Aimee Millwood
Director of Content at Yotpo
August 20th, 2015

How Your Competitors’ Product Reviews Can Help You

Table Of Contents

There’s a reason why Mafia bosses are so hated by police — they’re supremely talented at staying one step ahead of the game.

They’ve got eyes and ears out on competing gangs trying to come up onto their territory and their hands in the pocket of corrupt policemen so they know what’s going on around them, all the time, on every front.

They slip up, of course. But the successful bosses are incredible at knowing their competition and enemies.

To succeed in selling online, you need to be a boss. You need to know how to use all your available tools to exploit your enemies and gain the upper hand on competition.

Your best tool is staring you right in the face. Start using your competitor’s reviews to your advantage.

They won’t know what hit ’em.

Speak to their customers better than they do

It’s hard to guess what your customers want.

One of the best ways to improve your branding and create a stronger emotional relationship with them is to speak in the words they use to describe your product and brand.

Understanding how your customers speak is the first step to crafting effective copy.

For example, maybe you’re selling the most durable sweaters to a target market of teenagers, but you find out they love your sweaters because of their great value. By identifying the language they’re naturally using you can better market your product.

So how are you going to find out the most effective wording to help your customers find you and relate to you?

Look to your competitor’s product reviews to find out what words people use to describe their products. Maybe they keep saying how much they love the quality – so, align your brand to better emphasize your quality.

You can also use your own reviews to better understand how to craft effective language using the right keywords, but your competitor’s offer insights into what you may be missing.

Using the language your customers are allows you to market more effectively, and it has a side effect of further improving SEO because you can identify long-tail keywords that will bring you super targeted traffic.

Improve Your Product Descriptions & Boost Your SEO

Product reviews are huge in increasing on-site conversion, but poor descriptions can’t undo even the best reviews.

Your product descriptions matter. A lot.

To start, you should not be using stock product descriptions. Even if they adequately describe your product, they’re terrible for SEO.

Search engines love unique content – and having a carbon copy of other store’s descriptions doesn’t make them very happy.

Search engines penalize websites for utilizing content that duplicates content from other websites, so it’s important your product descriptions are unique.

Also, product descriptions are your chance to set yourself apart. This is another opportunity to have great branding in your microcontent and use the language your customers want to read.

You may be selling the same or similar products as your competitors, but that definitely doesn’t mean your product descriptions should sound the same.

So when you’re looking at your product descriptions, think of a few things:

  • How can you integrate keyword-friendly text?
  • What long-tail keywords can you use to bring you the right audience?
  • How can you show personality in your description?

This is where competitors’ reviews come in. You should already have checked them out to see the type of language customers use to describe their product.

Keep track of reoccurring keywords, and then check to see which are most relevant to your long-tail keyword opportunities.

Next, go for the keywords your competitors aren’t already using. If you can, you want to target keywords they haven’t yet thought of as opportunities.

Identify potential issues before they become costly problems

By staying on top of your competitors’ reviews, you can catch issues plaguing their customers before it’s too late for you.

Identify common complaints with the product as well as dissatisfaction with the service or brand to understand what’s important for your potential customers.

Maybe customers will happily settle for slow delivery because of the lifetime satisfaction guarantees a store offers. Or maybe they don’t care about lifetime satisfaction guarantees, they just want the product cheap and quick.

Also, identify potential issues so your customers are aware before there is a problem. Maybe shipping is going to be slow no matter what because the item is frequently out of stock – see which issues are commonly complained about and prep your customers before there is a problem.

Or, if it’s something fixable, find out what complaints they have about your competition and improve your own game at this.

Identify cross-sell opportunities

Your competitor’s product reviews can help you identify potential cross-sell opportunities. By looking at what customers frequently purchase together, you can bundle your own products accordingly.

You should also look at the related products they list on their page to see if your own are accurate or not.

Maybe they’re listing products with bad reviews as potential cross-sells – don’t make the mistake and make sure the products you’re promoting and relevant and have good reviews.


Your competition’s product reviews can give you insight you may not otherwise have. Think beyond your own customer reviews and learn how to mill your competition’s user-generated content to your advantage.

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