CHICAGO – January 31, 2017 – PowerReviews, a leading provider of ratings, reviews and question-and-answer technology to more than 1,000 global brands and retailers, today released a new research paper detailing Amazon’s rise and how the retailer’s dominance has changed shopper expectations. The paper is based on a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers aged 18 and over. It explores behavior and contributing factors to Amazon’s dominance, plus steps that brands and retailers can take to compete.

“Amazon accounted for almost half of all 2016 online holiday sales and is the undisputed e-commerce market leader. Our survey found that consumers biggest pain point pre- and post- purchase was not having enough information. Amazon provides rich content in the form of product reviews, photos, videos and descriptions to build trust. Consumers have come to not only rely on this information but expect brands and retailers to provide it as well,” said Matt Moog, chief executive officer, PowerReviews. “Retailers are under no illusion about the competition they face but they have the tools to compete and win by providing relevant content and by utilizing loyalty programs to increase engagement and conversion.”

The survey found that 71% of shoppers make at least one Amazon purchase a month. Shoppers cite the following reasons:

  • Variety of Products: 79%
  • Free Shipping: 64%
  • Better Deals: 60%
  • Volume of Customer Reviews: 55%
  • Search Capabilities: 54%
  • Mobile Experience: 29%

Additionally, 70% of surveyed shoppers use brand or retailer sites to research their purchase before navigating to Amazon to complete the transaction, a cause of frustration for retailers. Amazon is shaping the ecommerce landscape with detailed product information, authentic user generated content, and loyalty perks that consumers now expect.

Our survey found two main themes, noting that Amazon is both consistent and trustworthy. Consumers have come to rely on Amazon to deliver everything from daily essentials to the higher priced splurge items. Unlike a typical loyalty program offering discounts, Amazon Prime charges customers a membership fee in return for benefits such a free shipping and free videos. In return, shoppers are fiercely loyal. Amazon has raised the bar for all retailers and brands who are struggling with how to compete in this new and complex world.

Table Stakes: Our survey confirmed that free shipping and returns are table stakes for e-retailers:

  • 84% cited free shipping as a compelling incentive
  • 62% were tempted by the offer of free returns
  • 29% found reordering ease enticing

Through its Vine program, Amazon is also redefining loyalty by focusing not only on customers who frequently buy products, but also on customers who frequently contribute useful reviews with perks such as free samples.

Differentiators: Shoppers are attracted and retained through the following perks:

  • 33% of consumers would like free products
  • 29% cited loyalty points
  • 27% want early access to sales
  • 19% are intrigued by early access to products

To read the full white paper please visit, https://www.powerreviews.com/event/compete-with-amazon/ or listen to a breakdown on the survey results in a webinar recording with Theresa O’Neil, SVP of Marketing.

About PowerReviews

PowerReviews works with more than 1,000 global brands and retailers to increase conversion and improve products and the customer experience with ratings and reviews and Q&A software. PowerReviews unifies and amplifies the voice of the consumer throughout their journey, across all channels to help consumers make better purchase decisions and to help businesses drive conversion and improve products and services. Ratings and reviews solutions from PowerReviews are essential for consumers as they search and shop online and in-store, driving traffic on more than 5,000 websites, creating actionable insights to improve products and services, increasing conversion, and growing online site-wide sales up to 17 percent. The PowerReviews Syndication Network reaches 1,200 retailers and more than 700 million in-market shoppers every month, giving retailers and brands the power to reach shoppers wherever they are. For more information, visit www.powerreviews.com.

Building Consumer Trust, Sales and Loyalty with User-Generated Content

Amazon is a market leader in almost every capacity. And knowing how to beat Amazon isn’t an easy task. It’s the global shopping destination of choice and retailers are under no illusion about the competition they face. But what is it that consumers love about Amazon?

PowerReviews conducted a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers to better understand the factors that contribute to Amazon’s dominance and what retailers can do to better attract and keep online shoppers.

Download this study to learn:

  • Why consumers trust Amazon
  • How Amazon has shaped consumer expectations throughout the shopping journey
  • What factors drive loyalty to Amazon and other retailers
  • How retailers can use Amazon’s own best practices to win against them

Meet the Team is a recurring series on the PowerReviews blog, allowing you to get to know the people behind our success.

We caught up with Javier Revuelta, graduate of Code Platoon’s* first cohort and PowerReviews Associate Software Engineer, to hear about his time in the military, with Code Platoon, and as a PowerReviews intern.

