With a record 90% of consumers reporting that they read online reviews before even checking a company out, honest feedback from verified customers is the lifeblood of business these days. A lot rides on your reputation, and 67% of purchasing decisions are influenced by online reviews.
Though you may have a large number of seemingly happy customers, getting their honest feedback can be a struggle at times. Star ratings are great; answering surveys are better. But long-form, written reviews? Those can be pure magic for your business. Sadly, less than 10% of American consumers will leave a review after a purchase, and only half of the customers will do it occasionally.
However, seven out of ten customers will leave a review if the business asks them to. For this reason, many businesses are turning to customer review software solutions not only to incentivize customers to leave reviews but to make the most out of them.
According to BrightLocal’s report, customers pay the most attention to star ratings, overall sentiment, and the relevancy of the review, such as how recent it was and its level of detail. Customer service software can help to organize and compile reviews for effective data points (like star reviews) and highlight your strongest feedback for highlights on your website.
If you’re on the hunt for customer review software, be sure that above all else, it simplifies the process. From gathering feedback to compiling analytical reports, in general, the two systems that come out on top are Trustpilot and PowerReviews. Both of these platforms offer excellent tools and systems, but each has its own set of areas where they truly excel.
1. Stats and Facts
Trustpilot was founded in 2007 but quickly grew to become one of the most popular review platforms online, gathering half a million reviews each month. Their system has a licensing agreement with Google, allowing reviews to be listed as “Google Seller Ratings” that pop up during organic search engine results. As of now, over 179,000+ brands have used Trustpilot to publish customer reviews. The attractive free plan they offer has encouraged a large number of brands to use their service.
PowerReviews was created in 2005, and though they have only published reviews with 2,500 brands, they have reportedly gathered 30 million reviews. Power Reviews also has a partnership agreement with Google, allowing reviews to be listed as seller ratings with organic searches.
2. Web Traffic
It should be noted that according to Similarweb, Trustpilot clearly has the upper hand in terms of website traffic. Trustpilot’s website has nearly 24 million visits, with visitor duration sitting at nearly two minutes. It also ranks far higher in its category than PowerReviews, which has just over one million website visits.
Winner – Trustpilot
As far as online popularity is concerned, Trustpilot is a clear winner leaving behind PowerReviews with a huge margin.
Each platform offers various plans according to your business’s size and needs, making them excellent options for growing companies.
Trustpilot offers a free basic starter kit for brand new businesses who need to build up a review database. This allows for 100 review invitation emails to be sent out per month, plus it includes a free TrustBox widget for the website. Social media sharing, statistics overview, and customer online and email support is also included.
The Lite Plan sits at $299 a month, but it is charged as an annual fee. This includes everything offered in the free plan but increases your review invite number to 300. Along with additional TrustScore boxes to display specific reviews rather than the mean average, this plan also allows you to customize your TrustBox displays to fit with your website’s theme.
The Pro plan starts at $549 a month (again, this is charged as an annual fee) and allows for 1,000 feedback invites per month. The Pro plan offers further customization for review invitations and provides full analytical and statistical report access.
Its most comprehensive plan, the Enterprise, requires contact with a sales representative for a quote depending on your business’s size and needs. This plan has all the bells and whistles, with multiple integration tools for platforms like Shopify and Magneto.
PowerReviews offers no free plan, and their packages are slightly more expensive. The Standard plan is $399 per month, but it only allows for 75 reviews to be collected. This plan does offer Google review ratings and tools for better SEO and rankings.
The Business plan is $699 a month but offers up to 250 monthly reviews to be collected. Furthermore, it offers daily content exportation to keep your reviews up to date. Some syndication is provided for retailers, but there may be an additional charge for brands.
Finally, the Enterprise package starts at $1,000 per month but can go up to $10,000 depending on the business’s size and requirements. This plan includes customization options for collection and publication services, plus you can create a customized limit on the number of reviews collected.
Winner – Trustpilot
With more affordable pricing packages and higher numbers of invitations for different plans, Trustpilot takes the cake here. Furthermore, Trustpilot offers a FREE plan for small businesses just starting out. While PowerReviews is certainly a quality option that offers a great deal of customization, its best suited for medium to large sized businesses, whereas Trustpilot has great functionality for startups all the way up to large enterprises.
4. Platforms Supported
Both of these programs support most e-commerce platforms and even offer their own solutions for some systems, such as Shopify.
Trustpilot’s plans offer Yext, Magento, Shopify, ShopifyPlus, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Google, PrestaShop, Magneto, and more.
PowerReviews also offers a wide selection of e-commerce support which can be integrated into almost any platform. The program has prebuilt solutions for Shopify, Shopify Plus, Magento2, and Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware).
Winner – It Depends
Again, both of these solutions cover your basics, so unless you work with a specific e-commerce platform, either should offer seamless integration.
5. Open or Invite Only?
Allowing anyone to leave an online review can be risky, especially if an extremely disgruntled customer wants to leave some scathing ones. However, customers are far more likely to trust businesses that showcase both the good and the bad.
