tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/product-pages-merchandising Latest Product pages & merchandising content from Econsultancy 2018-03-21T12:00:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69875 2018-03-21T12:00:00+00:00 2018-03-21T12:00:00+00:00 10 brands with hilariously funny product page copy Nikki Gilliland <p>So, who does it well, and why does it work? Here’s 10 great examples.</p> <p><em>(Before we start, remember to check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting" target="_blank">Online Copywriting training</a> course)</em></p> <h3>1. ASOS</h3> <p>Well-known for selling a huge variety of clothing, ASOS has also become famous for its sometimes bizarre and quirky own-brand clothing. </p> <p>Can’t choose between a beanie to keep you warm or, um, a veil? ASOS has <a href="http://www.asos.com/asos/asos-beanie-with-pearl-veil/prd/4341385" target="_blank">got you covered</a>. Luckily, ASOS manages to ‘justify’ its oddest items with a self-aware and sarcastic tone of voice.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2966/no_snorkel_required.JPG" alt="" width="370" height="405"></p> <p>The quirkiest copy is usually found in the ‘About Me’ sections, where the brand cheekily injects random and funny info. Copy is also clearly targeted at its millennial audience, often referencing relatable topics such as money or adulthood.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2967/Bodysuit.JPG" alt="" width="360" height="404"></p> <h3>2. Palace Skateboards</h3> <p>Product copy doesn’t often have a cult following, but fans of skate brand Palace can’t get enough of its infamous descriptions.</p> <p>Putting a unique spin on the traditional bullet-point format, each one makes up a sentence or train of thought rather than separate points. They usually have nothing to do with the product or brand either.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2958/Palace.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="482"></p> <p>The product copy is reportedly the brainchild of founder Lev Tanju, whose childlike and infectious nature has helped make the brand a success. </p> <p>Should others use this rather random formula? Most probably not, but it’s a great example of how product copy can be used to differentiate a brand or make it memorable.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2959/Pocket_3.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="522"></p> <h3>3. Dollar Shave Club</h3> <p>Dollar Shave Club is known for its overtly-humorous ads, but its sense of fun extends to its website too (albeit in a subtler and more understated way).</p> <p>Its product descriptions aren’t solely based on humour – they’re actually very informative, and largely designed to convey benefits – but there’s still a light-hearted tone which helps to engage consumers. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2961/Dollar_Shave_copy_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="435"></p> <p>Humour can also make brands sound like they’re trying too hard, so its restrained sense of fun works well.</p> <p>Its usual tactic is to include a funny bullet-point at the very end, which ensures consumers are left with a smile (and hopefully more of an incentive to purchase).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2960/Dollar_Shave_Club_copy.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="234"></p> <h3>4. Firebox</h3> <p>Firebox is arguably the most creative brand in this list, taking any opportunity it can to inject funny storytelling alongside its products.</p> <p>The reason why the brand’s tone of voice works so well is that its products are usually off-the-wall – so why not include product copy that’s equally eccentric?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2980/Firebox_1.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="315"></p> <p>Unsurprisingly, the more bizarre the product, the more creative its copywriters tend to get, even extending wit and humour into the finite details or ‘specifications’. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2979/Firebox_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="339"></p> <h3>5. Kallo</h3> <p>Kallo – a dutch brand best known for making stock cubes – takes a surprising approach to product copy on its website.</p> <p>Instead of listing ingredients or talking about how delicious its organic low fat rice cakes are (said no one ever), it treats visitors to a poem on each page. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2981/Kallo.JPG" alt="" width="540" height="592"></p> <p>It’s all a bit random, but somehow contributes to a delightful and warm tone of voice.</p> <p>The fact that the website is purely for promotional purposes – with no option to buy its products – means it does not need to rely on actionable copy to prompt purchases. So, poems it is then.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2963/Kallo_2.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="262"></p> <h3>6. Old Spice</h3> <p>Old Spice has shed its uncool, outdated image to become a relevant and powerful brand name – especially in marketing circles.</p> <p>Humour is the main reason, with the deodorant brand taking on a distinctive and original tone of voice, ironically designed to promote its ‘manly’ characteristics.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2972/Old_Spice.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="366"></p> <p>Its online product descriptions are no different, perfectly conveying its unique sense of humour.</p> <p>What are the benefits of staying fresh for 48 hours? Well, in the opinion of Old Spice – “that's long enough to build a small house or navigate an especially large lake.” As you do.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2973/Old_Spice_2.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="245"></p> <h3>7. Soap &amp; Glory</h3> <p>Beauty and skincare brands are usually a bit more limited when it comes to product descriptions, often required to inform consumers about ingredients or benefits (backed up by scientific proof). </p> <p>Soap &amp; Glory strikes a good balance, with the brand injecting fun and gently-sarcastic wit into its product copy where possible. Its main product descriptions are reserved for singing the product’s praises (with a pun or two).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2971/soap_and_glory.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="378"></p> <p>Meanwhile, it uses instructions as an opportunity to speak directly to consumers, and inject a bit of self-aware humour into what can often be patronising microcopy (e.g “Don’t eat this”).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2970/Soap_and_glory_2.JPG" alt="" width="452" height="381"></p> <h3>8. Think Geek</h3> <p>Think Geek is a brand that sells unusual and quirky gifts, sort of like a nerdier Firebox. However, unlike its rival brand, it is much more succinct and to-the-point in its main product copy (as well as being funny).</p> <p>It’s difficult to convey the benefits of a product in such a short amount of words, but Think Geek surprisingly adept at it, often doing so in just three bullet points.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2975/Think_Geek_2.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="489"></p> <p>With more space further down the page, it also lets loose with creative and more in-depth copy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2976/Think_Geek_3.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="220"></p> <h3>9. Fab.com</h3> <p>Fab.com isn’t very consistent with its product descriptions – there are a lot of products on its site that contain minimal and less creative copy. However, it does come up trumps on the odd occasion, infusing warm and gentle humour into its descriptions. </p> <p>This example for a cat-themed wall decoration is one of the best, and proves why the brand should be more focused on creating consistency in its tone.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2974/Fab.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="390"></p> <h3>10. Cards Against Humanity</h3> <p>The game Cards Against Humanity isn’t for everyone and neither is the brand’s copy.</p> <p>That’s exactly the point, however, as it is a shining example of how to create a tone of voice that delights a core audience. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2968/Cards_Against_Humanity_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="320"></p> <p>The descriptions for each game are brilliantly dark, sarcastic, and give new players an insight into what they can expect from the game – great for nudging potential consumers into making a purchase.