Meet the Team is a recurring series on the PowerReviews blog, allowing you to get to know the people behind our success.
We recently sat down with Arend Henderson, our SVP, Analytics, to chat about how he likes to take risks and use his creative side – to improve a client’s understanding of how analytics can be used to improve business, and to improve a wicked barbecue sauce at a 4th of July party.
With about 20 years in a leadership role in analytics at other firms, what brought you to PowerReviews? On one hand, I was working heavily in the advertising industry, and this allowed me a new and interesting challenge on the consumer side of things. On a higher level, my decision to come here was a combination of data, the people here, and the untapped potential that analytics presents for the customers here.
Looking at report data can be overwhelming for non-technical folks. What do you love about it? It’s funny, compared to many others in my field, I fall more on the creative side of things. But those on the outside still see what I do as very technical. What we can do is very special – the data available from ratings and reviews can tell a retailer or brand what people think of their products, and even how they rank compared to the competition. This is information that industries spend a lot of time and money trying to obtain, and we can coax this all from the data. That’s exciting.
How do you approach the practical benefits of analytics with your clients? I find that the basics cannot be underrated, and that the focus needs to be on the business questions, with an eye to continuously refining those questions. While some folks can be dazzled by a new technique, or want to see some sort of chart that shows them some aspect of data, I may challenge them by asking what they are looking to do with the data. Our goal here is to provide more insightful solutions, and not just necessarily respond to a specific request when we may have more to offer our clients.
Do you find your clients utilize their reporting capabilities to their greatest advantage? We have some great products, but sometimes the most useful tools are already right there, built into the reporting. The core value is in the tracking of site behavior and conversion, combined with the ratings and review information. We’re always available to talk to our clients, to dig deeper in order to bring out the most beneficial data, including how to act upon what is discovered.
How do you explore your creative side outside of the office? In my free time I like to relax with my wife and two sons. I especially enjoy photography, and making a fantastic barbecue for friends and neighbors. I love when I can try something new and get an unexpected, delicious result.
It’s no secret that visual content is becoming an integral part of the lives of today’s consumers. Photography — once limited to those with an expensive camera and extensive training — is now available to anyone with a mobile device. In fact, Deloitte predicted that in 2016, 2.5 trillion photos would be shared or stored online, a 15% increase from 2015. And it’s estimated that over 90% of those photos will be taken on a mobile device.
Visual content is also becoming a key part of the path to purchase. A recent PowerReviews study found that 72% of shoppers say they’re more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos and videos in addition to written text. And increasingly, consumers are using photos and videos to express their opinions about products.
[bctt tweet=”72% of shoppers are more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos & videos.” username=”powerofreviews”]
Image Gallery PowerReviews research found that 40% of consumers prefer to find visual content directly on a brand or retailer website. In comparison, 29% prefer to see photos or videos of products on Amazon, and 26% want to see this visual content on a third party review site.
Our new Image Gallery allows retailers and brands to showcase user-submitted photos in an engaging gallery where consumers prefer to find it — directly on product pages. With the new Image Gallery, brands and retailers will increase the visibility of the visual content they collect, leading to higher engagement on product pages and greater purchase likelihood. In addition, this new feature eliminates the extra step of having to curate images from other sources, freeing up your internal teams to dedicate time to other projects.
Native Video Consumers are seeking out video content from other consumers. So it’s key for brands and retailers to make it as easy as possible for shoppers to view this rich media.
To answer consumers’ demand for video content, PowerReviews is the first in the industry to introduce Native Video capabilities, which allows consumers to easily upload videos directly from their mobile devices. By allowing consumers to submit and view video directly on brand and retailer sites, rather than redirecting them to YouTube or other third party sites, brands and retailers are able to generate a higher volume of video content which will then drive more traffic and sales.
If consumers can find all of the product information they’re looking for directly on your site, they’ll stay engaged and be more likely to convert. And since the video is submitted as part of a review, the brand or retailer owns this content.
Brands and Retailers Can Increase Engagement and Conversion 69 percent with User Generated Photos and Videos
CHICAGO – March 21, 2017 – PowerReviews, a leading provider of ratings, reviews and question and answer technology to more than 1,000 global brands and retailers, announced expanded capabilities to collect user generated visual content, which supports the company’s broader strategy to increase native content collection. Retailers and brands can now showcase images in a gallery on their product pages’ review display and consumers can submit and view videos directly on retailer and brand sites.
“Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of shoppers say they are more likely to buy a product that has reviews featuring photos and videos in addition to written text,” said Matt Moog, chief executive officer, PowerReviews. “By collecting and displaying user-generated images and videos directly on the product page, our expanded visual content capabilities keep shoppers from navigating off the product page to third-party sites like YouTube to contribute or view video reviews. This increased engagement with visual content is increasing sales across the PowerReviews Open Network.”
