The Seller Ratings feature of Conversations enables you to

  • Collect ratings and reviews about your company from consumers who submit feedback based on their buying experience. After you collect seller ratings, they can appear in Google AdWords.
  • Display up to 12 four- and five-star reviews, which are refreshed daily. The Seller Ratings display module also enables your seller ratings to appear in inline search results.

As with product reviews, seller ratings go through Bazaarvoice moderation and, once approved, they appear on your company's personalized shopping reviews page, as shown in the following image:

SEO benefits

The following SEO benefits are available to you:

  • After you enable Seller Ratings in your Conversations implementation, ratings and reviews about your company can appear in Google AdWords. Google estimates that seller ratings increase Google Adwords performance by approximately 17 percent. In addition, seller ratings can be displayed in Google Shopping and other Google products.
  • After you implement the Seller Ratings display module on your company's home page, your seller ratings appear in inline search results (as rich snippet stars) for any search engine that uses schema.org markup, such as Google and Bing.

In general, seller ratings enhance your site's search engine optimization (SEO) because they enable you to:

  • Stand out from the competition—third-party reviews encourage trust and interest in your company from new customers.
  • Improve your position in search results—customer reviews are SEO-indexed and refreshed on a daily basis, providing fresh content to search engines.

Enable seller ratings

Complete the following steps to enable seller ratings in the Conversations configuration hub:

  1. Contact Bazaarvoice Client Care to add the seller ratings feature to your implementation.
  2. Log in to the Bazaarvoice Workbench and then click Settings » Manage Applications. The Site Manager page is displayed.
  3. Edit the implementation where you want to enable Seller Ratings.
  4. In the Settings section of the configuration hub, click Email Configuration.
  5. Click the PIE & Seller Ratings PIE tab and then scroll down to the Seller Ratings PIE section of the page. Select Enabled.
  6. To specify a time of day when Bazaarvoice will begin to send Seller Ratings post-interaction email messages, scroll to the top of the page (on the PIE & Seller Ratings tab) and then select an option from the Schedule Time to Start Sending Email (UTC) drop-down menu. If multiple locales are in use in your implementation, select the locale from the drop-down list first.

    By default, Bazaarvoice sends a PIE message at the same time as the original consumer transaction (transaction time) after the PIE delay. If this delay expires after the time specified here, the PIE message is sent the following day at the transaction time.

    Note: This settings controls when all PIE messages are sent (PIE and Seller Ratings PIE). Keep this in mind when changing the setting.
  7. Configure email settings. A seller ratings email message invites your customers to submit ratings and reviews for your company that are sent seven days after a transaction. Customers receive seller ratings email messages no more than once every six months no matter how many transactions they make.
    1. If necessary, implement BV Pixel or feed-based PIE on your site so that transaction data will be sent to Bazaarvoice.
    2. Set the Trigger emails option on the Email Configuration page based on step a.
    3. Edit the Google Seller Ratings email template or create a custom template.
    4. Ensure customer records are up-to-date.

    Be aware that you cannot edit the submission form that is displayed when a customer clicks a link in an email message. The submission form is designed to adhere to Google guidelines for seller ratings. In addition, you cannot view or test the form before enabling seller ratings.

  8. Deploy the changes to the implementation.

The configuration hub also allows you to enable and configure the Seller Ratings display module, as described below.

Note: If necessary, you can manage end-user email subscriptions and provide end-users the ability to unsubscribe from email messages, though an Unsubscribe link is included in all email messages to consumers. You can also view a list of consumers who have unsubscribed from seller ratings messages. See Consumer email subscriptions for more information.

Display seller ratings

The Seller Ratings display module boosts consumer confidence by displaying up to 12 positive reviews, which are refreshed daily. After you insert the display module on your company's home page, four- and five-star reviews are displayed. Then, you can access the Seller Ratings Display dashboard in your Bazaarvoice Workbench to view metrics on your seller ratings.

The following SEO benefits are available to you after you implement the Seller Ratings display module:

  • Your seller ratings appear in inline search results (as rich snippet stars) for any search engine that uses schema.org markup, such as Google and Bing.
  • Stand out from the competition—third-party reviews encourage trust and interest in your company from new customers.
  • Improve your position in search results—customer reviews are SEO-indexed and refreshed on a daily basis, providing fresh content to search engines.