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2969/Cards_Against_Humanity.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="292"></p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69621-four-simple-tips-to-make-boring-copy-more-exciting" target="_blank">Four simple tips to make boring copy more exciting</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69833-eight-time-honoured-tips-for-writing-awesome-email-copy" target="_blank">Eight time-honoured tips for writing awesome email copy</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69600-four-examples-of-persuasive-packaging-copy" target="_blank">Four examples of persuasive packaging copy</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3511 2018-03-08T15:54:09+00:00 2018-03-08T15:54:09+00:00 Online Merchandising <p>As e-commerce matures and customers are trained by your competitors to expect more, marketing and commercial professionals must be able to satisfy customers whilst also increasing profits.</p> <p style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;">James Gurd, a thought-leader in e-commerce, heads up this course examining online merchandising. This course takes a whole-business approach to the art of selling online, from promises made to customers, right through to post-purchase selling.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69600 2017-11-27T11:23:00+00:00 2017-11-27T11:23:00+00:00 Four examples of persuasive packaging copy Nikki Gilliland <p>Packaging copy has gained a bad reputation in the past few years, mainly due to the rise of ‘wackaging’ – i.e. the overly-friendly and almost sickly-sweet style of language used by Innocent and Ella’s Kitchen. </p> <p>It’s understandable why this tactic has become so popular. By using chatty language and quirky slogans, brands are aiming to grab the buyer’s attention and create a more personal connection. The problem is - it can also feel patronising if, say, you’re simply looking for a smoothie with the lowest sugar content. No one wants to be told to ‘eat your greens’ at the same time, right?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0644/Innocent.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="453"></p> <p>This is an arguably cynical point of view, and perhaps it is rather too obvious to single out Innocent. It has crafted its own unique and highly recognisable brand voice, and there is undoubtedly an audience for it.</p> <p>So, where does the balance lie when it comes to good packaging copy? Here are a few examples that I think hit the mark, and how it might impact the consumer in a positive way.</p> <h3>The Ordinary</h3> <p>Most beauty brands use over-the-top packaging to capture the attention of shoppers, using equally exaggerated names and descriptions to hammer-home the supposed benefits. </p> <p>For instance, while Maybelline’s ‘Colossal Big Shot Mascara’ sounds impressive, the reality could leave customers feeling slightly let down by its bold claim. Similarly, skincare is another area where brands tend to go over the top, waxing lyrical about how a product will restore a youthful glow or banish wrinkles. </p> <p>The Ordinary is one brand that does the opposite, instead using packaging copy to reflect its wider ethos of ‘less is more’. By taking away unnecessary ingredients, design, and marketing – which only ramps up price – it is able to take a no-frills approach across the board. Its packaging reflects this, merely listing ingredients to leave the consumer in no doubt as to what’s included.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0637/Ordinary.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="555"></p> <p>While this might sound like it lacks elements of persuasion, I think it instils confidence in customers. Promising ‘clinical formulations with integrity’ – it comes across as a brand that strives to be honest and authentic rather than boastful and in-your-face. There is the argument that a lack of information on packaging might leave customers unsure about what the product is meant to do, however, as a brand that largely sells online, the Ordinary relies on the fact that this is typically included on ecommerce sites.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0638/Ordinary_2.JPG" alt="" width="372" height="427"></p> <h3>Anatomicals</h3> <p>Another way brands tend to use copy to stand out on shelves is with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67434-four-brands-with-a-brilliantly-funny-tone-of-voice" target="_blank">humour</a>. Again, this can be an even riskier strategy, with the combined danger of sounding overly-friendly as well as unfunny. </p> <p>One company that I think uses humour and wit to great effect is bath and body brand, Anatomicals. Its uses a bold typeface and witty puns to grab the user’s attention, also doing so to make its broad (and perhaps mundane) product range sound exciting and appealing to customers - especially against glossy and high-end competitive brands.</p> <p>I don’t mean that the brand is mundane. But on the product side is it really possible to make lip balm sound exciting? With its ‘stop cracking up’ balm – Anatomicals gives it a good go. Elsewhere, from the “you need a blooming shower, rose and jasmine cleanser” to the “help the paw hand cream” – its copy is both clever and unique.</p> <p>Anatomicals also shrewdly recognises the context in which its products will be used, for example incorporating lengthy descriptions on products like shampoo or shower gel, in situations where consumers are likely to stop and linger. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0635/Anatomicals_2.JPG" alt="" width="381" height="413"></p> <p>Another reason the copy works well is that – much like The Ordinary - it reflects the brand’s no-nonsense approach. If you’ve ever come across an Anatomicals product, you might have noticed that it does not try to convince you to buy it with endless benefits and promised results. Rather, it concentrates on the functional and straight-forward elements of the product. </p> <p>What more can you say about “puffy the eye-bag slayer: wake-up under-eye patches”? I for one am convinced.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0636/anatomicals_3.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="324"></p> <h3>Propercorn</h3> <p>As well as trying to make friends with consumers, a number of brands are now using copy to convey a sense of authenticity or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67874-the-rise-of-the-artisanal-tone-of-voice-among-brand-marketers/" target="_blank">artisanal sensibility</a>. This can backfire of course, with brands like (the now defunct) ‘Harris &amp; Hoole’ pretending to sound independent – despite being owned by Tesco.</p> <p>Some can get it right, if values and products match up that is. Propercorn is one brand that I think does succeed with its artisanal packaging copy, using a good combination of storytelling and product information to engage customers in-the-moment. After all, Propercorn does not largely invest in digital marketing activity, typically relying on outdoor ads and word of mouth instead.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0643/propercorn_OOH.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="371"></p> <p>On its packaging, which is also well-known for its bright and eye-catching design, it takes the opportunity to <a href="https://www.creativereview.co.uk/brand-storytelling-trend-began-whether-will-ever-end/">tell the story</a> of how the brand began. Detailing how it’s “popcorn done properly”, borne out “hours spent experimenting with ingredients and seasonings” – the copy surprises consumers with a personal touch.</p> <p>The fact that it’s also written from the personal perspective of co-founder, Cassandra Stavrou, further enhances this notion.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0642/propercorn.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>To me, this is what makes Propercorn stand out amid an onslaught of similar brands. With restrained yet engaging storytelling, the product is perhaps more likely to draw in customers browsing supermarket snack shelves. </p> <h3>Oasis</h3> <p>Finally, while you might not consider fashion items to contain ‘packaging’ copy (unless you order online) – I’ve noticed that Oasis has been placing a big focus on in-store copy of late. </p> <p>For example, customers might come across slogans like “you deserve it” or “treat yourself” on item hangers, perhaps prompting you to at least try it on…</p> <p>Meanwhile, signs around the store speak to customers at every touchpoint, from encouraging you to ask for another size to checking out Oasis on social. