Recently, a beauty brand I work with asked me a question that should have been simple to answer. The client had just launched a new product on Walmart.com, and his priority was to boost the number of reviews on the platform. He wanted to know the best tool to help.
It is a tricky question to answer. The problem is, there isn’t a lot of information available about review syndication on Walmart. Pricing is often opaque, and so are the limitations of each service.
I decided to create a comparison of the four major tools for cultivating reviews on Walmart: Yotpo, Bazaarvoice, and the two in-house Walmart services.
Why boost reviews on Walmart.com?
Review syndication is so important on Walmart.com because there are far fewer reviews on the average Walmart product than on the average Amazon product. At the end of 2022, for instance, 75% of online shoppers reported buying a product from Amazon.com, compared to 43% who bought from Walmart.com. That discrepancy inevitably tricks down into the number of reviews on each platform.
Having a lot of high-quality reviews on Walmart.com can also help your placement in the Walmart algorithm. The company determines search placement using a Listing Quality Score. Anecdotally, we’ve found that ratings and reviews are the factor that most profoundly impact a product’s Listing Quality Score.
To boost your review count, you have two main options:
- Syndication services, which take pre-existing reviews from your DTC website and migrate them to Walmart.com and other sites.
- Review accelerators, which encourage customers to leave organic reviews directly on Walmart.com.
What are the options?
Walmart review syndication
Walmart does offer an in-house service that can syndicate reviews from your website to Walmart.com. It’s free, and in theory, all you need to do is upload an Excel sheet of your reviews. The problem is, at Acadia, we’ve found that it rarely works. It’s not generally a good option for brands.
Walmart Review Accelerator Program
Cost: $10 per product
Type: Review driver
The newest Walmart service is aimed at encouraging customers to leave reviews. Enroll a product in the review accelerator through Seller Center. Walmart will follow-up with customers thirty days after buying your product, encouraging them to leave a review. Customers who do receive a $3 credit.
The cost to the brand is $10 for each product that gets reviewed. The only downside is, there’s a hard limit to the program: the review accelerator program only allows up to five reviews per product.
Bazaarvoice Spark Reviewer
Cost: $15-30 per unit + cost of the product
Type: Review driver
Working with Bazaarvoice gives you access to Walmart’s Spark Reviewers—a group of reviewers that Bazaarvoice has identified because of the frequency and quality of their reviews. Basically, they’re the best of the best on Walmart.com.
Through this program, you send a free product to a group of Spark Reviewers in exchange for a review. You pay the cost of the product and shipping on top of a $15-30 fee per review. Unlike the reviewer accelerator program, Spark Reviewers are guaranteed to write you a review. Plus, their reviews tend to be very detailed, and they often include pictures, videos, and other media.
Yotpo Review Syndication
$8k for brands with 1.5k-2k monthly orders
- One-time import fee: $750 to $1.5k
- Recurring annual fee: $1.5k
Yotpo takes the reviews from your DTC website and migrates them onto Walmart.com. The benefit of Yotpo is that it works fast. Let’s say you have 800 reviews per product on your DTC site. Just by spending a few thousand dollars on syndication, you can ensure that all those reviews appear on Walmart.com in a matter of days.
The big downside is that Yotpo is essentially leasing these syndicated reviews to you. The reviews only stay up on Walmart.com as long as you pay Yotpo’s annual fee ($1,500). Stop using Yotpo, and all of your syndicated reviews disappear.
The cost of Yotpo is also variable. The initial price is tiered based on how many orders you receive on your DTC site. You pay $8k if you generate between 1.5k and 2k orders on your DTC site per month, for instance. Then there are other fees: there’s a recurring $1.5k annual fee, as well as a one-time importation fee that can range from $750 to $1.5k.
So what’s the best way to increase reviews?
I don’t have a one-size-fits-all recommendation for boosting reviews on Walmart.com. Instead, I tend to make recommendations based on the specifics of your business, budget, and needs.
Yotpo, for instance, might make a lot of sense for 1P brands. If you have a lot of reviews on your DTC site, but not a lot on Walmart.com, Yotpo can be a big boost. But it is pricey, and it locks you in for the long term.
Bazaarvoice, meanwhile, is a great way to boost reviews organically on Walmart.com, but it can take a while to accrue a meaningful number of reviews. You have to ship products individually to every reviewer, and then wait for them to put up their review.
Reviews are a crucial piece of a sophisticated Walmart.com marketing strategy, but they aren’t the only tool you need to grow your Walmart presence. At Acadia, we offer marketing, advertising, and analytics services for brands selling on Walmart.com. Visit our service page to find out more.