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Vornado takes a unique approach to product sampling to generate reviews across their product catalog

Vornado was founded on the premise that comfort should be constant. Based in Andover, Kansas, the company manufactures a broad range of products that enhance efficiency and keep consumers comfortable all year long, including fans, heaters, air purifiers and humidifiers. Vornado sells its products through its own ecommerce website, as well as through a network of 42 retail partners.

44%

Reviews collected from sampling campaigns are 44% longer than those collected organically

97%

Response rate for samples sent vs. reviews written for Vornado’s latest product sampling campaign

77,172

Number of reviews syndicated to retail partners

The Opportunity

As a company known for its forward-thinking products, Vornado releases new products on an ongoing basis, often to coincide with a change of season. Vornado understands the importance of releasing these products with reviews, in order to give shoppers the confidence they need to convert.

“Reviews provide consumers with information about products, beyond the marketing information we’re providing,” said Nick Vogel, Online Marketing Manager at Vornado.

Vornado knows firsthand the impact of reviews on conversion. The company participates in the Amazon Vine program and has seen success from this initiative. However, the company saw a need to find a product sampling program that would allow them to generate reviews on their own site, then syndicate those reviews to their network of retail partners.

“Displaying a star rating gives customers assurance that they’re not buying an inferior product,” said Vogel.

Switching to PowerReviews

In 2015, Vornado switched to PowerReviews from another ratings and reviews provider that wasn’t meeting their needs. PowerReviews’ sampling capabilities helped make the decision to switch a lot easier.

“Sampling was a big driver for us for switching ratings and reviews providers,” said Vogel.

 

“Reviews provide consumers with information about products that goes beyond the marketing information we’re providing.”

- Nick Vogel, Online Marketing Manager

“We see a lot of value in product sampling. Having reviews for new products makes for a better product launch.”

- Nick Vogel, Online Marketing Manager

“Product sampling has been great for us. I’ve enjoyed the flexibility of working with PowerReviews on these campaigns.”

- Nick Vogel, Online Marketing Manager

Generating More Reviews Across Product Catalog

Since 2015, Vornado has worked with PowerReviews to execute seven sampling campaigns, generally for new product offerings. Vornado takes a unique approach to product sampling. Rather than executing a sampling campaign for a single product with hundreds of samples, Vornado launches smaller campaigns for multiple products. This approach helps the company generate reviews across more of their products, which is especially important since products in the PowerReviews Open Network that go from having no reviews to at least one review experience a 108% lift in traffic and a 65% lift in conversion, on average.

Each of Vornado’s sampling campaigns has resulted in a high completion rate of samples sent to reviews written. And over time, their completion rate continues to grow. The company’s first sampling campaign resulted in an 83% completion rate. And their most recent sampling campaign had a 97% completion rate, which is nearly twice the completion rate of their other sampling channels.

“We see a lot of value in product sampling. Having reviews for new products makes for a better product launch,” said Vogel.

In addition to generating a high volume of reviews, Vornado has observed that the reviews that result from product sampling are also high quality. In fact, while the average character count for Vornado reviews are 421 characters, reviews that resulted from sampling campaigns have an average of 608 characters. This is great news for Vornado, considering recent PowerReviews research found that the longer a review, the more likely it is to garner helpful votes.

Amplifying the Reach of Reviews

Though Vornado has its own ecommerce website, the majority of its products are sold through its network of retail partners. That’s why it’s important for the company to generate review content that can be syndicated to their retail partners.

“Syndicating reviews is a key way for us to be a good partner to our retailers,” said Vogel.

Since first partnering with PowerReviews in 2015, Vornado has syndicated more than 77,000 reviews to 42 major retail partners.

What’s Next?

Vornado plans to continue executing product sampling campaigns for new products and is getting ready to launch their eighth campaign. In addition to working with PowerReviews to continuously optimize their sampling campaigns, the company also plans to start collecting more user-generated photos and videos, in addition to text-only reviews.

“Product sampling has been great for us,” concluded Vogel. “I’ve enjoyed the flexibility of working with PowerReviews on these campaigns.”

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