Enriching and Elevating the Digital Drummer Experience
While Zildjian has been a fixture in the music world for centuries, its journey into ecommerce is relatively new. In setting up its Zildjian.com and VicFirth.Zildjian.com websites, the company knew user-generated content was vital to support the purchase path online and to enhance the experience for its passionate drummer community. The company also wanted to syndicate its ratings and reviews to drive online conversions with its key retailers, such as Guitar Center.
After selecting PowerReviews as its ratings and reviews partner, Zildjian was able to get up and running in less than six weeks and was able to secure hundreds of reviews within the first 60 days after going live.
For musicians, the Zildjian name is legendary; the brand has a very loyal and passionate customer base. Its cymbals are a high-consideration item, with size specifications ranging from 12 to 20 inches and several additional varying characteristics.
One reason Zildjian wanted to focus on crowdsourcing user-generated content – and ratings and reviews in particular – from its fanatical community was to help provide critical insights from musicians to help others select the right product for their needs.
Not surprisingly, the greatest Zildjian and Vic Firth buyer consideration is how the products sound, so capturing video was deemed a critical experiential proof point in the path to purchase. To get its ratings and reviews program rolling, Zildjian worked with PowerReviews to orchestrate a review solicitation and collection strategy.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given the sheer passion the brand generates, its eager and creative customer base began to post reviews organically before the company began proactive solicitation efforts.
This was surprising even to Zildjian’s eCommerce and Digital Marketing Manager Megh Burgess, who has significant experience spearheading ratings and reviews initiatives from her previous position in the footwear industry.
“I’ve never seen a more passionate customer base and I’m excited to see how this develops over the next six months. Prioritizing this project was definitely the right move,” she said.
The company launched an email review solicitation campaign to musicians that had purchased its products within the previous six months. “This was a period that included Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which is a big sales season for Zildjian,” said Burgess. “We saw impressive email open rates that were well above industry benchmarks.”
The company also sent a follow up email to new buyers, 15 days following their date of product purchase. Within the first 60 days, Zildjian had garnered hundreds of product reviews – and saw proof of its influence on driving conversions. “Right off the bat, we could see that consumers that viewed user testimonials converted at a higher rate than our site average,” said Burgess.
Multiplying the Impact of Reviews Via Syndication
One of Zildjian’s most significant go-to-market channel partners is Guitar Center, the world’s largest musical instruments retailer, and a PowerReviews ratings & reviews software customer. “Guitar Center’s first-hand positive experience with PowerReviews was an important reference for us,” said Burgess. “And, since they were already on the PowerReviews platform, this also made for seamless integration and synchronization of our reviews syndication program.”
The launch of the Zildjian ratings and reviews program and syndication to Guitar Center along with Zildjian’s network of dealers was instantaneous as part of the implementation process. This was a critical requirement: shoppers interacting with user-generated content on GuitarCenter.com convert at 112% the rate of those who don’t.
Leveraging PowerReviews Integration with Magento Commerce
One reason Zildjian opted to work with PowerReviews was its seamless integration with the Magento Commerce platform, which powers Zildjian’s direct-to-consumer websites in North America.
PowerReviews’ partnership with Magento supports fast, cost-effective implementation of ratings and reviews and question and answers technology, as well as increased review coverage through syndication for merchants on the Magento Commerce platform.
Aside from providing easy implementation, the PowerReviews Magento cartridge supports streamlined integration of PowerReviews into the Magento ecommerce environment, dramatically reducing development time and effort.
A “Never Experienced Before” Implementation Service
“There was such a great amount of hand holding and knowledge exchange with our IT team. We would get answers to questions and solutions within 30 minutes. That’s something I’ve never experienced before. The dedication of the PowerReviews team each week made for a smooth deployment.”
Powering Future Growth
In the past, Zildjian relied on its dealer network to understand what was working or not working when it came to marketing and product strategy. Now that Zildjian has tapped into the voice of the customer, it has a direct customer feedback loop that will be extremely beneficial to the growth of the company moving forward, says Burgess.
“We now have a qualitative data set to share with our marketing and product development team to assist in their efforts. We can also provide our dealers with this information so they are aware of our product performance at a greater scale. We’ve just begun to scratch the surface here.”
Additionally, Zildjian has plans to coordinate its ratings and reviews program with its artist relations team to drive additional impact when a new product is launched in conjunction with well-known and influential drummers from across the music world. “We see these two efforts as very complimentary to expand our circle of influence in the drummer community,” said Burgess.