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How Shopper Approved Pricing Works

Everything you always wanted to ask about Shopper Approved prices

Recently, Michael Sanofsky, head of sales at Shopper Approved, spent some time talking about the price structure of Shopper Approved solutions. Here are the results of that interview, ranging from what factors determine the ultimate price a customer will pay for our software, to how our free trial works, to how all of this compares to the rates that other review services charge.

To see Shopper Approved's price plans and learn more, visit our Pricing Page.

(Editor's note: This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.)


How is Shopper Approved pricing structured?

The pricing is based on order volume tiers, very similar to everyone in the industry.

For every order, we'll send a review request. This means there might be instances where people would say, ‘We only want to send it to half of our orders.’ So then we base that client’s pricing accordingly.

At its most basic level, that's how our pricing is set up: it is based off order volume, or the number of surveys that we send out. That's going to be the pricing model, and that's pretty similar to the rest of the industry.

But then after that, it gets much different; drastically different, as far as what things other review companies factor into their pricing.

As far as order volume goes, the customer tells us, ‘This is the average number of orders that we get every month. This was the average the last twelve months.’ And then we will factor in different things if they say, ‘We've cut our spending down,’ or things of that nature.

Do Shopper Approved prices change when order volume grows?

With Shopper Approved, no, it does not. We don't lock people into pricing where we say, ‘Hey, this is your price for life,’ but we also don't have anything that triggers, saying ‘You are now selling more.’

That's not to say we absolutely wouldn't in the future. But as it currently stands, it's kind of a weakness and a strength of our business. Weakness because we probably should be charging more when companies grow beyond their initial capacity; and we have some companies that are taking advantage of that, where we should be charging them much more.

But it’s also a strength, considering that we keep our pricing fairly consistent, and that’s an advantage for clients who know they can count on that when working us into their budget.

And when we're talking about the strength of it, most of our competitors, what they’re doing is, if you say, ‘My order volume is 100 a month,’ but then you collect 120 orders, they stop sending review requests right at 100. You hit your cap and it stops and there are no surveys being sent out. Unless you increase your limit and start paying more, you are capped. Whereas our service continues working.

Is that same structure used for all Shopper Approved products?

For most of our products, yes, it does follow that structure.

Q&A and Social Evidence are different. Q&A is based off the total number of pageviews on the customer’s product page. And then, as far as Social Evidence goes, it is the total number of unique visitors per month.

The difference between a unique visitor and a pageview is that, if I go to a website, I am a unique visitor; I might click on seven different pages, but I'm still just one unique visitor. So, Social Evidence is unique visitors and then Q&A is pageviews.

And then Website Security is actually just a fixed rate cost, regardless of the size of your company.

Can you buy Shopper Approved solutions à la carte?

The short answer is yes, they can buy different products.

However, some products are essentially a precursor to other products. For example, at its most basic core level, The Shopper Approved platform requires Seller Ratings to be turned on.

When Shopper Approved was started, we built the software to where we thought, ‘Why would anyone ever want Product Reviews without Seller Ratings?’ Company comes first and then products. So, to sign up with Shopper Approved, you have to have Seller Ratings.

And so to have something like Product Reviews or Review Destinations, you would have to have Seller Ratings with it.

But as far as the Seller Ratings, Video and Product Reviews, and Review Destinations, those are somewhat tight. You can have Seller Ratings plus Review Destinations, no Product Reviews, you could have Seller plus Product, no Review Destinations, but you can't have one of those additional review services without the foundation of Seller Ratings.

And then with Trust Guard, Website Security could be purchased as a standalone product. Likewise, Q&A could be purchased as a standalone product, and Social Evidence could be standalone.

Are businesses getting a better overall value if they buy one of the suites?

When products are bundled then, yes, we do lower-rate, package-rate pricing. So there is an advantage to buying them together.

But also, depending on a company’s budget or monetary constraints, they could start with some and then add others down the road. Many do it that way as well.