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0640/Oasis.JPG" alt="" width="510" height="345"></p> <p>This example shows that copywriting does not have to begin and end online – and neither does it have to be the hallmark of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68919-how-visual-social-listening-is-helping-fmcg-and-beyond" target="_blank">FMCG brands</a>.</p> <p>By using copy in a creative and personal way, Oasis is able to successfully reach out engage customers in-the-moment, when they’re ready and primed to buy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0641/oasis_2.JPG" alt="" width="403" height="313"></p> <p><strong><em>Related articles:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67052-a-copywriter-s-template-for-excellent-product-page-descriptions" target="_blank">A copywriter's template for excellent product page descriptions</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67708-10-common-online-copywriting-mistakes/" target="_blank">10 common online copywriting mistakes</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67752-three-online-copywriting-tips-supported-by-research" target="_blank">Three online copywriting tips supported by research</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3345 2017-10-26T18:38:21+01:00 2017-10-26T18:38:21+01:00 Online Merchandising <p>As e-commerce matures and customers are trained by your competitors to expect more, marketing and commercial professionals must be able to satisfy customers whilst also increasing profits.</p> <p style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;">James Gurd, a thought-leader in e-commerce, heads up this course examining online merchandising. This course takes a whole-business approach to the art of selling online, from promises made to customers, right through to post-purchase selling.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69532 2017-10-25T11:25:00+01:00 2017-10-25T11:25:00+01:00 Tottenham Hotspur put focus on user-generated content to boost ecommerce sales David Moth <p>Tottenham’s focus on deepening fan engagement is part of a broader strategy that also extends to <a href="http://shop.tottenhamhotspur.com/">the club’s ecommerce site</a>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">No girl wants to be blown up bigger than normal size but...I’m now in shop windows in Southend,Enfield,Tottenham &amp; Harlow<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeThe12th?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WeThe12th</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/THFC?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#THFC</a> <a href="https://t.co/uXl5eBSflH">pic.twitter.com/uXl5eBSflH</a></p> — Ria Harrison (@RiaHazza) <a href="https://twitter.com/RiaHazza/status/917701890435055616?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 10, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>In June the club belatedly added product reviews to the site, including the ability for customers to add photos of their purchases. The feature is enabled by Yotpo, an ecommerce tool that enables site owners to integrate user-generated content.</p> <p>Though user reviews have only been live on the site for a few months, the early signs have been very encouraging. I spoke to <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-connor-55b17326/">Nick Connor</a>, Tottenham’s ecommerce manager, to find out more.</p> <h3>Site redesign</h3> <p>Alongside many Premier League clubs, Tottenham is in the process of upgrading its digital platforms so that it can better engage with its international fan base.</p> <p>We’ve covered this topic <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68828-after-years-of-apathy-football-clubs-are-embracing-digital-transformation">at length in other posts</a> so I won’t go into too much detail here, suffice to say that there’s been a big push among Premier League clubs over the past few years to bring their websites and digital strategies up to scratch.</p> <p>Tottenham’s digital presence is all handled in-house, including the ecommerce function. The addition of product reviews is the beginning of a long-term plan to bring more relevancy and personalisation to the site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9926/tottenham_product_page.png" alt="" width="700" height="425"></p> <p><em>Tottenham's new product page design</em></p> <p>Despite the review feature only being available for around four months, 10% of customers have reviewed their purchases and more than 250 people have submitted photos alongside their review. </p> <p>Nick admitted that this has surpassed his expectations and said it shows there is a big appetite among fans to engage with the club.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9928/Spurs_product_review.png" alt="" width="400"></p> <p><em>Example of a product review featuring a fan's image</em></p> <p>“I think if you’re a fan and you’re getting exposure on your team’s site and you can show your friends that you’re on there wearing the kit, then that’s definitely a thrill for some people,” said Nick.</p> <p>And it hasn’t just been the team’s kits that have attracted reviews. There’s been engagement across a range of products, including a book called The Lane that was published to commemorate Spurs leaving their old stadium. Nick said one man even submitted a picture of himself wearing the official Spurs boxer shorts, “but we haven’t published that one.”</p> <p>The fan images were initially only visible within the reviews area of the site, but in the past week Spurs also used a Yotpo widget to embed user-generated content on the shop homepage.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9874/Spurs_Style.png" alt="" width="700" height="254"></p> <p>These images also include links to the relevant products, which should help nudge customers towards a purchase. </p> <p>One of the most recent reviews features the world's cutest Spurs fan:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9873/cute_spurs_fan.png" alt="" width="700" height="391"></p> <p>Nick explained that the aim is to create galleries of fan images that can also be embedded on the main Tottenham site.</p> <p>“There’s so much potential there for us to engage with fans and feature them on the site, it’s the fans who make the club so we need to put as much focus on them as possible.”</p> <h3>Impact on conversions</h3> <p>While fan engagement is important for football clubs, the ecommerce site is obviously there to make money. The importance of reviews on ecommerce sites are well documented, with one study stating that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64406-77-of-uk-shoppers-consult-reviews-before-buying-online-report">77% of shoppers consult reviews before buying online</a>.</p> <p>So how have Tottenham's new product reviews impacted user behaviour and conversion rates?</p> <p>Nick said that 6.5% of traffic interacts with the reviews, which might seem low but actually equates to a large number of visits. Conversion rates among people who interact with reviews are three times higher than among those who don’t look at reviews.</p> <p>Obviously you can’t necessarily say that viewing a review definitely spurred that person on to buying a Spurs shirt, but it does suggest that there is a correlation between the two.</p> <p>Nick again: “To be certain of the link [between reviews and conversions] we’d have to do further analysis on the customer journey and look at what stage they interacted with reviews… but it shows that anything you can do to answer people’s questions and remove that element of doubt is definitely a positive thing.”</p> <h3>Plans to evolve the feature</h3> <p>Tottenham are already working on developing the reviews feature to pull in content from social media.</p> <p>Currently reviews are solicited via email, however Spurs have also begun encouraging fans to use #SpursStyle when posting images on Instagram. Fans using the hashtag are then sent automated messages to ask if Spurs can use their photos next to the matching product on the club site.</p> <p>Similarly, the images submitted via email can potentially be reused on social media to further engage with fans.</p> <p>Nick said the club may also introduce incentives and competitions, rewarding those who submit the best images with “things that money can’t buy, like tours of the training ground."</p> <p>“We’re always looking at ways that can help fans feel closer to the club and ensure they feel part of what we’re doing.”