Reviews

UltraCart Reviews

Background

The UltraCart review engine allows you to collect user-based reviews for your products. User reviews are great content for search engine optimization and also help lend credibility to your business. The integrated review engine has been designed to provide the customer with a lot of functionality for sifting through the reviews. It has also been designed with ease of deployment in mind and is compatible with both your static HTML site and the UltraCart dynamic catalog.

Configuring Reviews

The review module configuration is located under Home -> Configuration -> Items (tab)


The first screen covers the basic configuration of the overall review system. There are three tabs to the left of the screen: Settings, Item Templates and Unapproved Reviews.

Settings

General Settings

The first question asks what type of scale you want to rate products on. Most merchants will either choose a 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 scale. The most common scale on the web is 1 to 5.

The next field allows you to define the terms and conditions that the customer will have to agree to in order to submit their review. Make sure you don't fail to properly define your terms and conditions. You want to make sure that it is clear to the customer that you will own and can use the review that is submitted for whatever use you need to.

For example you might want to review the BestBuy.com terms and conditions located at this URL:  http://reviews.bestbuy.com/content/3545a/termsandconditions.htm


The next field will ask the customer if they would recommend your store overall. This is different than recommending the product they purchased. For instance they may dislike the product because it broke, but loved your customer service and would not only purchase a different product from you in the future, but would recommend your store to others.

Reviewer Profile Questions

Finally there are questions that you can ask the reviewer when they first establish their profile. Often times you will want to use these questions to get a better idea of the type of customer. For instance are you new to the hobby, a seasoned hobbyist, or a professional hobbyist? Customers will give a review more wanting if the reviewer's profile questions indicate they are knowledgeable in the product arena they are reviewing.

While configuring a profile question there are three types:

  • Single line of text
  • Multiple lines of text
  • Drop down selection

We would recommend using drop down selections whenever possible. This type of multi-choice answer format will be easier to group into reviewer types later on.

Click on the Configure button to create your question.  The following screen will appear.

Enter your question, select the Answer Format and if you select drop down selection then enter your choices.  Click Save when finished.  Repeat until you've configured all your questions.  The finished screen should look something like the following:


To edit any of your questions, click the "configure" button.  To delete, click the "remove" button.

Item Templates

Next we need to configure the item templates from the Item Templates tab.


 

An item template determines the types of criteria that you are asking the customer to review the product on. For example you might ask them to rate the product on the scale of 1 to 5 on durability, price, performance, and appearance.  This template has already been created.  Click on the "edit" button to reveal and/or edit the established characteristics.



Note that one of your templates can be defined as the default template. This template will be used if the customer starts to review an item but a specific template has not been assigned to the item. If your store sells one type of item then a single default template will probably do just fine. If you sell two completely different products like food and clothing, you might want two different templates and will want to assign the template to each item in your store (batch item import spreadsheet is the best way to handle this).

Display Template

The next tab is the Display Template. This is a velocity based template that controls the look and feel of the template. This is where all the heavy lifting of the review display is handled. You should not edit this unless you are VERY comfortable with the velocity language used by the catalog, JavaScript, and the jQuery JavaScript framework. You will notice a "Reset to Default" button at the bottom of the page. That will reload the stock display template in case you make a change that breaks your display template.



Deploying Reviews

Adding reviews to your site is easy. Just click on the [Item link] for a given item (Baseball Bat for this example).

NAVIGATE:

Main Menu Item Management Items Click the "links" hyperlink then scroll down to "reviews" section


Item Link


At the bottom of the page is a snippet of HTML for deploying the review.

In this example the snippet is:

<script type="text/javascript" src="https://secure.ultracart.com/cgi-bin/UCReviewDisplay?merchantId=DEMO&itemId=BASEBALL+BAT"></script>

Notice that the itemId is the only thing within the snippet that you will have to change from item to item just like with a buy link. This single script tab, when pasted into your HTML page, will render the review section.


If you are working within the UltraCart dynamic catalog you can call the appropriate method on the item object to obtain the review script:
${item.getReviewDisplayScript()}
No matter what style of website you are operating, reviews are only a single line of HTML away!

Approving Reviews

Once a review is submitted it must be approved before becoming visible on the website.  The total number of reviews pending approval will be shown at the Configuration > Items tab.


All  users on the UltraCart account that have the Notifications "Unapproved Reviews" will receive a once-a-day email if there are any reviews that need approving. The fourth tab of the review module will display a list of the unapproved reviews:



Editing or Deleting Reviews

When you click on the edit button to the right of the review, you will be able to see the entire review and make edits.  At the bottom you can approve, Delete or Save your edits. You can also Approve, Unapprove or Reject the review at the first field labeled Status.


It's important to allow fair reviewing of products (pro and con) on your website.  However, sometimes customers are being cruel by stating things about a product that are not factual. For instance, a customer giving a product "1 star" because the shipper was late by two days is not a fair rating for the customer to apply.

Reviews Tied to Customer Profiles

Reviews are tied to customer profiles. Before a customer can submit a review they have to establish a customer profile. Due to this relationship you can also see some details about the reviews a customer has submitted in the customer profile editor.

Navigate:

Locate the Customer using the search feature.  From the search results, click on the edit button for the appropriate Customer.  Scroll to the bottom of the search results screen. 



There are two key options that you can set at the customer profile editor. The first is expert and the second is auto approve. If a customer is submitting a lot of quality reviews, you may want to trust them and automatically approve. Also, you may want to hire an expert in the field to submit reviews to your site. One of the filter options for the customer is to see Expert reviews. An expert review can quickly sway a customer's opinion of the product and convince them to purchase.