It’s no secret that the holiday season is a busy time for retailers. This year will be no exception, as brands and retailers are again tasked with standing out among the nearly endless shopping options today’s consumers have.

Gift givers are increasingly turning to user-generated content such as ratings and reviews to inform their holiday purchases. That’s why it’s key to generate fast feedback on purchases to drive sales online and in-store during the busiest time of the year — and set yourself up for success in the new year, too.

Join Erik Skurka, VP of Product at PowerReviews, for a 30-minute webinar that will explore best practices to help brands and retailers generate more user-generated content to drive traffic and sales during the holiday season and beyond. Erik will discuss how to:

    • Quickly provide UGC on products that have a short shelf life
    • Increase content collection rates up to 400% by streamlining the review collection process for multi-item transactions 
    • Collect more content on purchases immediately after checkout 
    • Generate authentic consumer feedback on new products or specific products that need more reviews 
    • Amplify your review coverage through content syndication 
    • Create memorable experiences across all channels, especially mobile 

Two Takeaways from our Apparel Webinar

Today, according to Forrester Research, only 15% of apparel is purchased online. But as more and more consumers crave the convenience of browsing and shopping for just about everything online, the number of people shopping for apparel online is expected to grow. Amazon’s expansion into the online retail space will likely accelerate this growth.

According to a Morgan Stanley report, Amazon currently has a 7% market share of the apparel industry, but by 2020 that number is predicted to climb to 19%. During our recent monthly webinar, I shared five recommendations for apparel brands and retailers looking to leverage reviews in order to provide a differentiated experience to today’s information-hungry shoppers and avoid losing market share to Amazon. Read on for two of those recommendations.

Allow Consumers to Submit Photos & Video

According to a survey from Body Labs, 23% of all clothing gets returned, and 64% of consumers say “incorrect fit” is the major reason for the return. In addition to collecting text reviews, encourage your shoppers to submit photos and videos of the products they’ve recently purchased.

Seeing images and videos of a product on a real person will allow future shoppers to understand how an apparel item fits on different body types, so they know what to expect when the item arrives. In addition, user-submitted photos and videos can also spark ideas for different ways to accessorize a piece of clothing, leading to more multi-item transactions. visualcontentdisplay

If you don’t provide shoppers access to user-submitted photos and videos, they’re less likely to convert. A recent PowerReviews study found that 40% of Centennials (age 13-18) won’t purchase a product if there are no photos of people using the product. And if they do convert, there’s a good chance they’ll return the item once it arrives on their doorstep.

Generate Content Quickly

Apparel merchandise often moves on and off the shelves quickly, due to seasons changing or styles going in and out of fashion. For example, in most parts of the country, heavy winter jackets are only sold a few months of the year.

Since reviews play a powerful role in driving traffic and conversion, it’s key for apparel brands and retailers to generate quality reviews as quickly as possible. PowerReviews data has found that around 60% of reviews are written as a result of a post purchase email, which asks customers to review items they’ve recently purchased.

So be sure to send a mobile-friendly post purchase email to all consumers who make a purchase. In addition, while longer reviews provide valuable insights for shoppers and businesses alike, there’s great value in shorter reviews too, especially for products with a short shelf live.

Simply asking a shopper “Why Did You Buy?” immediately after purchase will provide you with additional content to drive traffic, sales, and insights.

Missed Our Apparel Webinar?

Did you miss our recent webinar on the importance of reviews for apparel brands and retailers? Hear all the tips I shared by watching the on-demand session.

Arit Nsemo

Arit has a background in client success in the online space. Currently, Arit is based in London, England where she is responsible for the success of PowerReviews clients in EMEA, taking a consultative approach to relationship management.

Featured Presenter

Erik_Skurka_2

Erik Skurka, VP Product

As Vice President of Product Management, Erik leads the Product, Design, Analytics and Data Science teams at PowerReviews. The teams work closely with our customers and internal cross-functional teams to define, create, and build tools and experiences that are used to drive value for thousands of PowerReviews brands and retailers in over 30 languages.

Prior to PowerReviews, Erik was part of multiple product teams building, iterating, and innovating the online and mobile experiences for Cars.com, a leading automotive research website that was sold to Gannett Media in 2014 for $2.4B.

He started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, helping private companies navigate complicated regulatory and capital markets environments after the 2008 recession. Erik is a graduate of the University of Colorado, holding a B.S. in Business and an M.S. in Taxation.

In case you missed it, Google has changed the minimum number of Seller Ratings needed in order for a star rating to appear in your Google AdWords Campaign. Read on to learn more about the change, how it affects you, and how you can capitalize on this opportunity.

What Are Seller Ratings?
Seller Ratings are a way to collect feedback from consumers about their overall shopping experience with a brand or a retailer. Google partners, such as PowerReviews, then share these ratings to Google, allowing star ratings to appear in your Google AdWords campaigns like the example below.

Get Google Star Ratings example

Seller Ratings help consumers make smart purchasing decisions, and they also help brands and retailers increase traffic to their ecommerce websites. In fact, at PowerReviews, we’ve found that it’s possible to achieve a 100% increase in click-through rates on AdWords with Seller Ratings.

What Has Changed?
Previously, Google required that a brand or retailer have at least 30 Seller Ratings from the past 12 months and an average star rating of 3.5 or higher in order for the star rating to appear in Google AdWords campaigns. Now, businesses must have 150 Seller Ratings from the past 12 months, with an average star rating of 3.5 or higher, in order for the star rating to appear in AdWord campaigns.

