Lior Haimovich
Product Manager, Reviews & Ratings @ Yotpo
August 11th, 2020

Building the Review-lution: The Story Behind Yotpo’s Smart Prompts

With our industry-leading Smart Prompts feature, brands can now collect higher-quality reviews with every purchase.

Table Of Contents

Before our groundbreaking new Yotpo Reviews feature was known as Smart Prompts, it was called “Reviewlution.” It was created by a team of R&D engineers, data scientists, and designers during Yotpo’s 2018 Innovation Week, an in-house hackathon designed to foster creative and innovative ideas to improve our Yotpo products.

The team’s idea was simple: Reviewlution would enable brands to improve the quality of reviews they collect by automatically suggesting popular topics the reviewer should mention. They built the product and, in only three days, deployed it in eCommerce stores to get real data. They presented it to the competing teams, and after much deliberation by the judges, the Reviewlution team won the hackathon! 

“We were ten people, gathered around an idea we had just heard for the first time. Three days later, we were seeing it work on thousands of shoppers. It was an amazing feeling, and it’s even better to see it evolve to become a feature that now impacts millions.” — Eyal Kenig, R&D Team Leader and member of the original Reviewlution team

Now, even though the hackathon had ended, they were too excited about Reviewlution to stop. Their work had just begun. 

The team spoke to 14 customers that wanted to be early adopters for the new feature. Since the feature was still in its early stages, they opted for a low-risk approach: Show the new reviews flow to 10% of the brands’ traffic over a six-month-long period of time. Finally, they analyzed the results. While they saw an increase in the length of reviews and the number of topics being mentioned, the amount of review flows completed from a landing page was actually decreasing by 20-30%. There was still work to be done. The team set Reviewlution aside for the moment, but they didn’t forget. 

Creating for (and with) our customers

Fast forward to 2020, and the Product Team was busy interviewing customers to better understand what was and wasn’t working for them. As the brands focused on building their review collection strategies, we began to wonder what was more important to them: the quantity of reviews they could collect, or the quality of each one?

As we spoke to more and more of our customers, we realized that the answer depended on the brand and their products. Younger brands with products at lower price points cared more about collecting as many reviews as possible, while more sophisticated brands with products at higher price points, or brands with lower-cost products that already had a large amount of reviews, needed higher-quality reviews to instill a sense of confidence and trust in potential buyers.

Luckily, we already knew how we could help them collect those higher-quality reviews. It was time to dust off Reviewlution and get back to work.

From Reviewlution to Smart Prompts

We knew we had to iterate on our initial Reviewlution product to get it right. So, we built a new version, Smart Prompts, with two especially pivotal improvements: We made the UX more intuitive and engaging, and we created a new algorithm that suggested the most relevant topics for each individual product. 

We also had another source of information we didn’t have when Reviewlution was first built: our AI-powered Smart Filters. With the data collected via Smart Filters and our updates, reviews flows with Smart Prompts would suggest popular topics that other shoppers frequently mention in their product reviews. Now, brands could make reviews more interesting to shoppers based on exactly what they filter by when making a purchase decision — closing the feedback loop and bolstering every review with more impactful content.

Post-release, we have continued to optimize the algorithm to further improve the impact of reviews. We A/B/C tested a few versions of our new and improved Smart Prompts over 500,000 sessions across 500 stores from different industries. After initial testing, when a topic was suggested by Smart Prompts, the probability that a reviewer would mention it in a review increased by 5x on average across stores. Now, that probability has increased to 11x —  making reviews more valuable than ever.

In addition, and equally as important: After testing, with Smart Prompts helping to encourage shoppers to write reviews, the amount of reviews flows completed increased by 5% on average across stores. This was a massive win for our team when compared to the first version of this feature, which had resulted in a decrease of 20-30%. With these immense improvements and clear added value, the feature was ready to be released to our customers. 

Smart Prompts is now not only a success, but a revolutionary technology in the Reviews space — and it had begun as just a simple idea.  

At Yotpo, we’re proud to innovate with our brands in mind, iterating on our products until they are perfect, and releasing them only when we know they will make a valuable impact on our customers’ businesses.

You can read more about Smart Prompts here. Interested in learning more about how your brand can make reviews your best revenue driver? Learn more here.

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