We want to prove to people how well the Shopper Approved Traffic and Conversion Suite works in comparison to other review options. We want people to see the results for themselves.

How can a business owner calculate what their full Shopper Approved price will be?

Pricing is discussed more in detail when we meet with a customer and do a demonstration of our software. Price is generally discussed by the end of the demo. But they can dive straight into pricing at the beginning if they are anxious.

During the demo, we walk through what our solutions are and how they benefit users, and the discussion is tailored to how it would work for their particular website, and not just any general site.

Every website is different, every marketing strategy is different; and so our platform can be customized to fit individual websites’ needs and the strategy in which they're working. Therefore, we like them to work with the salesperson to really see how the product is going to fit them and not just make it generalized.

We find that people who make the solutions more customized to their brand and strategy have better success with it, as opposed to just following the one-size-fits-all.

Is there a contract for Shopper Approved?

At Shopper Approved, we believe in providing different options and flexibility that fit the customer's comfort level and financial needs at any time. So customers have the ability to pay on either a monthly or yearly basis, whichever they want. We also have options in between, where they could decide to pay quarterly and still take advantage of discounted pricing.

For customers who value the flexibility in a monthly renewal with no contract, then generally our pricing is a little higher. But for those who are willing to commit to a contract and even pay us for a year up front, we do give steep discounts to those clients.

Even within our contracts, our language stipulates that if the product is not working as it should, the customer could terminate the contract. Because we're not looking to tie somebody down. We want them to be happy with the service.

Having a client for only one year wouldn't help us be a very lucrative business. So if you signed a one-year contract, but you're completely unhappy at the end of it, that's still no good to our business. So, we're very flexible that way.

Does Shopper Approved increase the price at any time?

A lot of our competition is like the cable and internet world, they bring you in on a low price and then a year later, it doubles or triples.

But historically, Shopper Approved had never done a price increase until just recently; and even then it was only a three- to five- percent inflationary increase.

And any price increases we do in the future will still fall in that range of three or five percent max.

Whereas with a lot of our competition, we see that price increases are one of the biggest reasons why people leave them. Their price will suddenly double, or they are getting nickel-and-dimed for every feature that they add. They look at their bill and realize, ‘Oh my gosh, it's gone up ten times just because of the features I had to add!’

Whether it is the company drastically increasing the price, or you yourself increasing it over time because you have to add new features, the result is still sticker shock.

Whereas, when we roll out new features to a product that you already have—like Seller Ratings—then you just get those additional features.

We used to tell people, ‘We don't do price increases.’ That's not the language we use anymore, because that could handcuff us. But I think we're very fair on price increase—more than we probably should be, perhaps. 

Does Shopper Approved have any guarantees?

We have a 60-day money-back guarantee if you feel like the product is not working. 

Guarantees are difficult because there are a lot of variables at play, depending on whether customers are following best practices and how they utilize the services. Everyone will use the platform in a slightly different manner, so that can affect their outcomes, in many different ways.

But as a software company, our financial model is really based off the long-term success of our customers; so if we have a high turnover rate, the financial model on which we're built is not sustainable.

So it's not really a guarantee, but our company is incentivized to make sure customers are happy and making money off using our products, and that we are helping their business.

You can see in our case studies, clients who see higher traffic to their site or increased conversion on site, whether it's their homepage converting down to category or product pages, increasing conversion on product pages, or just more clicks on ads are following best practices. And the case studies show that our best customers have a mixture of all those types of higher traffic and higher conversion.

So even in the realm of traffic and conversion, there are a number of ways that our services can affect a business, and every company is a little different as far as where they're at in their process and strategies.

Some companies are new to SEO and so our system might have a greater effect just because it's low-hanging fruit for them. Whereas others are further down the path of optimizing their site, and we're mostly enhancing, helping them hit the next level rather than breaking that initial ground.