</p> <p><em><strong>For more on this topic, see:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69332-how-premier-league-club-websites-are-changing-a-swansea-and-stoke-case-study"><em>How Premier League club websites are changing: A Swansea and Stoke case study</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68696-digital-transformation-in-the-premier-league-southampton-fc-s-fan-first-strategy/"><em>Digital transformation in the Premier League: Southampton FC's fan-first strategy</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them"><em>Ecommerce consumer reviews: why you need them and how to use them</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69301 2017-08-02T11:14:52+01:00 2017-08-02T11:14:52+01:00 How 10 online retailers promote free and fast shipping Nikki Gilliland <p>While <a href="http://www2.temando.com/l/86602/2017-07-10/4g564b">the research suggests</a> that 86% of UK shoppers prefer free over fast delivery, the majority of retailers assume that customers want a fast shipping service above anything else. As a result, just 27% of retailers say they offer free standard shipping every day, and almost a quarter of retailers admit that they don't use free shipping as a promotional tool.</p> <p>With this in mind, let’s take a look at how some of the biggest online retailers are promoting the service – and perhaps what they could be doing better.</p> <h3>Argos</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67237-eight-examples-of-best-practice-on-argos-product-pages/" target="_blank">Argos</a> is one retailer that firmly favours fast delivery. </p> <p>Its FastTrack service is highlighted throughout its website, heavily promoting the fact that customers can get their hands on products the very same day as placing the order, seven days a week.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7950/Argos.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="365"></p> <p>While the £3.95 price point could arguably put off customers who do prefer free delivery, its Click and Collect service means there is also a fast <em>and</em> free alternative – a feature that combines the best of both worlds. </p> <p>Interestingly, Argos does offer free standard delivery on selected items (in an estimated four working days), but this option is kept a little under wraps, with the retailer clearly placing greater value on its FastTrack option. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7951/FastTrack.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="434"></p> <h3>B&amp;Q</h3> <p>B&amp;Q is not quite as transparent as Argos, with the price of its next day and standard delivery services only being highlighted at the checkout (or in the dedicated delivery info section).</p> <p>It also fails to use the word ‘free’ alongside its click and collect service, and although this is an arguably obvious detail its exclusion seems like a bit of an oversight.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7953/B_Q_1.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="552"></p> <p>That being said, its free delivery on items over £50 is nicely promoted, making sense for customers who will naturally buy bigger or bulkier items online. </p> <p>I also like the icons on category pages that tell customers whether items are available for pick up in-store at a glance.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7954/B_Q.JPG" alt="" width="448" height="412"></p> <h3>John Lewis</h3> <p>John Lewis is a little less worried about the speed of its delivery service, instead choosing to promote free services – both in terms of standard delivery and click and collect.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7955/John_Lewis.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="444"></p> <p>If Temando’s research is correct, and the majority of customers do value low or no-cost shipping, this could work in its favour.</p> <p>However, the fact that customers need to spend £50 to qualify could mean that people are more likely to go in-store. And while it’s a tactic used to increase overall order value, the trend for webrooming (browsing online before buying in-store) could also contribute to customers wanting to look elsewhere.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7959/John_Lewis_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="448"></p> <h3>Tesco</h3> <p>Last week, Tesco announced that it is to roll out its same-day delivery service across the UK, allowing customers to receive groceries from 7pm onwards if they order before 1pm.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, the supermarket is now heavily promoting this online, highlighting how it can bring customers even greater levels of convenience. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7957/Tesco.JPG" alt="" width="625" height="555"></p> <p>While the service costs between £3 and £9, it is being offered free for a limited period for members of its delivery saver service. But according to Temando, price is not a deal breaker when customers really desire convenience. Its research shows that same-day delivery is the service that most customers are willing to pay extra for, with 56% of women and 57% of men agreeing. </p> <p>With the likes of Amazon setting the bar for this kind of convenience, it’s not surprising that supermarkets are starting to introduce it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7958/same_day_delivery.JPG" alt="" width="714" height="515"></p> <h3>River Island</h3> <p>River Island often uses delivery promotions to increase online conversions. It is currently offering customers free worldwide delivery for a limited time only. </p> <p>With a prominent site-wide banner on the homepage and a creative tagline, it’s an effective example of how to use free delivery to boost short-term sales. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7960/River_Island.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="481"></p> <p>Again, it looks like River Island is veering toward free rather than fast as its selling point. It also promises free click and collect, and once the current promotion is over, free delivery on orders over £100. </p> <p>Meanwhile, the absence of visible returns information is a bit of a let down. Over a fifth of women are reported to abandon a purchase if free returns are not available, meaning that this could have an adverse impact on conversion rates.</p> <h3>M&amp;S</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67883-marks-spencer-what-does-putting-the-customer-at-the-heart-of-everything-mean/" target="_blank">Marks &amp; Spencer</a> is one of the few online retailers that does not visibly highlight its delivery information at the top of its homepage – you’ll only find it if you scroll down to the very bottom. </p> <p>That being said, the services are clearly explained here, with M&amp;S favouring the word ‘free’ across the board to pique the interest of customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7961/M_S.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="549"></p> <p>Its product pages also provide a lot of clear and concise information, including an eye-catching 'free delivery' notice in red. </p> <p>In terms of the actual delivery, M&amp;S gives customers a load of options, offering standard delivery, nominated day, free over £50, and click and collect. The retailer could most definitely shout about this a little more on its homepage, even if it means moving its current banner higher up the page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7962/M_S_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="711"></p> <h3>Clarks</h3> <p>Clarks is currently choosing to offer a special code for free standard delivery. While it’s similar to River Island’s strategy of using a short-term shipping offer, the inclusion of a code is a bit of a strange choice, only adding an extra step in the customer’s journey.</p> <p>The fact that it’s promoted on the homepage also means that there is nothing exclusive about it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7963/Clarks.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="453"></p> <p>Perhaps it is trying to make customer feel like they’re getting something extra. However, with most people now expecting free or fast delivery as standard, customers might feel it doesn’t provide anything of real value.</p> <h3>Warby Parker</h3> <p>Warby Parker cements its customer-focused service with the promise of free shipping in the US and selected countries. This is obviously a sweet deal in itself, but it also goes one step further in its customer-centric approach with the ‘Home Try-On’ feature.