*Code Platoon is a 16-week coding bootcamp, based in Chicago, that aims to turn military veterans into software developers.

Revuelta

Can you describe your military experience?
I joined the Air Force a few months after 9/11, but did not ship out until the summer of 2002. The original plan was to be an airborne communications guy flying around in an AWACS plane (the one with the big dish overhead), but a few good test scores put me on track for becoming a Korean Cryptologic Linguist instead. I spent a little over a year in Monterey, CA learning Korean before doing a two-year tour in Korea. After that it was back stateside to finish my enlistment at Fort Meade, MD. All together, it was six years in the military before I decided to return to Chicago to finish a degree in Finance.

Did you know anything about software development before Code Platoon?
I did not, but I had spent the bulk of my military career working in foreign languages (primarily Korean), so I figured that the learning aptitude would translate. You do not have to know about software development before you start there, but it certainly helps mitigate the exposure shock that comes with trying to think in a completely different way.

Do you feel Code Platoon sufficiently prepared you for an internship with PowerReviews?
I think it did. By and large, there weren’t any moments where I felt that the learning curve was too steep. I get to spend my time working with guys that really understand Ruby and Rails, so there are always new things to learn.

What kind of software development are you responsible for at PowerReviews?
The bulk of my work during the internship had been back end, with my largest projects being writing the Dashboard Jr API and helping the other Ruby developers with the Self-Service Portal.

What has your experience been so far with PowerReviews?
PowerReviews has been fantastic! The warmth and accessibility of everyone I’ve met here is unparalleled, and it has made all the difference in making me feel at home. It was my first choice of all the internships available to our cohort, and I feel fortunate to be here every day. A special shoutout to the Ruby team — those guys rock.

What’s a fun fact or hidden talent people might not know about you?
I really got into Salsa dancing last year, and will be joining a team this year. So you might see me performing around the city at some point!

Want to learn more about joining or sponsoring Code Platoon? Visit their website.

MeettheTeam_CTA

 

A picture is worth a thousand words, and with today’s smartphones, it’s easier than ever to take that picture. And who best understands and uses this technology? Millennials. Not coincidentally, they also most want to see their peers’ visual content when shopping online, as gathered from our recent study. Oh, and they spend more money online in a given year than any other age group.

To better understand how visual content is changing the way consumers shop, PowerReviews conducted a survey of more than 1,000 American consumers, including those most desirable millennials. Overall the study results pointed to the increasing role of visual User Generated Content (UGC) when shopping online for brands and retailers. And nowhere is this trend more prevalent than with millennials – those aged 18-29.

Millennials Want to See Their Own Visual Content More than Yours

A perfect example: 72% of consumers say they regularly or always seek out visual content; however, younger shoppers are even more likely to search for photos and videos prior to purchase – a full 81%.

Brands and retailers, aiming to effectively reach younger consumers, must provide a means for them to submit photos and videos of products in action to complement or even replace professional visual content. While 42% of all shoppers say that it’s important or very important that a product’s reviews include user-submitted photos and videos, this jumps to 58% among millennial consumers. Almost as many millennials, 54%, find this user-submitted visual content more valuable than a professional photo supplied by a retailer or brand.

Tech-Savvy + $ to Burn = Millennials

Think it’s ok to ignore visual UGC when courting millennial shoppers? Almost a third (32%) of all consumers report they’re less likely to purchase a product if they can’t find photos or videos of the product from other consumers. Nearly one-half (47%) of millennials feel this way.

Want to ensure you’re doing the best you can to convert millennial shoppers? Start with these tips.

Tips for Targeting Millennial Shoppers

  1. Request photos and videos from your young shoppers. Your desired demographic is looking for product photos and videos from their peers. Start asking them to submit photos and videos as part of their reviews. And make it easy to do this directly from their phones – if you set it up, they’ll know how to use it.
  2. Prominently feature visual UGC on your product pages. Professional images can be striking, but the majority of millennials would prefer to see this.
  3. Leverage user-generated visual content in other marketing initiatives. This content can be leveraged on other areas of your website, including your homepage, category pages, and campaign-specific landing pages. And don’t neglect the stomping grounds of Millennials – think Twitter and Instagram.

Check out this infographic below or download the full report to understand the types of visual content different consumer segments are seeking and how it’s influencing trust and purchase behavior.

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