Google Seller Ratings: What You Need to Know
In our last hub piece, we looked at product ratings for Google Shopping listings. Now we’re going to look at another invaluable rating for Google: Seller Ratings!
So many different factors influence which listing customers decide to purchase from. And while product ratings do play a part, very few people are willing to purchase a solid product from a company that doesn’t ship on time, that sends damaged goods, or that has poor customer service.
That’s where seller ratings come into play, and in this guide we’re going to look at why they matter and how to add seller ratings to your Google shopping profile.
Seller ratings tell customers the ratings that a seller has been given, and it can be between zero and five stars. This rating shows up with both a number and (in some displays) with the star rating filled in.
The seller is not necessarily the brand— it’s the individual selling and shipping the item. In some cases, there may be multiple sellers for a single item, like how you can buy a single pair of Nike shoes from FootLocker, Kohls, and Amazon.
Seller ratings are displayed when users view a product page, and it shows them which sellers users can purchase a specific item from while comparing price, shipping costs, and seller rating.
Users can click on the seller name to see the full reviews, which include not only a star rating but the review text itself.
It’s common for brands to sometimes get product or seller ratings mixed up, or to think that they’re one in the same.
Product ratings give individual products a five-star rating. Seller ratings review the person or company selling the item.
Let’s take a look at an example.
When you look up “Nike Revolution” in Google, this product listing pops up:
You see the product rating underneath the product title. It shows that it’s an extremely well-rated item with a 4.6 rating and almost 4k reviews.
Notice that under that you’ll see “Compare prices from 3 stores.”
When you click on that, this is what users see:
You’ve got ratings of different sellers (one of which is Nike) that all feature details and offers, pricing, and seller rating.
Thanks to dropshipping, reselling, franchises, and retailers each having their own policies, support standards, and shipping times, you’re looking at different seller reviews all for the same item. This ultimately means that the customer could have drastically different experiences from each one, so this will play a part in their buying decision more often than not.
A product can be the absolute best in class… but if the seller isn’t good, would you really want to purchase from them?
The reality is that the customer service experience can (and often does) matter just much as the product quality itself. The data proves it:
- 96% of consumers around the world say that customer support and positive customer experiences is an important factor in their buying and loyalty decisions
- Customers said that customer service ranked #1 for what impacts their trust with a company
- Americans will pay 17% more to do business with firms that have good reviews and reputations surrounding their customer service
This makes sense.
If a product comes broken or defective, can you count on getting a refund or replacement? And will it be an enormous hassle to do so?
Can you trust that the item will arrive on time (extenuating circumstances like COVID-delays excluded)? If they say it will come by x date, can you trust that it will?
Do you believe that you’ll be getting an authentic product
If the product comes broken, will you get a refund or a replacement? How many hoops will you have to jump through?
And do they actually ship as expected?
Is the quality as expected?
Worst case scenario you may even got a knock-off item inspired by (or pretending to be) what you’ve supposedly purchased.
Unfortunately, there are many of rogue sellers online out to make a quick buck at someone else’s expense, and customers know that— they want to purchase items from those they can test.
Seller reviews can come from a few different places:
- Your business’s Google reviews
- Third-party reviews from an approved site– there are 30 different sites that you can use, which you can see here
In many cases, sellers opt to use Google reviews because there’s no significant set up, and you can email customers using Google forms to get direct feedback.
Third-party review sites, however, can be a good option for brands who have a large number or reviews on different platforms that you want to leverage right away.
These are the requirements you must meet, set by Google:
- You must have more than 100 unique reviews within the last 12 months from the same country
- Google has evaluated your site through Google Consumer Surveys
- Either Google or a partner has successfully completed a research evaluation of your site
- You need an average of 3.5 stars or higher for Text Ads (though there isn’t a minimum for Shopping Ads)
- The domain in your Display URL matches the domain that either Google or its partners have ratings for
Adding seller ratings through Google is exceptionally straight forward.
If you’re collecting reviews through Google, you’re good to know: No set up is needed, and once you meet the requirements from the section above, they’ll be displayed. You can sign up for this program here.
If you’re using a third-party site for your seller ratings, you may need to transfer them to Google, though it depends on the site; Google can actually scan these sites automatically in many cases. You can see the sites and their individual policies below:
- Bizrate Insights
- Feedback Company
- Shopper Approved
- Trusted Shops
- Verified Reviews
You can learn more here.
Seller ratings can appear automatically… but what if they don’t?
Sometimes you may run into ratings that you believe are incorrect. In this case, contact the site where the ratings originate from; you may be able to report fraudulent ratings or have them removed from your profile.
And if you think that your seller rating—showcased with your products and listings— is actually coming from a different store, take the following steps:
- Check that your store name and registered domain in Merchant Center are different from the other store
- If the information matches and you can’t make any changes, contact Google directly
And in some cases, your seller rating may not appear.
You can check this by visiting the following site, replacing “www.example.com” with your site’s domain:
It will show up like this:
If you don’t have a seller rating appear, the following may be the cause:
- There’s a delay. Reviews aren’t uploaded instantaneously; there can be a delay between receiving a new review and when it’s added to your rating. This is also true for review removal.
- Your store name and registered domain name must match. Your domain name and store name must match between the Google Merchant Center account and the third-party seller rating websites. If you’re “GrowMyAds LLC” in your site name but “GrowMyAds” in review sites, those won’t be collected and featured.
- You don’t have enough reviews in the individual country. Each country needs a specific number of reviews within the last 12 months in order to have the seller rating displayed. Shoot for at least 100 reviews and don’t forget to keep those up to date, too. Make sure that you’re incentivizing reviews throughout the year and in every country that you’re selling to.
Seller ratings can play an important role in whether or not customers decide to purchase from you instead of a direct competitor— or vice versa. It can matter just as much as variations in price, and it’s crucial for any purchase that customers are researching carefully. And in general, the more valuable the product is, the more carefully customers will be researching.
That’s it for this hub post, but don’t forget to take a look at our Google Shopping Hub to learn more about how you can set up and optimize your Google Shopping campaigns!