</p> <p>This allows customers to pick five frames to try for five days, before sending back the four pairs they don’t want for free. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7964/Warby_Parker.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="523"></p> <p>While it is undoubtedly a big expense for the company, Warby Parker demonstrates the value of free shipping, ramping up word-of-mouth marketing and increasing customer loyalty thanks to the service.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Warby Parker has a pretty good selection, you can pick 5 to try on at home and they'll send em for free, don't even pay shipping &amp; handling <a href="https://t.co/lwWI1miSbE">pic.twitter.com/lwWI1miSbE</a></p> — (@Jibaye_) <a href="https://twitter.com/Jibaye_/status/886610566848143360">July 16, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>JD Sports</h3> <p>JD Sports is yet another retailer using free delivery as a limited offer. Its inclusion of a countdown timer makes it one of the most effective examples of the bunch though, using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65348-how-to-increase-conversions-by-creating-buyer-urgency-fear-of-loss/" target="_blank">urgency</a> to prompt customers into action. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7965/JD_Sports.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="548"></p> <p>It also promotes this throughout the website, prominently highlighting free delivery on its category and product pages. </p> <p>Temando suggests that shipping is not just about the delivery of items – extra factors like tracking orders and options for leaving items in safe places are also important. JD Sports has a useful ‘Track My Order’ feature, which also helps to improve the customer experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7966/Tracking.JPG" alt="" width="679" height="579"></p> <h3>ASOS</h3> <p>Finally, ASOS uses reliable delivery to instil loyalty in customers. Its Premier Delivery programme costs £9.95 per year for unlimited next day delivery and click and collect – an undeniably enticing deal for regular shoppers.</p> <p>The brand is pretty adept at promoting the service too, nicely highlighting both the fast and free nature of the service in its marketing copy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7967/ASOS_premier.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="533"></p> <p>Elsewhere, it gives customers lots of choice and up-front information, helping to prevent customers from abandoning purchases at the checkout due to surprise costs.</p> <p>Even using the word 'options' here effectively evokes the retailer's focus on flexibility.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7968/Options_ASOS.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="599"></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68739-how-has-click-collect-evolved-and-is-it-still-in-high-demand/" target="_blank"><em>How has Click &amp; Collect evolved, and is it still in high demand?</em></a></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67322-not-offering-same-day-delivery-you-could-be-losing-customers/" target="_blank">Not offering same-day delivery? You could be losing customers</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66151-ecommerce-delivery-how-fast-are-uk-retailers/" target="_blank">Ecommerce delivery: how fast are UK retailers?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69227 2017-07-11T10:45:00+01:00 2017-07-11T10:45:00+01:00 How to attract lots of quality online reviews to your ecommerce store Andy Favell <p>But how do you build and sustain a wealth of quality reviews across your own sites and those of your partners?</p> <p>Answer: 1) Post-interaction email; 2) syndication.</p> <h3>There are two sorts of reviews found on retailer (and other) sites.</h3> <p><strong>1. Organic reviews</strong></p> <p>These are ratings and reviews that the company has collected itself from its customers, probably with the help of a tool, such as Trustpilot, Yotpo, eKomi, Feefo or Bazaarvoice.</p> <p>Let’s be clear, there are lots of ways that companies can and do elicit reviews from customers. These include incentivized requests (e.g. sweepstakes, coupons); post-checkout web survey; sampling (sending out free product; trialling services); requesting reviews via social media channels (paid and unpaid) and soliciting reviews via a homepage banner.</p> <p>However the most common tactic for getting reviews is to request them via post-interaction email (PIE). According to a 2016 survey conducted by Bazaarvoice among its 5,000 retailer and brand customers, PIE is used by 87% of its brand clients and 64% of its retail clients.</p> <p>This could also be called post-purchase email. But then PPE doesn’t have the same acronym appeal as PIE.</p> <p><strong>2. Syndicated reviews</strong></p> <p>These are reviews that were collected on different sites and/or by different companies.</p> <p>These could be reviews that were posted on one retailer website and then reposted to another site in the same group that sells the same products. For example some reviews for products on Shop Direct’s Littlewoods.com were left by customers on the sister site Very.co.uk – see, for example, <a href="http://www.littlewoods.com/calvin-klein-eternity-moment-100ml-edp/1005793955.prd" target="_blank">this perfume</a>.</p> <p>More commonly these are reviews that were collected by brands, perhaps while customers registered a new product to secure a guarantee, which are then supplied to the retailers that sell the brand’s products. These will be distributed through a syndication network such as Bazaarvoice, PowerReviews or Reevoo.</p> <h3>Why reviews matter</h3> <p>As noted in my previous article, which outlined the importance of putting someone <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69220-who-should-own-customer-reviews-in-your-organisation/" target="_blank">in charge of reviews</a>, consumer opinions of products are influenced not only by ratings but also by the number of ratings.</p> <p><a href="https://www.profitero.com/2017/06/profitero-finds-strong-correlation-between-a-products-number-of-online-reviews-and-sales/" target="_blank">Research by Profitero and BzzAgent</a> (June 2016) backs this up. The report concluded that there is a strong correlation between the number of online reviews a product has and ecommerce sales.</p> <p>As shown in the graph below, just adding one review to a product with zero reviews will lead to a sales lift of 10%. Adding 50 reviews leads to a sales lift of 30%. Above 50 reviews products continue to receive a lift in sales, but at a diminishing rate.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7584/bazaarvoice.png" alt="" width="700" height="436"></p> <h3>Post-interaction email - PIE</h3> <p>When a customer has purchased a good or service or otherwise engaged with a company, it is increasingly common for the customer to receive an email asking for feedback. This will often then be posted to the relevant pages of the website. PIE generally gets good results – or better results than other methods – for the retailer.</p> <p>Data provided to Econsultancy by Bazaarvoice, based on insights from its network of 5,000 retailers and brands, shows that this is certainly the case among its customer base. Of all organic reviews on retailer sites the vast majority come from PIE: 81% in APAC, 84% in Europe and 77% in North America. Of all organic reviews on brand sites 80% in APAC, 70% in Europe and 62% in North America come from PIE.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7267/t8_reviews_pie_bazaarvoice.png" alt="" width="615" height="416"></p> <p>Conversations with retailers suggests that success with PIE is an industry-wide phenomena. Shop Direct, which runs the UK-focused online department stores Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, sends a PIE to every shopper post purchase.</p> <p>Paul Hornby, head of ecommerce at Shop Direct, tells Econsultancy:</p> <blockquote> <p>Our biggest driver for reviews volume is our post purchase email, which goes out weekly to every customer who’s bought from us. The email needs to go out at the right time and must represent a consistent customer journey across device.</p> <p>We’ve found from experience that the email should be clean and to the point, with no sales tactics distracting from the call to action. We also introduced an incentive, which has definitely helped to encourage more feedback.</p> <p>We’re now doing a piece of work to understand the optimum length of time to wait before asking for feedback, depending on product category.