What Do You Need to Do?
If you have 150 Seller Ratings from the past 12 months with an average star rating of 3.5 or higher, you won’t notice any changes. If you have fewer reviews, however, you’ll notice that the star ratings will disappear from your AdWords campaigns within the next couple weeks until you’ve collected the required 150 Seller Ratings. But don’t be discouraged! Instead, think of this change as an opportunity to engage with your customers to collect even more Seller Ratings.

At PowerReviews, we’ve found that the following best practices help brands and retailers collect the required 150 Seller Ratings needed in order for stars to appear in AdWords campaigns.

  • Ask for Feedback at the Right Time: There are three main components to a comprehensive Seller Rating — shopping experience, shipping, and service. Capture your shoppers’ attention and ask them questions when they’re in the context of each of these three components. For example, ask for feedback about the buying experience right after a purchase has been made, while the experience is still fresh in the mind of your consumer. Ask about shipping after the product has arrived, via a post purchase email. And ask for feedback about service after every experience over the phone or online.
    Example of a Google Star Rating
  • Keep the Collection Process Simple: If you make the process of leaving Seller Ratings too complicated, your shoppers will likely abandon it all together. Rather than asking for lots of data, boil down each Seller Rating component to a simple star rating and open, qualitative feedback.

More Information About Seller Ratings
Already a customer? If you’re an existing PowerReviews customer looking for ways to generate and leverage Seller Ratings, contact your Client Success Director or Community Manager.

Not yet a customer? If you’re not a current PowerReviews customer but are interested in learning more about how Seller Ratings can help you build consumer trust and increase conversion, contact us today.

Whether they’re shopping for a new book to read or shoes for their next vacation, consumers are increasingly turning to ratings and reviews prior to purchase. We know that 95% of consumers use ratings and reviews and 86% say they’re an essential resource when making purchase decisions.

But if you’re a small brand or retailer, how do you know when it’s time to invest in a ratings and reviews solution? Read on for four signs that you’re ready to add ratings and reviews to your site.

You Need to Increase Traffic to Your Site

You’ve successfully built and launched your ecommerce site and now you’re looking for ways to grow your top-of-the-funnel traffic. Organic search is a great channel to invest in. According to our research, more than a third (35%) of shoppers are starting the purchase journey on a search engine, which points to the importance of having a strong presence on Google and other search engines.

[bctt tweet=”35% of shoppers start the purchase journey on a search engine.” username=”powerofreviews”]
Search engines love fresh and relevant content. One way to maintain a steady stream of fresh and relevant content is to host ratings and reviews on your site, where search engines can crawl the content and consumers can find it. This is a great way to help ensure your product pages are displaying in search engine results.

Plus, if your site is structured according to Schema.org standards (a single standard for structuring content on websites) and you have ratings and reviews, star ratings can appear with your product pages in the search results. These “rich snippets” catch the eye of shoppers, making them more likely to click through to your site.

Example of a review in Google Search results

Your Conversion Rate Needs a Boost

Your site traffic is growing, but your conversion rate is less than stellar. In other words, shoppers are finding your site, but they’re not converting. What gives?

Today’s consumers want as much information as they can about a product before they decide to purchase. And while your product descriptions and professional photos are a great place to start, consumers also want opinions from others like them, who have purchased and experienced a given product firsthand. That’s why it’s key to have ratings and reviews on your website, so shoppers can find this information without ever leaving your site.

What’s the risk if you don’t have reviews on your site? Shoppers will go elsewhere to find what they’re looking for and likely won’t return to your site. Nearly half (45%) of shoppers say they’ll turn to a search engine if there aren’t reviews (or aren’t enough reviews) for a product on a brand or retailer site. 25% say they will head to Amazon. And 20% will leave for another brand or retailer site.

You Need to Build A Strong Brand Presence on Retail Sites

If you sell your products through various retail channels, it’s important to build a strong brand presence there as well. Reviews gives you the opportunity to increase conversion wherever your products are sold.

You can do this by collecting and displaying reviews on your own site and then syndicating those reviews to your retail partners. This provides shoppers with the information they need to make smart purchase decisions regardless of the channel they’re using to shop.

You’re Looking for Ways to Improve Your Products and Website

In addition to driving traffic and conversion, product reviews can help you gather actionable insights about your products. For example, you can learn what features customers love and potential issues that can be fixed in the next iteration of the product.

Hammacher Schlemmer, a PowerReviews customer, noticed that a watch they sold on their website had an average star rating of 2.7. After digging into the reviews for the watch, the company noticed that several customers mentioned the clasp on the watch wasn’t working. Hammacher Schlemmer took this information to their manufacturer to change the clasp, and the average star rating for the watch climbed to 4.7.

Reviews can also be a great source of insights into ways to improve the content on your website. Room & Board, another PowerReviews customer, analyzed review content for their rug collection and noticed that several customers identified price as a negative. Armed with this information, Room & Board enhanced their product descriptions so customers could understand more about the quality of the rugs and why they were priced at the point they were.

Ready to start driving traffic, conversions, retail presence, and product insights with ratings and reviews? Find out which PowerReviews plan is best for you.

Pricing for ratings and reviews- PowerReviews

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