To display seller ratings on your site, you must configure the Seller Ratings display module in the Conversations configuration hub, and then deploy the module. After the module is deployed, you can customize the cascading stylesheet (CSS) to match your site design.

Be aware that moderation of seller ratings differs from moderation of product reviews; seller or shopping experience is moderated, not the product. For details, refer to Moderation.

Note: Refer to the FAQ for a list of common questions and issues.

Step 1: Configure the Seller Ratings display module

Follow these steps to configure the Seller Ratings display module:

  1. Log in to the Bazaarvoice Workbench and then click Settings » Manage Applications. The Site Manager page is displayed.
  2. From the Implementations list, locate the Conversations implementation where you want to enable the Seller Ratings display module. Click the Edit button next to the implementation to open the configuration hub.
  3. In the User Experience section of the configuration hub, click Seller Ratings Display.
  4. Click the Enabled toggle switch in the Seller Ratings display module section of the page.
  5. Use the Number of reviews to show slider to select the number of reviews to show in the module.
  6. To use the CSS provided and hosted by Bazaarvoice, click Enabled under Include theme CSS. This provides you with a basic set of display styles and gives you a starting place to add your own customizations. Bazaarvoice recommends using this option to ensure forward compatibility with future versions of the Seller Ratings display module.
    Note: You can add your own customizations to the Bazaarvoice CSS using override rules. See Customizing the CSS for information about customizing the Bazaarvoice CSS file.

The following image is an example of a Seller Ratings display module using Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS.

Step 2: Deploy the Seller Ratings display module

Once you have enabled and formatted the Seller Ratings display module, you can deploy the module using one of two options:

Deploying using the Bazaarvoice hosted display

You can configure the Seller Ratings display module on your company's home page using the Bazaarvoice hosted display, as follows:

  1. On the Seller Ratings page of the configuration hub, under Deployment Options » Option 1: Bazaarvoice Hosted Display, select the deployment zone and environment where you want to implement the module.
  2. Select the locale to which the reviews belong from the drop-down list, as shown in the following example.
  3. Add the generated code to your company's website in the location where you want the Seller Ratings display module to appear.

Deploying using the Bazaarvoice SDK

View the BVSEO SDK documentation for step-by-step instructions on how to deploy the Seller Ratings display module from your own server. Select the SDK that fits your implementation:

Step 3: Customize the CSS

Bazaarvoice hosts CSS rules for the Seller Ratings display module that provide a default look and feel. You can apply overrides to the Bazaarvoice CSS by adding your own styles or hiding unnecessary display elements. If you choose not to use the Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS, you must style the Seller Ratings display module entirely using your own CSS files.

The following image shows how the Seller Ratings display module looks using the Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS:

Note: The Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS uses the same default star color that you have configured for product ratings and reviews.

Enabling and disabling the CSS

To include or exclude the Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS, select Enabled under Include theme CSS on the Seller Ratings page of the configuration hub to include the Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS. Or, select Disabled to exclude it.

Note: Enabling Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS ensures the best forward compatibility with future versions of the Seller Ratings display module. Disabling Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS and relying entirely on your own CSS files increases your overhead and might cause you to encounter difficulties with future upgrades.

Customizing the CSS

You can customize styles in the Seller Ratings display module by creating your own styles and placing them in your own CSS files. If you are using Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS, place custom overrides for specific rules into your own CSS files as described in the following instructions.

Follow these steps to apply your own style to part of the Seller Ratings display module.

  1. Locate the HTML markup for the element you want to style.

    For example, the following code snippet shows the markup for the "view all reviews" link. The link has a bv_ratings-link class attribute.

    <a class="bv_ratings-link" 
    href="http://ratings.bazaarvoice.com/index.html?merchant=seller-ratings-preview&locale=en_US" 
    target="_blank" rel="nofollow" tabindex="0">
        <span>View all <strong class="bv_ratings-link__rating">3</strong> reviews</span>
    </a>
  2. Create a new rule for the corresponding class that adds to or changes the appropriate style.

    • If you are using Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS, create a rule for the class you want to style and add the .bv_override prefix.

      Note:  In Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS, all elements are specified within a containing .bv class definition. You must use the containing .bv class in addition to the specific element class when creating your own rules.

      The following example shows a new rule using the .bv_override prefix and including the containing .bv element. The rule changes the font style of the "view all reviews" link.