</p> </blockquote> <p>The screenshot below shows a PIE from Very inviting the customer to write a review for two products purchased, with the added incentive of a chance to win £500 in a monthly draw.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7268/t8_review_email_shopdirect.png" alt="" width="467" height="492"></p> <p>Requesting reviews by email also works extremely well for smaller ecommerce vendors.</p> <p>PuraVida, a San Diego-based ecommerce startup that sells hand-made jewellery from artisans in Costa Rica, has generated a volume of reviews for its <a href="https://www.puravidabracelets.com/collections/best-sellers" target="_blank">best sellers</a> that would make eyes water at many much larger retailers. See image below.</p> <p>Griffin Thall, CEO of Pura Vida Bracelets:</p> <blockquote> <p>We use Yotpo to gather customer reviews. To date, we have sent out over 1.7m emails and have received over 130,000 positive reviews.</p> <p>After 12 days, the customer receives their first review request, five days later they receive their second, and five days later they receive their third. There’s no particular time, just the set amount of days after they purchase.</p> <p>For the copy, we recommend being sincere, personable, and thankful that your new customer shopped with you.</p> <p>After the customer writes a review, we email them with a coupon code to say Thank You.</p> <p>We also use Delighted to monitor our NPS (net promoter score) on a weekly basis. </p> </blockquote> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7269/t8_reviews_email_puravida.png" alt="" width="615" height="482"></p> <h3>What works makes consumers read PIEs, click through and review?</h3> <p><a href="https://www.yotpo.com/data/benchmark/" target="_blank">Research by Yotpo</a>, based on analysis of the 200,000 stores that use the platform worldwide, finds that review solicitation emails have an 8.1% response rate on average. Of course some PIEs will deliver a much higher conversion and some much lower.</p> <p>As any email marketer would expect, just the smallest tweaks to the format and wording – particularly the subject line – can increase the email open rate and the response rate. Yotpo’s research highlights three dos and don’ts:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Do:</strong> phrase the request as a question (delivers an 86% increase in response rate); use an incentive (18.5% increase) and include your store name (10% increase)... duh!</li> <li> <strong>Don’t:</strong> include urgent words e.g. now, today (delivers a 28% decrease in response rate); include customer’s name (19% decrease); use a TOTALLY uppercase word (5.8% decrease).</li> </ul> <p>Great advice, but we’d add two more tips. Don’t: just take Yotpo’s word for it. Do: A/B test your emails to see which tweaks work for you.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7270/t8_reviews_email_yotpo.png" alt="" width="615" height="443"></p> <h3>When is the best time to send a review request email?</h3> <p>According to Yotpo’s analysis of 4.5m emails:</p> <ul> <li>The best time is Saturday 8am.</li> <li>The worst time is Thursday 3pm.</li> </ul> <h3>Syndication of reviews</h3> <p>Syndication of reviews happens more regularly than most marketers would expect and certainly more often than most consumers would notice.</p> <p>There is a mutual benefit for the brand and retailer. It is in both their interest if product conversions on retailer sites are improved due to having more and better quality reviews and ratings.</p> <p>Research undertaken by Bazaarvoice among its customer base finds that some types of retailers are particularly heavily reliant on the syndicated reviews. For food, beverage and drug sites 98% of the volume of onsite reviews are syndicated; in pharmaceuticals 93% are syndicated and in footwear it’s 91%.</p> <p>Retailer dependency on syndication for reviews also varies by region. In APAC 81% of reviews are syndicated, in North America it’s 67% and in Europe 33% of reviews are syndicated.</p> <p>Companies will commonly syndicate reviews via a network of brands and retailers, operated by vendors such as Bazaarvoice, PowerReviews or Reevoo. These network providers will verify the reviews/reviewers and distribute to the brand pages on participating retailer sites. The networks also notify brands and or retailers when reviews have been posted, particularly negative ones, so the brand/retailer can respond.</p> <p>For example, if you checkout <a href="http://www.boots.com/electrical/electrical-dental/electric-toothbrushes" target="_blank">electric toothbrushes on Boots.co.uk</a> there are a variety of products from Philips, Colgate and Oral-B, some with hundreds of reviews.</p> <p>But closer inspection of the best sellers, shows that many of the 352 reviews for the <a href="http://www.boots.com/oral-b-pro-2000-rechargeable-electric-toothbrush-powered-by-braun-10176433" target="_blank">Braun Oral-B Genius</a> toothbrush are from the Oral-B site or Victoria.co.uk, which belongs to P&amp;G (the parent brand), though many are also from Boots shoppers. The majority of 194 reviews for <a href="http://www.boots.com/philips-sonicare-easyclean-hx6511-50-rechargeable-toothbrush-10090162" target="_blank">Philips Sonicare</a> brush are syndicated from Philips.co.uk (as shown below). Similarly the <a href="http://www.boots.com/colgate-pro-clinical-c350-max-white-one-electric-toothbrush-10176644" target="_blank">Colgate Pro Clinical</a> draws the majority of its 80 reviews from Colgate.co.uk.</p> <p>Some products by comparison have no reviews, including <a href="http://www.boots.com/electrical/electrical-dental/electric-toothbrushes/panasonic-ew-dl82-sonic-vibration-rechargeable-toothbrush-10176652" target="_blank">Panasonic Sonic Vibration</a> and <a href="http://www.boots.com/lab-chrome-sonic-rechargeable-toothbrush-10182106" target="_blank">LAB Chrome Sonic</a>, both products are found at the wrong end of the Boots bestsellers list. If the two brands wish to improve sales, a good place to start would be soliciting reviews from customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7271/t8_reviews_philips_boots.png" alt="" width="615" height="575"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69220 2017-06-30T12:00:00+01:00 2017-06-30T12:00:00+01:00 Who should own customer reviews in your organisation? Andy Favell <p>Larger retailers such as Shop Direct and Argos in the UK have already moved in this direction.</p> <h3>The importance of reviews </h3> <p>A study by the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London asked 18 subjects to give a star rating to 210 products based on an image and description on a retailer site. Then they were shown products with the consumer ratings and asked to rate again. The researchers also studied which part of the brain was used by reviewers (but this is way beyond the scope of this article... or author).</p> <p>The following image, taken from the <a href="http://www.jneurosci.org/content/37/25/6066" target="_blank">UCL paper</a>, shows the same product image of a pair of headphones, one has a summary description and the other is accompanied by a summary of reviewer ratings. Below that is the ratings the subjects gave when they gave their impression of the product.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7188/reviews_ucl_study.png" alt="" width="615" height="247"></p> <p>Summarising the research <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170531143651.htm" target="_blank">Science Daily</a> (May 2017), reports:</p> <p>'After seeing the online reviews, participants' judgments were heavily influenced by the reviews and gave ratings that were in between their original rating and the average review score.</p> <p>'The number of reviewers also matters. The higher the number of ratings, the more closely the subjects would align their new rating with the average rating. The lower the number, then less closely the new rating would be aligned.</p> <p>'You don’t need to be a scientist to do some user testing or A/B testing along the same lines.'</p> <h3>A successful reviews/CGC program hinges on four things</h3> <ol> <li> <strong>Building a wealth of quality reviews</strong> and ratings across all products. This is partly down to facilitating native reviews (left by users of your site) or syndicating reviews from elsewhere.</li> <li> <strong>Tracking and analysing reviews</strong>, both across the company’s own sites and third party sites – for example, brands need to be aware of reviews and questions posted on retailers’ sites – and feeding back information to relevant departments, partners and suppliers.</li> <li> <strong>Responding to reviews</strong>, especially the negative ones, and answering questions, as quickly and professionally as possible.