So our case studies can range, with different percentages as far as growth and conversion; and a lot of that varies by what business stage the customer is in. And sometimes the effect is not as direct as to simply say, ‘We have a lot of reviews,' even when at the same time the bottom line is, there's no doubt that consumers are affected by reviews

Does Shopper Approved help customers know how to get the best value from their products?

Yes, because best practices matter. They help our customers. Some customers who have the best success are placing our widgets on their website using specific strategies that cause a greater advantage to them.

Since the companies that follow best practices are having the greatest success, we can help all our clients know how to do that on their sites. We can show them where to put our seals and widgets, and when to send the emails, so they are not just ‘stabbing in the dark.’

We’re not just selling them the product and then saying, ‘Good luck on using it.’

For example, the majority of website traffic on ecommerce sites is generally going to land at a company’s home page. And so if you don't have indicators such as star ratings right at the top of your home page, then the reviews you have will have less of an impact. They’re not as visible.

Having reviews lower on the homepage, although that can still have an impact, most people do not scroll down. The majority of traffic that hits a homepage stays at the top of the page.

But by displaying these trust factors—these seals and widgets—higher up, that can increase time on site, which can further the visitor's curiosity to where they might say, ‘Oh, this is interesting. This website has a lot of reviews. Maybe I'll click in and see more.’

Therefore, if we can keep them on your website just a little longer, or converting to the next page and moving down a funnel, that is valuable for an ecommerce site.

So yes, we can instruct our customers where to place the seals and widgets on their homepage, category pages, and product pages.

And a lot of it is pretty obvious once we explain it to customers, because our customers are also consumers and when you put your consumer hat on, it's like, ‘Oh yeah, that, that makes sense, I do that as well when I’m shopping online.’

How is Shopper Approved pricing different from other review platforms?

A lot of review companies in our industry follow the pricing structure of the total number of surveys being sent.

For Shopper Approved, that is really all we go off. There might be some circumstantial things depending on unique scenarios, but for 99% of our clients, that is the basis of what their price is.

In the industry, what many of our competitors do is base the pricing off the total number of surveys being sent, and then they take a single product and dilute it down, so for example you're getting product reviews but you only get three out of the ten features that are tied to product reviews, or you get this feature but not that one, and if you want that other one you need to upgrade to the higher package.

Whereas with Shopper Approved, when you buy Product Reviews, you get Product Reviews. So even though our products are available à la carte, when you buy an individual solution, it is all-inclusive; you are getting everything that comes with that. And for a customer, I think that there's a lot of benefit to that.

A lot of our customers really enjoy that, because we always give you full access to what you pay for, whereas our competition will dilute the products down to create an illusion of a cheaper price.

That might get you through the door, but then you quickly find out that, you are missing pieces to the puzzle. That’s like buying a car and not having a steering wheel and the keys and if you want those, that’s extra.

They'll also take things like integrations and use that as part of these pricing bundles where they say, ‘This low-price item doesn't get you any integrations,’ or, ‘This next higher tier gets you integration A but not B, C, and D.’

Plus, our customers know that if they exceed their review limit, we're not going to turn off their service, we're going to continue collecting reviews and the service will continue to work as it should.

Another thing that gets diluted down is support. If you're a lower-price customer, then you have no support—only access to support documents and things of that nature. But no live attention being served to you.

And if you want to be able to communicate with somebody or have an onboarding specialist or account executive help you out, then you have to upgrade to higher tiers and packages.

And that the access to expert support is humongous. 

Because if you don't get set up correctly or don't use our product in the correct manner, that’s not going to hurt your business, but it's also not going to help your business. You are paying for a solution that will have zero impact.

So whether you're a high-paying client or a lower-paying client, you're going to get the same level of service and you're going to get a team that wants you to utilize the product correctly. Because not only does it benefit you, but, selfishly, it benefits us too. That creates what a true partnership is, which is a win-win scenario. 

