing and you’ve hit a brick wall when it comes to increasing sales, why not give Trustpilot a try? The beauty of Trustpilot is that it can help increase conversions and sales from traffic sent from virtually any source, whether it’s Google AdWords, organic visitors, or even offline marketing.
As I’ve already said, we just threw the Trustpilot boxes and badges on our website initially – now we’re conducting extensive A/B testing, I expect the results to improve drastically.
Watch this space; I’ll be back with an update shortly after Christmas to let you know how we do with our tests, and how well we manage to optimise the website for conversions and sales.
My rating: 9.5/10