Both Trustpilot and PowerReviews offer open platforms, which means that anyone can leave a review. However, you may also send out email invitations from both systems to customers following a purchase. Both services offer protection against fake reviews, too.
PowerReviews verifies that feedback is from verified customers to keep things in check, along with anti-fraud software protection to shield brands from spam. Additionally, PowerReviews allows clients to hide the Write-a-Review form from their public page to block “fly-by” reviews. Companies are not allowed to reject negative comments simply because they are negative.
PowerReviews places a verification badge on reviews that came from actual buyers. The program boasts 100% human moderation and fraud protection throughout their tiers of service. This ensures that all content on the site is appropriate and reviews are genuine. For more information, here are the Authenticity and Moderation policies.
Trustpilot has been, and always will be committed to being an open platform. This means there will never be options to hide, un-publish, or conceal authentic reviews from real customers – whether they are positive or negative. However, Trustpilot will delete reviews it identifies as fraudulent with its smart fraud detection software. If a review is detected, the system will promptly delete it from the platform before it is published. Additionally, the review will be deleted if it is flagged by a company or a consumer for the compliance team to investigate. See more on how Trustpilot combats fake reviews here.
Each review collected with Trustpilot’s AFS system is marked and verified. When it comes to sending review invites, Trustpilot only allows companies to send them to verified customers to ensure authenticity. Also, reviews can be written by consumers who have had previous experience with a certain company but have not received a formal invite to review. Since the system is open and free, these types of organic reviews are published immediately and remain posted unless they get flagged for investigation.
Winner – It’s a Tie
Both of these tools offer similar protection in terms of guarding against spammy feedback, and both also allow any customer to share their opinions. PowerReviews and Trustpilot are all about transparency and consumer openness. Through these platforms, all real and honest customers have a voice to be heard.
5. SEO Benefits
Both Trustpilot and PowerReviews have partnerships with Google, so you will have the obvious benefits of seller ratings which can affect your ranking.
However, it is important to note that Trustpilot comes with its own SEO benefits, as the company itself has a higher traffic ranking than PowerReviews. Trustpilot also offers TrustBox for product pages, which has been proven to boost rankings in Google’s algorithm.
Winner – Trustpilot
With the additional TrustBox feature that can increase your search engine ranking, along with a higher webpage ranking in general, Trustpilot is the clear winner for this category.
6. Edit Existing Reviews
Some customers tend to get a little long-winded and may include misspellings, unnecessary details, or just incorrect information. However, there must be a check in place to ensure that brands can’t manipulate reviews and twist them in their favor.
If a company using Trustpilot sees that a customer has left a negative review on their website, they can contact that customer, solve the issue and then ask them to edit the review and give a good rating. The right to edit the review stays with the customer only and the company cannot edit any review.
PowerReviews doesn’t allow for any changes to reviews; however, it does support brand responses to address any issues. You can also send customer reviews into PowerReviews for observation, and if deemed to be spam or incorrect, PowerReviews will delete the post.
Winner – Trustpilot
Trustpilot ensures that reviews are only altered by the customer for authenticity. This can also have an effect on SEO rankings, as it changes star ratings and keyword inclusion in feedback.
7. Transferring Reviews to Amazon
Next to Google, Amazon’s review platform can be extremely influential when it comes to customer purchases. However, customers that purchase through your brand’s website or other retailers will not leave an Amazon review. Therefore, it can be beneficial to transfer this feedback over to help your online sales and Amazon rankings.
PowerReviews allows the users to share a review directly to Amazon through a single click.
Unfortunately, with Trustpilot, this is not possible. However, PowerReviews does allow users to directly share their feedback from the merchant website to Amazon for a verified purchase. According to their research, 33% of reviews are published to Amazon.
Winner – PowerReviews
PowerReviews is straightaway a winner here.
Amazon is truly the e-commerce giant, so if your business sells through this platform, it can be extremely helpful to share customer feedback for better rankings.
8. Social Media
Obviously, social media has become another research hub for future customers. 75% of online shoppers will check out the brand’s social media and look at reviews and product images before buying, and 60% will engage with the social brand as well.
Trustpilot allows for brands to share customer reviews on social media along with an image for better engagement. You can personalize the image by using a default one from Trustpilot’s large image library or uploading your own.
PowerReviews gives brands the power to include user-generated content from customer’s social media pages. These images can then be embedded onto your website (with permission of course), creating truly authentic content for customers to check out before a purchase.
Winner – Depends on Your Goals
Both systems offer different ways to integrate social media content into your marketing strategies. Both offer helpful tools to build customer trust and share authentic content, just different methods.
It’s difficult to pick a clear champion here, as there is some overlap in the two system’s features. Both offer excellent platforms that do make things simple, and each one has specialized tools to help you integrate customer feedback seamlessly into your website and other platforms. However, when it comes to price and overall value, Trustpilot does seem to offer a little bit more bang for your buck, which can be the deciding factor for many smaller companies. However, this doesn’t mean that PowerReviews is without its advantages, especially with its ability to transfer reviews directly to your Amazon product page.
The true decision maker here is your business. Depending on your needs and strategies, either of these customer review systems could be extremely beneficial.