PowerReviews is the only ratings and reviews provider that allows consumers to submit and view video directly on retailer and brand sites from mobile devices, without having to go to a third-party site like YouTube. When products with reviews include visual content, PowerReviews clients saw a 88% order lift and 69% conversion lift. In addition, clients saw more traffic, with 18% more impressions for product pages with visual content compared to those without.
“Visual content is becoming increasingly important for today’s consumers and in turn influences their purchasing behavior. Being able to feature photos and videos directly in our review displays helps meet shoppers expectations, increase transparency and establish a community where our customers can trade information,” said Chad Kulig, digital strategy manager, Speedway Motors.
Visual content capabilities include Native Video and the Image Gallery. All videos and images benefit from PowerReviews’ advanced anti-fraud technology and human moderation to ensure authenticity and appropriateness.
Native Video – allows consumers to submit and view video directly on retailer and brand sites, rather than redirecting them to YouTube or other third-party sites, decreasing product page abandonment. In the PowerReviews network, video volume has increased 140% from 2015 to 2016.
Image Gallery – allows retailers and brands to present consumer images on their product pages, leading to higher purchase likelihood and engagement. The new Image Gallery allows brands and retailers to display a continually fresh array of images on their product pages. In the PowerReviews Open Network, image volume has increased 49% from 2015 to 2016.
Mobile Experience – PowerReviews clients have seen:
45% of visual content submitted on mobile
87% increase in reviews submitted on mobile in 2016 vs 2015
PowerReviews recently released a whitepaper on the value of visual content, titled, “Snapshot for e-commerce: The role of visual content in earning consumer trust and influencing purchase behavior.” To read more on how visual content is becoming a key part of the path to purchase, please visit, powerreviews.com/visual.
About PowerReviews PowerReviews works with more than 1,000 global brands and retailers to deliver butt-based software that collects and displays ratings and reviews and questions and answers on websites. 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. The PowerReviews Open Network reaches more than 1 billion in-market shoppers every month, giving retailers and brands the power to reach shoppers wherever they are. For more information, visitwww.powerreviews.com.
PowerReviews Open Network Helps Consumers Make Better Decisions And Increases Traffic and Sales for E-commerce Retailers and Brands
CHICAGO – March 21, 2017 – PowerReviews, a leading provider of ratings, reviews and question and answer technology to more than 1,000 global brands and retailers, today announced the extension and expansion of the PowerReviews Open Network, which ensures the continued syndication of authentic product reviews collected on brand sites to leading e-commerce retailer sites. Reviews help consumers make better purchase decisions and help e-commerce retailers and brands increase traffic, drive sales and increase conversion rates.
Walmart, Jet.com, Walgreens, Sam’s Club, and many of the largest retailers in the world accounting for more than $1 trillion in online and offline revenue, have pledged their support and signed open syndication agreements with PowerReviews. In addition, major brands including GlaxoSmithKline, The North Face, Ugg and World Kitchen have committed to continue syndicating their reviews to retail e-commerce sites through the PowerReviews Open Network.
“Brands and retailers rely on ratings and reviews to drive traffic and sales,” said Matt Moog, chief executive officer, PowerReviews. “Brands and retailers own their reviews and control their sites. We are committed to expanding the PowerReviews Open Network to make more authentic content available to consumers on more e-commerce sites, regardless of their rating and review technology platform.”
Syndication Makes Reviews Available to Shoppers on More E-commerce Sites
Review syndication makes more reviews available to shoppers on more e-commerce sites. Syndication enables the distribution of reviews collected on brand sites to retail e-commerce sites to make that content visible to more shoppers. On average, retailers receive 58% of their review content from syndication.
Consumers and Retailers Depend on Product Reviews. Of shoppers, 86% consult reviews prior to making a purchase, demonstrating their increasing importance in the customer journey. E-commerce retailers rely on ratings and reviews to increase traffic, sales and conversion rates. Reviews empower consumers to share their experiences with specific products using their own words, photos and videos.
Syndication Increases Product Review Coverage and Conversion Rates. Syndicated reviews are essential for e-commerce retailers and help amplify the voice of the consumer. On average retailers receive more than half of their review content from syndication, which results in higher conversion rates for more products. When a product without reviews adds one or more reviews, the conversion rate increases by 65%.
Retailers Access the PowerReviews Open Network at No Cost. The PowerReviews Open Network is committed to the broad distribution of authentic reviews to e-commerce retailers. Retailers using PowerReviews or Bazaarvoice who have direct syndication agreements with PowerReviews receive syndicated brand content at no cost.
The PowerReviews Open Network is Expanding to Multiple Platforms. The PowerReviews Open Network is now making authentic brand content available to major retailers that use other technology platforms to collect and display reviews. By supporting multiple technology platforms, PowerReviews is making product reviews available to more consumers on even more e-commerce retailer sites.
Origins of Review Syndication
In order to freely distribute content between brands and retailers on two different rating and review technology platforms, review syndication was created by PowerReviews and Bazaarvoice in 2012 when the companies briefly combined. In July 2014, the Department of Justice (DOJ) ordered the divestiture of PowerReviews from Bazaarvoice and mandated the continuation of syndication for four years. To date, more than 35 million reviews have been syndicated across the network from PowerReviews’ brands.