So at times we might be a little more expensive on paper, but when there's no hassle and you take into account the features and support that you get with our products, you find that it's well within the price.

‘Value’ is the word that I always think of. There is price and then there's value.

Are there disadvantages to Shopper Approved pricing?

A lot of times, people looking for review providers choose other companies because they just lack knowledge of what else is out there. They will choose the first provider they see… and sometimes that works out, and sometimes it doesn't, you know.

But in specific circumstances, every company is going to have features they specialize in, and features that they don't.

So there are moments where a customer has that one specific feature that they just need to have and maybe we don't offer that. They might have very specific integrations that they're looking for. Maybe they work with a very specific technical stack of tools that they use, or some that we just don't integrate with.

But that goes both ways. Because in other instances, we have that certain feature that no one else has, certain features that a customer is looking for. And that is true for any industry and company. That goes back to the biggest thing, which is that feature dependencies and then pricing can vary for so many reasons.

And it is worth noting that we feel very confident in being able to integrate with the vast majority of tools people are using. The beauty of Shopper Approved is that we've been around since before the current industry landscape where people can build websites within a day or two on sites like Shopify and WooCommerce.

Ten years ago, that wasn't the case. Companies would spend tens of thousands of dollars to build these websites and they were very custom coded. The idea of placing review code on a site was unique. There were no one-click integrations like we see now.

In those days, we were used to working with all different subtypes of platforms, not just the big companies like Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce. We could handle custom-built sites, we could handle anything. So our support team is very knowledgeable.

We're not the most expensive company in the industry, but we're also not the cheapest. So for those consumers who are just price sensitive, and that's all they're looking at... we talked about value before, but if it's just kind of trying to compare apples to apples or price to price, then sometimes we're not the lowest.

Although we feel like we can be. We feel confident in telling people that we will match any official quote that we feel is comparable to the value we're bringing. This is circling back to the beginning of where our pricing comes from and is based on.

Because we still want to win and that happens by creating a scenario where you're happy, we're happy, and both parties are winning. And that can be very difficult to get based solely on a pricing grid and digital order, where you're just saying, ‘Here's our price. It's X amount of dollars.’

So yes, the human element matters a lot.

Because when we talk about our support teams, that's actually a real human being walking you through the integrations and onboarding. And we try to embody that ethic even at the sales level.

Because even though our price is, on the surface, fairly black and white: ‘You do this many orders every month, here's your price,’ during the sales process, you work with a salesperson who wants to help you make the best decision based on your needs.

Sometimes there are circumstances at hand where maybe your order volume is high, but you sell a product with super low margins. Or there are other unique situations with your website. We take those things into account.

There are all these variations where, when you are talking to a human being at Shopper Approved, you can actually have that conversation. We talk about your business, not just the generalized needs of the average business. ‘What's your business? What are your business needs? What are your business circumstances? And can we ultimately create a win-win.’

And going back to the value, we pride ourselves on the fact that we generally collect more reviews than anyone in the industry.

So, in many cases, we can actually be cheaper than most review services when you look at what you get for what you pay.

Sending out surveys is one thing, but that's putting the focus on the action and not the results, the outcome. Our price per review is lower than anyone in the industry when you break down the amount of reviews we collect for you and the price you actually pay for each review.

We take a lot of pride in that. We base our value in how many reviews you collect as opposed to how many surveys we're sending out.

Now, every industry is different and demographics play a part—who we're sending the review to and what their online habits are. But even with those considerations, we collect more reviews, and that enhances the outcomes of everything else we're talking about as far as widgets and seals and social proof.

When you have more reviews showing, that creates more trust, more value.

And from a longterm perspective, our products have a lot of depth to them. Whereas we see a lot in the industry where companies will do what we call an ‘MVP’ or ‘minimal viable product’ so they can check a box saying they have a feature. But if that feature is weak and bare bones, then is it really worth the money?