</li> <li>Facilitating and taking advantage of other types of <strong>user generated content</strong>, such as images and videos.</li> </ol> <h3>So what part of the business should take responsibility for reviews?</h3> <p>To answer this question it is important to understand the company’s motivation for the reviews and CGC program. Improving online sales is the obvious, and often the main reason, but it is rarely the only one.</p> <p>This is highlighted by the results of a Bazaarvoice survey of over 500 retailer and brand clients (the majority of them European) of its reviews network. It asked: what are the key value drivers your consumer-generated content program is expected to impact?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7187/reviews_impacts_bazaarvoice.png" alt="" width="615" height="388"></p> <ul> <li> <strong>Online sales</strong> was the top motivation for CGC engagement highlighted by 83% of all respondents. Why? Better reviews and ratings sell more products.</li> <li> <strong>Website engagement</strong> is next with 66%. Why? Improved loyalty and customer experience.</li> <li> <strong>Search engine optimisation</strong> at 63%. Why? Reviews help SEO.</li> <li> <strong>Enhanced customer service</strong> at 49%. Why? Close monitoring of reviews means issues can be picked up early, e.g. highlighting need for product replacement; reduce calls to call centre.</li> <li> <strong>Product development</strong> at 35%. Why? Incorporating customer feedback into product design. According to different data from Bazaarvoice 14% of brand reviews and 8% of retailer reviews highlight product flaws.</li> <li> <strong>In-store sales</strong> at 31%. Why? The use of online reviews isn’t restricted to online sales.</li> <li> <strong>Reduced returns</strong> at 28%. Why? Peer reviews help customers make more informed choices.</li> </ul> <p>Digesting these results it's clear to see how many business departments at both retailers and brands would, or should, take an interest in reviews. There are considerations for customer service, customer experience, ecommerce, marketing, merchandising and more.</p> <p>So it’s not immediately clear who should take charge of reviews, whether responsibility should be shared, or whether there should be a cross-department reviews and CGC team.</p> <h3>Should retailers and brands put someone in charge of reviews?</h3> <p>We put this question to Prelini Udayan-Chiechi, VP marketing EMEA at Bazaarvoice who replies:</p> <blockquote> <p>Yes you should have someone responsible not just for reviews, but someone looking after your community and your CGC as a whole. This is community in the sense of interacting with customers via forums and reviews. It’s not social media as that tends to be a different department.</p> <p>Many companies that we work with have allocated individuals and teams from 1 to 2 individuals to larger teams running the program full time. Argos is a great example, with the team also working closely with brands to help drive volume around the products.</p> </blockquote> <p>A bit of cyberstalking on LinkedIn shows that the UK online/catalogue retailer Argos has two “Reviews and CGC managers”. It is unusual to find dedicated reviews/CGC roles like this among retailers. Unfortunately the company was unavailable for comment, at time of publication, so we’re unable to tell you more about these roles.</p> <p>Shop Direct, which runs the UK-focused online department stores Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, has a dedicated Reviews Analyst.</p> <p>Paul Hornby, head of ecommerce at Shop Direct, tells Econsultancy:</p> <blockquote> <p>The Shop Direct product reviews analyst looks after product reviews for our sites, along with other user generated content like questions and answers. They’re part of the Findability team, which includes product recommendations, search and navigation, and syndicated content.</p> <p>Product reviews help to increase conversion, so the reviews analyst’s ‘bread and butter’ is to increase the number and coverage of quality reviews across our sites.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Tracking, analysing and responding to reviews and questions</h3> <p>Inviting/encouraging customers to post ratings and reviews and ask questions is great but the systems need to be in place to ensure that the ratings and reviews are monitored and that questions and any negative reviews are answered swiftly.</p> <p>It is also imperative that such valuable feedback does not go to waste. Relevant departments from Customer Service to Merchandising to Product Development (at suppliers) need to be notified and when necessary to act upon the information.</p> <p>The Shop Direct reviews analyst shares responsibility for answering reviews with the merchandising team and insights are shared across teams.</p> <p>Paul Hornby continues:</p> <blockquote> <p>The Shop Direct buying and merchandising teams have been trained on our reporting and insights tool. They can monitor product reviews and respond when necessary, as well as identify product development opportunities, quality issues and fit insight, for example.</p> <p>When they give valuable feedback, our customers want us to respond. It lets them know we’re listening and acting on their views. And, when the reviews are negative, responding increases trust between us and the customer, and helps us manage their expectations.</p> </blockquote> <p>In the US, it isn’t common to find roles or teams dedicated to reviews and CGC either.</p> <p>We asked Keith Anderson SVP, strategy and insight, Profitero and the author of this useful <a href="https://www.profitero.com/2017/06/profitero-finds-strong-correlation-between-a-products-number-of-online-reviews-and-sales/" target="_blank">ratings and reviews report</a> (June 2017), if it is common for US companies to have dedicated reviews personnel. He said “Not really”.</p> <p>Among retailers, he explained, responsibility usually falls to Marketing or the brand team within Marketing. Sometimes it is merged with social media. Among suppliers/brands, it usually falls to brand managers to monitor overall performance (star rating, review count) and to customer service teams to respond to negative reviews.</p> <p>Anderson believes is important for retailers and brands to track and answer reviews.</p> <blockquote> <p>Reviews are increasingly influential. They're among the most trusted sources of information for shoppers and consumers; the "half-life" of a review or rating is much longer than more ephemeral social media like Facebook Likes or Twitter shares; and reviews are displayed at the point of sale, when decisions are made.</p> <p>Responding to negative reviews helps neutralize negative feedback on a micro level (people appreciate a personal response), but also reflects favourably on the brand in a macro sense – it signals that a brand is responsive and cares about customers.</p> </blockquote> <p><em><strong>More on customer reviews: </strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them">Ecommerce consumer reviews: why you need them and how to use them</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67806-are-customer-reviews-becoming-less-important-to-local-businesses/">Are customer reviews becoming less important to local businesses?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68821 2017-02-20T14:24:16+00:00 2017-02-20T14:24:16+00:00 Big brands embrace crowdfunding for marketing purposes Patricio Robles <p>Case in point: Clorox's Soy Vay brand partnered with upstart Three Jerks Jerky and launched <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/threejerksjerky/three-jerks-filet-mignon-beef-jerky-new-teriyaki-f">a Kickstarter for Veri Veri Teriyaki</a>.</p> <p>As <a href="http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/clorox-kickstarter-fund-venture-startup/308014/">detailed by</a> AdAge, Clorox, with billions of dollars in annual sales, certainly didn't need capital. But it turned to Kickstarter for the exposure. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/4001/d0562c5265f2c533e23c5d28144667ce_original-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="313"></p> <p>"The Kickstarter thing just kind of naturally evolved, where we said it made sense as an awareness driver, as a way to build one-to-one connections with consumers in a way that's very important to us and, frankly, as a way to cut against the grain of typical product launches in CPG," said Adam Simons, who is head of emerging brands at Clorox.