Product review websites: A guide for local businesses

Danny Rodriguez

10 min read Last Updated Dec 14, 2022

Women reading reviews on product review websites.

According to research from Fera.ai, 93% of consumers say they read product reviews before moving forward with a purchase. Another 78% reported being happy or satisfied with their purchase because they took the time to read reviews.

So, what does this mean for you? 

If your business isn’t posting product(s) on product review websites, you’ll lose out on more customers — and therefore, more revenue. In this blog, we’ll talk about the importance of product review sites, how to pick the best ones for your business, and share some of the top product review sites out there.

What is a product review website?

Product review websites let people post reviews of products they’ve purchased and used. They’re helpful for customers trying to decide whether or not to buy a specific product. For example, let’s say you are thinking about buying a new blender. With so many different options, a good resource would be to visit a product review website and read reviews on multiple blenders. There you’ll learn what people liked and didn’t like about the product. They may also include information about their experience with customer service, shipping, pricing, and other areas of interest. These websites are a great way for potential customers to get an idea of what people think about a product before making a purchase.

Why product reviews are important for businesses?

Product review websites provide a way for customers to share their experiences with a product or service. They’re useful for shoppers just starting their search, and they’re also helpful for those that are still undecided. However, product review sites can also be a valuable resource for businesses – and here are a few reasons why.

  • Valuable feedback – By monitoring product reviews, you can get an idea of how customers feel about your products and services. This feedback can help improve your offerings and make sure that they are meeting customer needs.
  • Identify trends – Besides product improvements, reviews can help you identify new trends or features that customers are talking about. This can then be applied to future products to give you the upper hand against competitors.
  • Promotional tool – Review sites also serve as a good platform to generate exposure for a product. What could be better than showcasing your product while providing useful reviews to entice new consumers?

Types of product review sites

Product review websites aren’t one and the same. They offer unique experiences that cater to their specific audiences. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most common types of product review sites.

  • Blog-based review sites: These sites are run by individual bloggers who write about their personal experiences with products. Because they’re not affiliated with any particular brand or retailer, they’re often seen as more impartial than other types of product review sites.
  • User-generated review sites: These sites allow consumers to post their own reviews of products, which can be real helpful in getting an idea of how popular a product is and what users think of it. However, because anyone can submit a review, it’s important to vet reviews to make sure they are valid.
  • Retailer-based review sites: These sites are run by retailers themselves, and usually only feature reviews of products and services that are sold at their stores and website. While this can provide a more biased view of the product, it can also be helpful in seeing which products are trending or not trending.

How do you know which product review sites are right for your business?

Knowing which product review sites are best for you can be challenging, especially because there are so many to choose from. You can narrow down your options by answering the following questions:

  • Does the website have a large and active user base?
  • Are product reviews moderated by the website staff?
  • How much traffic does the website get?
  • Does the website have any features that would be especially useful, such as product rating scores or percentages of positive reviews?
  • How easy is it to set up an account and post product reviews?

Answering these questions will help you understand whether or not a product review website aligns with your business goals. You work hard to develop products and bring them to market, so taking the time to determine if a site is reputable is definitely worth your time and effort.

How to get more product reviews

Once you’ve selected a review site that best suits your product and business, you’ll need a strategy on how to collect reviews. Here are some ideas.

  • 3rd party websites – One option is to reach out to product review websites and ask if they’re interested in featuring your product. Many of these sites are always on the lookout for new products to review, so this can be a good way to get more awareness.
  • Influencers – You could also contact influencers specific to your industry. Send them your product and ask if they’d be willing to post a review and share it with their audience – no strings attached.
  • Direct to consumer – Another option is to post about your product on social media, public forums, and message boards. Many people are happy to give their opinion on products, so this can be a good way to generate some buzz.
  • Contact lists – If you have a customer contact list use that information to send emails or text messages asking for product reviews. Make sure to include links back to the product review sites on which you’re present.

No matter which approach you take, getting more product reviews can be a great way to boost awareness. By making it easy for interested customers to find information about your product, you can increase your chances of making a sale.