With Shopper Approved, we try to put out the products that everyone needs and also make sure that they have enough depth to bring the value our customers need—again going back to the idea that we need people to stick around for a long time for the sake of our business

So if you're sticking around, then it's working for you; and that means it's working for us. It's a win-win.

Most businesspeople get that. They get that we want them to win, but they also want us to win—like partners.

Ultimately, you don't want them constantly having to think about this tool once it is in place. The goal is to help them get this aspect—of reviews and social proof—off their plate so they can go focus on their own specialties and the parts of their business that we can’t impact.

The more they're having to think about reviews and wonder, ‘Is this working, is it not working?,’ that's less time that they have to put into their business. So that core support we provide, where it means less time away from your own business, that's invaluable. If you're spending hours on reviews just to save fifty bucks a month, from one provider to the next, it's craziness!


What happens during a Shopper Approved demo call?

When you have a sales call with someone, there are people that are concerned about the actual sales process. Is it going to be stressful and high pressure?

But the Shopper Approved sales team is all very good at listening and learning, where I don't really think of us as salespeople. We're really trying to be consultative, where we are trying to understand what your business does, how it operates, and what you're ultimately looking to achieve.

And we'll be the first to tell you when maybe Shopper Approved isn't going to be a good fit for you, for whatever reason.

Ultimately, the reason our website is set up to where we book demos and talk to people is that we want to get them into the right fit. It's about ‘square peg, square hole.’ It’s about avoiding the scenarios where you have ‘round peg, square hole; or square peg, round hole’ and it just never fits.

And secondly, we want to educate a little bit.

A lot of times, people undervalue the power of reviews. Maybe it is because with a lot of our competition, their products lack depth. So we want to help customers have the understanding that reviews are more than just a shiny star on your website with some words under it. Like they can be much, much more than that when done correctly. And that's what we’re about.

Shopper Approved is more than just the shiny stars and the words. It's about leveraging reviews, driving traffic, increasing conversion, and helping sway the psychology of the consumer to grow your business.

And that's the ultimate goal of having people talk to a salesperson: the education process. Understanding their business and what solutions would be a best fit for them.

How long is the Shopper Approved free trial period?

Shopper Approved has a long free trial of forty-five days. Most of the industry only has two-week trials. It's hard to know if a review service works for you in under two weeks. You can't really see much.

Software in general can be difficult, in any time period—even a thirty or forty-five day time period—to see if it works for your needs.

So, yes, our trial period is a long time. Within that free trial, a customer has more than enough time to integrate the product and also start collecting reviews and seeing the comments that come in.

Depending on the circumstance, our support team can even help on those trials. Because it is best for us and for the customer if they get a full understanding of how our reviews work on their site.

How can Shopper Approved pricing be summarized?

With Shopper Approved, what you're getting for the prices that you're paying is you're getting a knowledgeable support team from a company that wants you to be around with us long-term.

We are really fair with companies as far as any concerns they have. We have a long free trial option of forty-five days, we have month-to-month options, and with our à la carte style, you can start with one or two products and add the rest down the road as you grow.

And we will price match. So anyone using another service, if they show us a recent invoice, we will price match as long as we feel like it's apple to apples. So, we're always very competitive there.

We are one of the most flexible companies in the industry, and I think we've seen that result in the majority of our customers sticking around with Shopper Approved for a long time.

Where to Learn More About Shopper Approved

For more information about Shopper Approved in general as well as our prices, visit our Pricing Page, or click here to make an appointment to speak with a product representative.

Read more about Shopper Approved:

Top Ten Reasons People Choose Shopper Approved

What Real Shopper Approved Customers Say About Us

Is Shopper Approved Legit & Trustworthy


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Dax Bambrough manages marketing content at Shopper Approved. He has been creating high impact advertising and marketing content for over twenty years. He specializes in helping small businesses, startups, technology enterprises, entrepreneurs, corporate leadership, and other high velocity organizations increase brand recognition, industry authority, customer acquisition, and market share across today's interconnected online world.

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