How do Product Review Apps Affect Your Shopify Site Speed?
Product review apps remain some of the most popular apps in eCommerce. However, before you install a product review app on your store, it is crucial to consider the impact of these apps on your site speed. This is what our research aims to do.
You need every help you can get to ensure your Shopify store does well, and customer reviews help greatly.
Think of it this way; customer reviews can make or break any business. The number of scam sites and fake information increases daily, so it's no surprise that customers are now more cautious. In fact, the biggest fear when shopping online is "what if I get scammed?"
By collecting and showcasing reviews on your eCommerce store, you build trust with your customers, and these reviews act as a form of social proof.
Choosing the right app that won't affect your store speed with many different product review apps on Shopify might be tricky. We have curated some of the best product review apps to help you find product review apps that won't affect your store speed.
Why are Product Reviews Important?
One great way to reassure customers of your store's authenticity is by showing them product reviews from other customers.
Why are product reviews so important? Instead of telling you, why don't we show you?
Picture this, imagine you're a customer looking to buy, let's say, a pair of socks, and once you Google "shoe stores", a large number of results pop up. The next step becomes the issue of trust; all these stores might claim to have precisely what you need, but how do you know if they do.
This is where product reviews come in. Product reviews simply say, "Hey! Other customers have bought this item, and here's what they have to say about it." Think of it as an assurance, telling customers all you need to know about your store, its products and services based on other customers' experiences.
What We Did
Apps generally impact store speed, which is why care must be taken when adding apps to Shopify stores. To help you identify great product reviews apps, we found the best product reviews apps using forums, Google results, community discussions, and app ratings.
Our first step was to create a level playing field for our tests. We created 7 demo stores, customized them with identical homepages and products. Next, we installed 10 apps on each store, including:
- Automizely Page Builder
- One-Click Upsell
- Push Owl
- SEO Optimizer
- Shopify Email
Once done, we ran speed tests on each store using Google's Pagespeed Insights and recorded the results.
To ensure accuracy, we double checked each store’s speed score multiple times.
Next, we created live duplicates of each store's theme and installed one product review app/store on the duplicate’s product theme. Finally, we ran speed tests on the duplicate themes to see the impact these apps had on the store's speed.
Our results show just how much these apps without the reviews affect your site speed once installed. In the next few weeks, we’ll show you how much each product review app affects your store speed.
STORE 1: YOTPO PRODUCT REVIEWS & PHOTOS
On the first demo store, we installed the Yotpo Product Reviews and Photos app. With a 4.9 star rating on the Shopify app store, Yotpo includes a one-click feature that allows you to collect reviews for multiple products with just one click.
You can now collect customer feedback through an automatic email request or directly on your site. Yotpo also offers merchants SMS marketing solutions, which makes email campaigns a lot easier.
Another added feature of Yotpo is that it collects reviews, ratings, photos, and customer questions and answers.
Before installing the Yotpo product reviews app, store one had a mobile speed score of 98 and a desktop speed score of 100.
After installing Yotpo, the store's mobile speed score was 91, while its desktop score was 99.
STORE 2: STAMPED.IO
On our second demo store, we added the Stamped.io app to test its impact on store speed. Another popular product reviews app, Stamped.io, is used by many of the fastest-growing Shopify and Shopify Plus stores.
Stamped.io offers a broad range of user-generated content, which makes it quite popular. It also features widgets merchants that ensures product reviews boost conversions and trust. With 4.9 stars on the Shopify app store, Stamped.io is a designated tool for collecting and building social proof.
Before installing the Stamped.io app, store 2's mobile speed score was 96, and its desktop score was 100.
Once installed, the mobile speed score dropped to 91, and its desktop score dropped to 100.
STORE 3: JUDGE.ME PRODUCT REVIEWS
Another great product reviews app, Judge.Me boasts of a 5-star rating on the Shopify app store. Its popularity can be linked to the fact that it goes for an affordable price despite its many essential features.
Judge.Me offers merchants a forever free version with SEO rich snippets, review imports and much more. Hence it is no surprise that it has become popular among merchants looking for an efficient yet affordable product review app.
It also offers text, photo and video reviews as well as automatic reminders.
Our third demo store had a store speed of 93 on mobile and 100 on desktop.
After installing the app, it had a mobile speed score of 59, while its desktop score was 95.
STORE 4: FERA PHOTO REVIEWS APP
A fairly new product review app that has gradually come into the limelight, Fera has a solid 5-star rating on the Shopify app store. Using Fera, merchants can now create customized email templates to send customers automated review requests.
Fera also displays a "verified purchase" badge on reviews from customers who have completed a purchase. Merchants can also offer customers incentives such as discounts, loyalty points in exchange for reviews using Fera.
For only a small fee, merchants can now collect image and video reviews from customers.
Before installation, we tested our store speed and recorded a mobile speed score of 96 and a desktop speed score of 100.
Once we installed the Fera product reviews app, we ran another speed test on the store, recording a mobile speed score of 91 and a desktop score of 100.
STORE 5: VITALS| 40+ Apps in One
Another Shopify app with a 5-star rating, Vitals, offers Shopify merchants multiple apps for the price of one. With Vitals, merchants can now enjoy product and image reviews.
You can also import reviews from other apps such as AlliExpress. Vitals remains a great product review app for Shopify. To check the impact on Shopify store speed, we ran speed tests on the store.
Before installing the app, our Shopify demo store had a mobile speed score of 92 and a desktop score of 100.
After installing and setting up VITALS on the app store, our mobile speed score dropped to 88, and the desktop score dropped to 99.
STORE 6: LOOX - PHOTO REVIEWS
Considered to be another of the most popular Shopify product review apps, Loox is used by over 90,000 Shopify merchants.
One unique feature about Loox is that it shows users reviews and adds an image of customers next to it, increasing your social proof.
However, there is no free plan available, but its numerous features, including its single-click import, fully-branded review requests.
Demo store 6 had a speed score of 95 on mobile and 100 on desktop.
Post installing and setting up the Loox product reviews app, the store's mobile speed score dropped to 88 and desktop score to 99.
STORE 7: OKENDO PRODUCT REVIEWS & UGC
Using Okendo, Shopify merchants can generate ratings & UGC, creating confidence in customers and pushing sales. Okendo also features fully customizable widgets which allow you to present reviews in whatever manner you choose.
Okendo reviews build Shopper trust and excitement by showcasing customers experiences and buyers actions.
Speed tests run on the demo store before installing Okendo revealed a mobile speed score of 96 and a desktop score of 100.
After installing Okendo, the store's speed score was 95 on mobile and 100 on desktop.
Just like any other Shopify app, product reviews app in some way affects store speed. Whether it is by dropping the speed score one or two numbers down, these apps may begin to clog up a store's speed in the long run.
Apps are well-known speed killers, and it doesn't take long for merchants to start seeing the negative impact of these apps on their store speed. One product review app is fine on any store, but when other apps are added, some of which may be duplicated, they eventually become a problem that requires a major fix.
When this happens, you'll need to hire an expert Shopify site speed optimization agency like EcomExperts.
These apps live up to their Shopify ratings; not surprisingly, they are a good fit for Shopify merchants looking to add product reviews to their store.
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