</p> <p>Clorox's emerging brands division, as the name suggests, seeks to develop emerging brands. It also helps some of Clorox's existing brands innovate and revitalize themselves.</p> <p>According to Simons, "one of the pillars of the [group's] strategy was trying to align our emerging brand with others in the marketplace," and that's where the partnership with Three Jerks Jerky, which had previously been seen on the popular television show, Shark Tank, came about.  </p> <p>One of the companies that Clorox's emerging brands group is helping is Soy Vay. It makes a teriyaki sauce that the founders of Three Jerks Jerky were particularly fond of, so when the opportunity to create a teriyaki-flavored beef jerky using Soy Vay's product presented itself, the founders jumped.</p> <h3>If it doesn't make dollars, it can still make sense for big brands</h3> <p>The Veri Veri Teriyaki Kickstarter closed last week, with 741 backers pledging $29,094, nearly triple the $10,000 goal of the project. That's obviously chump change for Clorox, but the exercise of launching a product directly to the public and doing so in an "entrepreneurial and scrappy" fashion was where the CPG mega-brand saw value.</p> <p>And it's not the only major brand that has found value in crowdfunding platforms despite the fact that the funding part isn't important.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4002/opal.jpg" alt="" width="838" height="249"></p> <ul> <li>FirstBuild, a subsidiary of General Electric, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/07/business/global-brands-taking-cue-from-tinkerers-explore-crowdfunding.html?_r=0">raised</a> nearly $2.8m on Indiegogo in 2015 to launch the Opal Nugget Ice Maker. </li> <li>Sony <a href="https://www.wareable.com/sony/sonys-e-paper-watch-was-the-fes-watch-all-along-534">crowdfunded</a> the launch of an e-paper watch on Makuake, a Japanese crowdfunding site.</li> <li>Queen Games, an established tabletop games publisher with hits already under its belt, turned to Kickstarter <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1016374822/everything-alhambra-big-box-special-edition-and-mo">to promote</a> its game Alhambra.</li> <li>And Grammy-winning R&amp;B girl group TLC <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1507621537/tlc-is-back-to-make-our-final-album-with-you">raised over $400,000</a> to fund their final album using Kickstarter.</li> </ul> <p>Beyond the marketing value of launching a new product or business line using a crowdfunding platform, brands increasingly use crowdfunding platforms to get market feedback and validation. That can be particularly helpful, especially when launching a new product in a new category.</p> <p>After all, it's easy for big brands to make assumptions about consumers and markets, but crowdfunding campaigns allow them to test new ideas and products with consumers directly, and on a small, less costly scale. </p> <p>In some cases, brands can even do this without the burdens of their brand names. Sony's Makuake campaign is the perfect example of this. When the electronics giant created its e-paper watch campaign on Makuake, it didn't initially reveal that it was associated with Sony.</p> <h3>There are risks, however</h3> <p>One of the biggest risks is that as established players increasingly use crowdfunding, they will negatively impact the way consumers view crowdfunding platforms. For many consumers, crowdfunding platforms are seen as hubs in which entrepreneurs and young companies can obtain the support they need, financial and otherwise, to make their dreams a reality. In many cases, they are the places to find the <em>next big thing</em> before it becomes big.</p> <p>If entrepreneurs and startups are eventually drowned out by established companies using these platforms as proving grounds, particularly for already-developed products, it could diminish interest in crowdfunding, eventually reducing the value of these platforms.</p> <p>Platforms like Kickstarter are aware of this threat. In fact, when world-famous director Spike Lee used Kickstarter to raise money, some complained that the campaign would hurt creators trying to make a name for themselves. Kickstarter <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/the-truth-about-spike-lee-and-kickstarter-0">responded</a>, stating that it believed Lee's campaign introduced many individuals to crowdfunding for the first time, likely expanding the pool of backers available to others. The company also reminded the world that the projects on its platform are "not charity."</p> <p>Nonetheless, brands should be thoughtful and selective in determining when and how to take advantage of crowdfunding, favoring experimental products and test partnerships like the Clorox-Three Jerks Jerky relationship over fully-baked products that they plan to launch and promote on a large scale anyway.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68711 2017-01-19T13:01:00+00:00 2017-01-19T13:01:00+00:00 Storytelling might boost your product page conversion rates: stats Patricio Robles <p>Origin's study presented 3,000 consumers in the US with two variations of product pages – one with a "standard" description and another with a description containing some sort of story.</p> <p>For instance, one product page for a bottle of wine contained a standard description of the wine with tasting notes, while the variation contained the winemaker's story instead of the tasting notes.</p> <p>Which page performed better? Consumers were 5% more likely to purchase from the product page with the winemaker's story, and they were willing to pay 6% more for the same bottle of wine.</p> <p>Origin saw a similar trend for other kinds of products. Consumers were willing to pay 11% more for a painting, for example, when the artist's story was included on the product page, and 5% more for a hotel room that was promoted with a real guest's story instead of the standard hotel-supplied description.</p> <p>On eBay, the impact of a story was even more pronounced, as Origin was able to lure 64% higher bids for a set of fish-shaped spoons when the listing was accompanied by a short fiction story.</p> <h3>Why simple stories work</h3> <p>Origin's study suggests that companies don't necessarily need to develop strategic, brand-level initiatives to benefit from the power of storytelling. Instead, the mere inclusion of stories into product pages can pay dividends.</p> <p>That the use of simple stories at a product-level can be an effective way to drive more sales and increase perceived value, in turn boosting what consumers are willing to pay for a product, shouldn't come as a surprise. </p> <p>A 2014 Nielsen study <a href="http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-room/2014/global-consumers-are-willing-to-put-their-money-where-their-heart-is.html">found that</a> globally, over half of online consumers are willing to pay more for products and services offered by companies that they believe are committed to social responsibility.</p> <p>While not every story speaks directly to social responsibility, many stories, such as those that provide information about the person who created a product, piggyback on the related trend of consumers wanting to know where their products come from, particularly on a personal level.</p> <p>Stories can also be used to capitalize on the trend of consumers, particularly young consumers, <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/05/millennials-are-prioritizing-experiences-over-stuff.html">preferring experiences over products</a>. Origin's hotel room product page with a photo and story from a real guest sells the possibility of a real experience, not just a hotel room, and a product page for a wine bottle that contains the winemaker's story sells the creator's vision and journey, not just a bottle of wine.</p> <h3>A worthwhile priority for 2017?</h3> <p>Given the ease with which simple stories can be incorporated at an individual product level, companies should consider using the new year to explore the opportunities they have to engage in practical storytelling, even if they're not convinced or ready to apply storytelling at a more strategic, brand level. </p> <p><em>For more on this topic, check out these resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/copywriting"><em>Online Copywriting training courses</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67941-10-nudge-tastic-examples-of-persuasive-copywriting-from-charities/"><em>10 nudge-tastic examples of persuasive copywriting from charities</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64969-five-evocative-examples-of-ecommerce-copywriting/"><em>Five evocative examples of ecommerce copywriting</em></a></li> </ul>