Best product review sites

Gentleman checking product review websites on his smartphone.

As we’ve mentioned, there are a number of product review websites out there. Some are more general in nature while others are more niche. To help get you started, here’s a short list of some of the more popular product review sites on the internet.

Amazon

Besides being one of the biggest eCommerce marketplaces, Amazon also doubles up as a popular product review website. With millions of products available for review, Amazon makes it easy to search for and find product reviews. You can also filter reviews by star rating, so you can easily find the most positive or negative reviews. And if you’re looking to go beyond product reviews, Amazon also has a huge directory of customer submitted photos, videos, and Q&As that can help customers make informed purchasing decisions.

G2

G2 specializes in product reviews of business software. They provide in-depth product information and user reviews to help better understand a product or service. In addition to product information and reviews, G2 also offers side-by-side comparisons, price comparisons, and trends to give you further clarity about each product. As a real-life example, check out Birdeye’s G2 review page and see how customers are talking about our products and services.

CNET

CNET is one of the most well-known product review sites, and for good reason. They provide detailed, unbiased reviews of products in a wide range of categories. They also have a helpful forum where users can ask questions and get advice from other shoppers.

Consumer Reports

Another trusted source for product reviews is Consumer Reports. They have a long history of providing comprehensive reviews using thorough testing methods before they publish their reviews. This makes them an especially valuable resource if you’re looking for a neutral opinion.

Gizmodo

Gizmodo is a great option if you’re looking for reviews of tech products. They stay up-to-date on the latest releases and trends, and their reviews are always detailed and well-informed. In addition to product reviews, they also write informative articles about the underlying technology behind the products they review.

Wirecutter

Wirecutter is a product review site that’s affiliated with The New York Times. They rigorously test products before recommending them to their readers. Their focus is on quality over quantity, so you can be sure that any product they recommend is worth your consideration.

Google’s recent product review updates

Google sets the standard for online search best practices and that includes making frequent updates to how product reviews are presented. In December 2021, Google provided the following guidance on product reviews.

  • Provide evidence such as visuals, audio, or other links of your own experience with the product, to support your expertise and reinforce the authenticity of your review.
  • Include links to multiple sellers to give the reader the option to purchase from their merchant of choice.

In October 2022, Google provided yet another update to its product review documentation. The updates include:

  • Review authors – Google now recommends that authors of product reviews be either an expert on a merchant’s website, an unaffiliated blogger, or staff members from a news outlet. This will demonstrate expert knowledge of the product, therefore, increasing the authority of the product review.  
  • Reviews vs Review pages – Google has also updated its documentation by  replacing any language that says ‘product reviews’ with ’product review pages.’ The idea here is that product reviews are only considered partial information and Google will now take the entire product review page into consideration.

What does this all mean? Well, by applying these updated best practices to your product review strategy you increase the chances of your product review page showing up on Google’s search result pages.

Frequently asked questions about Product review websites

Are product review websites free for businesses?

Yes, most product review websites are free for businesses to use. However, some websites may charge a fee for certain features, like promoting a product to the top of a results page or getting featured in a product roundup. Make sure to check out the website’s terms and conditions before you start.

Are product review websites reliable?

Yes, but it’s important to remember that not all reviews are created equal. Some websites may have a financial incentive to write positive reviews, while others may be more critical in their evaluations. It’s important to read multiple reviews from different sources to get a well-rounded picture of a product before making a decision.

Is it recommended to incentivize people to write reviews?

Incentivizing reviews can be a risky move. If people are given rewards for writing positive reviews, there’s a danger of them becoming biased. Additionally, if businesses only post positive reviews, it can give customers a false sense of assurance about the product.

Manage all your reviews with Birdeye

To maximize your product’s exposure, it makes sense to be present on as many review sites as possible. However, the more sites you’re on, the more time and work it’ll take to manage them. With Birdeye, you can connect to over 200 review sites and manage them all from one inbox. But don’t just take our word for it. Watch our free demo to learn more.

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Originally published Oct 14, 2022, updated