Caught in the web of Comparison Shopping Engine Merchant Survey misconceptions?

Watch out for Shelob!

Most CSE’s strongly endorse using a customer survey, and rightly so. A  Merchant Survey is a great way of identifying strengths and weaknesses in merchant services.

You can implement customer reviews for merchants here on Nextag, Pricegrabber, Shopping, and Shopzilla.

Merchant Surveys are a great way to positively influence conversions, which will be especially helpful with the increase in online holiday sales this season.

Although seemingly straightforward- many merchants have questions about merchant surveys, and are unclear as to how they function.

Merchant Survey Questions

What do merchant surveys measure?

When we hear the word “survey” after purchasing a product, most of us immediately think of rating a product based on its features. Customers can do this on CSEs, and it is a major determinant for many conversions. Which explains the confusion about merchant reviews.

BUT- product reviews are not the same thing as the customer merchant review which CSEs prompt you to install.

CSE customer merchant surveys measure merchant services, not product quality.

Reviews of merchants are instead designed to measure metrics concerning the experience the customer had during shopping- not the product. Shopzilla explains its own “Customer Feedback and Ratings Program:”

common mistakes made on CSE customer surveys

Note that the metrics discussed revolve around the services associated with the merchant, not the specific qualities of the product. Questions will likely involve the responsiveness of the merchant, website, etc.

What is the correct term for merchant reviews?

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Much of the confusion about merchant reviews revolves around the different labels they receive. Although surveys take by customers, they review merchants, and can easily be confused with product reviews.

Each Comparison Shopping Engine (CSE) additionally chooses to use its own term for the tool.

Nextag refers to its reviews as “Seller Reviews” in its individual listings, but prompts merchants to install a “Point of Sale Survey builder:”

“Implement a customized Point of Sale survey on your sales confirmation page. This is the page your customers reach after they have completed a purchase on your website. When the buyer reaches this page, a pop-up window will appear, asking the buyer to review your site.”

Pricegrabber has a slightly more helpful label in “Merchant Survey,” while Shopping refers to them as “Store Reviews.”

Nextag,  and Shopzilla also have applicable explanations of the varying inquiries concerning merchant reviews.

Should I install merchant surveys from every  Comparison Shopping Engine (CSE)?

Merchant survey inquiries, reviews on many shopping engines

Merchant Review pop-ups following a purchase.

Each CSE acts independently of its sister CSEs- so they all endorse and provide separate customer surveys. While installing surveys from every CSE is fine for a merchant who is on one or two CSEs, this is a horrible move for a merchant who is on many.

Each CSE survey is designed to pop-up following a customer’s purchase, asking them about their purchase experience. If a merchant has installed multiple surveys, they will bombard the user  following his or her purchase.

A safe way to avoid this is to install a rotating survey pixel code. (Get a free consultation and learn how!)

Make Survey’s work for you!CSE surveys helpful in SEO optimization

Despite its negative connotations (eww spider!), spiderwebs are actually a scientific marvel. They are stronger than steel, and spiders must tend them closely to turn them into the phenomenon they are.

Surveys are much the same.  As with everything in CSE-ville, the key to success is being knowledgeable and attentive.

 View more tips!

Google Product Search Seller Reviews

Amazon Product Ads Tips

Nextag Tips

Shopzilla Special offers







About the AuthorMary Weinstein is the Director of Content at CPC Strategy, and an expert in Retail Search, Google Shopping and Digital Marketing. A NY native, Mary spends her time educating online merchants, hiking and drinking copious amounts of coffee. You can also find her work on SEW, SEMRush, MOZ and Practical Ecommerce. See all posts by this author here.

  • Steve

    Excellent post! Ive noticed that many of my clients don’t get reviews on due to the survey popup getting blocked (the other engines dont). Ive contacted about it, but they weren’t able to offer a solution. Do you see anything like this too?

  • MerryWhy


    Thanks for your comment.

    Although that is something we do see often, I am not aware of any ways to circumvent it. :(