10-Year Partnership Supporting Continuous Growth, with Continual Review Collection and Multi-Territory Expansion
In 2011, Skechers selected PowerReviews as its ratings and reviews partner as the company built out its extensive global customer “footprint.” Sketchers has also leveraged Questions & Answers to communicate with consumers and support improved Search Engine Optimization. Through this engagement, Sketchers has built trust and relationships with consumers while leveraging Voice of the Customer insights to guide marketing, customer service, and product development efforts.
Ten years ago, Skechers was working to expand its eCommerce efforts. As its digital presence grew, the need for a User-Generated Content program became readily apparent. Skechers sought a solution that was easy to integrate and which could grow with its business, and PowerReviews checked all the boxes.
Fast-forward to the Spring of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered retail stores and no orders were moving through its retail or wholesale channels, Skechers found its investment in ecommerce paid off handsomely, as it experienced an incredible 700 percent year-over-year increase in ecommerce orders, with several months posting sales of over $1 million.
Today, the company hosts a total of 20 eCommerce properties across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia and PowerReviews is an integral part of this multi-territory ecommerce offering.
Skechers has collected more than 340,000 reviews with an average star rating of 4.6, with over 8,000 customer images shared, through the PowerReviews platform. And in the U.S., the company has generated review coverage for 87 percent of its products with an average of 18.8 reviews per product — content that consumers have interacted with on over 2,300,000 occasions.
Leveraging PowerReviews Integration with Salesforce Commerce Cloud
All of this user generated content has not only helped with site conversions, it also helped guide Skechers’ recent ecommerce overhaul, says Tim Lakin, Skechers ecommerce merchandising manager.
Lakin recently replatformed the company’s entire ecommerce operation, using insights from user generated content to guide its customer-first layout and design. “We wanted to have our site guided by what’s important to customers and incorporated visual iconography into the user experience to highlight the features that matter most, per customer feedback.”
Skechers selected Salesforce Commerce Cloud to run and drive its global ecommerce revamp, in part because the PowerReviews offering is fully integrated with the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform (in fact, it’s one of the first and only integrated reviews partners vetted and certified for Salesforce’s new Storefront Reference Architecture).
PowerReviews’ enhanced integration partnership with Salesforce Commerce Cloud enables enterprise brands, retailers and merchants to quickly implement and collect ratings, reviews and questions and answers, along with native photos and videos through a fully customized review display.
Operationalizing Questions & Answers
Skechers has used PowerReviews’ Questions & Answers feature to address purchase-blocking questions within the shopper experience. In fact, Lakin has a long and illustrious Questions & Answers career. In the U.S., he’s fielded over 61,000 questions asked, interacted with 42,000 site visitors, and answered all within 48 hours.
“We’ve always gotten great utility from Questions & Answers, but during the COVID-19 store shutdowns, customer Questions & Answers became our main customer service channel and was absolutely pivotal,” he says. The conversion rate for customers who have their question answered by Q&A has consistently been at 80%+.
“We syndicate Questions & Answers content to anyone that can use it to support ‘one version of the truth’,” said Lakin. This includes Skechers’ internal staff. “It’s difficult to train everyone on every product, so Questions & Answers play an important role in facilitating product knowledge transfer within the organization.”
Lakin also leverages PowerReviews’ Brand Engage feature, which enables him to answer questions on its retailers’ websites, so answers are consistent with the Skechers’ brand.
Mining Consumer Sentiment
Lakin says user-generated content is vital for ecommerce pros because it can reveal vital insights to bridge the gap between what your brand is telling customers versus what customers want to know – which can result in huge wins for marketing and product development.
He points to the time when he noticed consumers were inquiring about whether Skechers shoes were machine washable. The company wash tested every shoe in its collection and found that many of its shoes were indeed machine washable.
“Given the interest from so many customers, we started including this information in product descriptions and launched a major marketing campaign to promote the machine-washability of our products with television spots in major markets,” said Lakin. “The perfect marketing hook was right under our noses, but we would never have known this without user generated content.”
An Enduring Partnership
Over the past decade, PowerReviews and Sketchers have developed a strong partnership. Skechers has helped pilot new PowerReviews functionality and provide feedback to guide new development efforts. It is a hugely valued relationship and partnership.