PowerReviews works with more than 1,000 global brands and retailers to deliver cloud-based software that collects and displays ratings and reviews and questions and answers on websites. 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. The PowerReviews Open Network reaches more than 1 billion in-market shoppers every month, giving retailers and brands the power to reach shoppers wherever they are. For more information, visit www.powerreviews.com.
Driving traffic, sales and loyalty with user generated content
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to escape the cold Midwest weather to head to Austin for South by Southwest (SXSW), a massive, annual conference that celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film and music industries.
On Saturday, I spoke on a panel with leaders from other leading software companies including ReviewTrackers and IBM on how to maximize and optimize the customer journey. My portion of the panel focused on advocacy and how identifying and engaging with brand advocates can help brands drive traffic, sales and loyalty. Read on for the three steps I shared for engaging with and leveraging brand advocates.
1. Identify existing and potential advocates.
Start off by taking a look at transaction history for your customers. In addition to overall dollars spent, also consider the specific products someone has purchased. For example, if you want to find someone who will promote baby products to expecting and new parents, the first step is finding someone who has purchased these types of products.
You’ll also want to take a closer look at the reviews your potential brand advocates have submitted. In addition to the number of reviews they’ve written, also consider how frequently their reviews are voted as “helpful” by other shoppers. You’ll also want to determine whether a potential advocate has submitted visual content such as photos and videos as part of their reviews. User generated photos and videos are becoming more and more valuable to brands, with 88% of consumers specifically looking for photos and videos submitted by other consumers prior to making a purchase. Consumers who take the time to submit visual content are highly engaged and are likely good candidates to become your next brand advocates.
2. Collect content from advocates.
After you’ve identified existing or potential advocates, ask them to contribute content to your ecommerce site such as ratings and reviews, photos and videos. In order to generate a large volume of reviews, make sure the process for submitting and reading reviews is mobile friendly from start to finish. Advocates should be able to easily write reviews and upload photos or videos directly from their phones.
In addition, potential advocates are likely to purchase multiple items in one transaction, so it’s key to make it easy for them to review multiple products from one page. PowerReviews customers have experienced a 36% increase in product coverage by doing this.
Also, remember that your advocates may need a little encouragement to submit review content. PowerReviews research found that more than half of consumers not writing reviews cited needing motivation to do so. Consider offering incentives such as free, faster shipping, loyalty points, early access to sales or products, entry into a sweepstakes, or free samples in exchange for a review. Just be sure to badge these reviews appropriately so future shoppers understand that these reviews were generated in exchange for an incentive.
3. Leverage content from your advocates
Once you’ve generated content from your advocates, identify ways to amplify that content. For starters, you can leverage this content on other areas of your website, including your homepage, category pages, and campaign-specific landing pages.
You can also include review content from brand advocates on your in-store signage. For example, Amazon has display cards throughout their brick and mortar stores that feature reviews from real consumers.
If you haven’t developed a brand advocacy program, now’s the time to start. While loyalty programs reward and incentivize one shopper at a time, advocate programs have the power to inspire thousands of shoppers through the influence of one person.
Later this month, I, along with a few members of the PowerReviews team, am heading to Las Vegas forShopTalk, one of the largest retail and ecommerce events that focuses on the way consumers discover, shop and buy.
Last year’s inaugural ShopTalk event provided the opportunity for attendees to network with 3,100 industry professionals while hearing from some of the biggest global brands and retailers. And this year’s event will be even larger, with 5,000+ attendees and an agenda packed with powerful keynotes, focused breakout sessions, and plenty of networking opportunities. Attendees will leave the conference with new connections and lots of ideas to better connect with consumers as they browse and purchase products.
We’re especially looking forward to hearing from some of our own clients, including:
If you’re attending ShopTalk 2017, I hope you’ll take advantage of one (or both) of these opportunities to connect with me and the PowerReviews team to learn about product updates that’ll help you drive even more traffic, sales, and insights with user generated content.
Hear from our CEO It’s no secret that consumers are seeking visual content such as photos and videos prior to making a purchase. And while professional photos and videos produced by brands and retailers have their role to play, a growing number of consumers specifically want to see visual content from other consumers. In fact, PowerReviews research found that 88% of consumers look for visuals — such as photos and videos — submitted by other consumers prior to making a purchase. And 72% of shoppers say they’re more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos and videos in addition to written text.
Join PowerReviews CEO Matt Moog in Track Room 5 at 8:40 on Monday, March 20 to hear about new product capabilities that will allow brands and retailers to better connect with consumers through user generated photos and videos.
Stop By Our Booth Stop by booth #1213 in the Exhibit Hall to discuss your business challenges, hear about our new product capabilities, and see firsthand how PowerReviews’ solutions can help you drive traffic, sales and insights. I’d love to talk with you about the opportunities and challenges you’re facing in 2017 and how we can help.