      .bv_override.bv .bv_ratings-link {
      font-style: italic;
      }
    • If you are not using Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS, create a standard CSS rule targeting the class you want to style.

  3. Add your rule to your own CSS files.

Adding new styles

Bazaarvoice identifies elements in the Seller Ratings display module markup with unique class attributes. Even if an element is not styled by default when using Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS, you can still add your own rule using the .bv_override prefix.

For example, by default Bazaarvoice does not style the element that states time elapsed since a review was written. However, that element is identified in markup with a unique bv_review_submissionTime class, as shown in the following example:

<span>
    "Posted by "
    <span class="bv_review_nickname" itemprop="author">
        <strong>John Doe</strong>
    </span>
    <span class="bv_review__submissionTime">7 days ago</span>
</span>

You can add your own CSS rule for this element using the method described in the previous section. If you are using Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS, you must use the .bv_override prefix to customize styles, even if the element is not styled by default.

Excluding unnecessary items

To provide you with flexibility, the Seller Ratings display module includes more display items than you might need. For example, the "View Reviews" link appears in two places in the module. You might want to hide one of the two "View Reviews" links.

To hide elements when using Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS, use the .bv_override prefix in your own CSS files to render unwanted elements invisible. The .bv_override prefix is described in the previous section. If you disable the Bazaarvoice-hosted CSS, use standard CSS methods to hide items.

Pair seller ratings with Google AdWords

If you enable Seller Ratings, your seller ratings will appear within Google AdWords if you are a Google AdWords client, as shown in the following image:

If you are not an AdWords client, contact Google for more information about becoming a client.

Complete the following steps to verify your company's home page web address (URL) in the Conversations configuration hub. Bazaarvoice uses the URL to sync Google AdWords with your seller ratings.

  1. In the configuration hub, select Getting Started » Technical Setup and click the Site Profile tab.
  2. In the Home Page URL field, confirm or enter the URL for the main page of your company's website.

Ensure customer records are up-to-date

Bazaarvoice sends seller ratings PIE to customers based on transactional information. To send PIE correctly, ensure that your transactional information is up-to-date.

Send transactional information to Bazaarvoice in one of the following ways:

  • Enable the BV Pixel, which automatically collects transactional data and ensures Bazaarvoice always has current information. Bazaarvoice recommends this method.
  • Send Bazaarvoice a purchase catalog. If you select this option, you must regularly send feeds to Bazaarvoice to ensure your customer information is up to date.

Whether you use the BV Pixel or send a purchase feed, ensure your feeds are locale-specific so PIE messages are sent in the correct language.

View seller ratings reports

You can view reports about seller ratings in the following ways.

  • For assorted metrics about your seller ratings, visit the Seller Ratings Display dashboard in your Bazaarvoice Workbench.
  • For US-based seller ratings reports, use a unique URL for your company, as shown in the following example:

    http://ratings.bazaarvoice.com/index.html?merchant=<client_name>

    where <client_name> is your Bazaarvoice Workbench login username. The URL is case sensitive, so ensure your capitalization is accurate.

  • For non-US-based seller ratings reports, add the locale information to the URL, as in the following example:

    http://ratings.bazaarvoice.com/index.html?merchant=<client_name>&locale=en_GB

    where <client_name> is your Bazaarvoice Workbench login username. The URL is case sensitive, so ensure your capitalization is accurate.

Note: According to Google, reviews may take between two and three weeks to appear in ads.

If you want to receive reports containing review content and contact information submitted by reviewers, contact Bazaarvoice Client Care .

FAQs

Following are a few frequently asked questions about requirements for seller ratings:

  1. Using the configuration hub, click Seller Ratings under Settings.
  2. Under Seller Ratings PIE » Send PIE to request reviews about your company, select Enabled. An email will be sent to consumers seven days after a transaction to collect reviews on the shopping experience. Only one Seller Ratings email message is sent to any consumer within six months, no matter how often he or she purchases products.
  3. To configure Seller Ratings display:
    1. Click the Enabled toggle switch in the Seller Ratings Module section of the page.
    2. Use the Number of reviews to show slider to select the number of reviews to show in the module.
    3. Click Enabled under Include theme CSS.
    4. Under Deployment Options » Option 1: Bazaarvoice Hosted Display, select the deployment zone, environment, and locale for which you want to implement the module.
    5. Add the generated code to your company's website in the location where you want the Seller Ratings display module to appear.