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Ask the Expert Part Two: 4 Ways To Make The Most Out of Your Customer-Generated Content

September 11, 2019 by Rahul Chadha

Key Takeaways:

  • Test aspects of your Customer-Generated Content on product detail pages, such as the sort order of reviews and page layout, to see how you can get the most conversion lift.
  • Put Customer-Generated Content analytics, like an average star rating or review count, on parts of your site besides the product detail page—such as the home page or a product category page.
  • Share the insights gleaned from your Customer-Generated Content internally with your buyer and merchandising teams. Let them know what’s working and what’s not.
  • Be as responsive as possible to shoppers leaving Customer-Generated Content. It helps build goodwill and can resolve customer service issues quickly.
Ross Reitman headshot

TurnTo Customer Success Manager Ross Reitman

In Part One of our “Ask the Expert” blog series, TurnTo Customer Success Manager Ross Reitman, our in-house expert, shared 3 easy hacks to getting more Customer-Generated Content for your eCommerce site.

In Part Two of the series, Reitman imparts 4 tips on how online stores can get the most out of the content they’ve already collected.

Here’s what he had to say:

1. Test and Optimize Aspects of Product Detail Pages Such as Sort Order and Layout

Once you make sure you’re getting as much content and coverage as possible, the next step is making sure your product detail page [PDP] is optimized. One of my favorite examples of this is our client Rockler Woodworking and Hardware.

Rockler customizes the layout of its product detail pages by putting Customer-Generated Content high up on the page, sometimes right next to the “Add to Cart” button.

Rockler Woodworking Product Detail Page

Rockler also A/B tested the default sort order of their reviews. They changed their site to showing reviews sorted by “Highest Rated” by default, instead of “Most Helpful.” That alone increased their Revenue Per User by 19%.

So my advice is to play around with your product detail page and apply your learnings. Change the colors. Change the placement of Customer-Generated Content. Change the sort order. Add a gallery of customer-submitted photos right under the product photos. You don’t really know what’s going to work unless you test it.

2. Spread Customer-Generated Content Across Your Site

Another good strategy is layering in your Customer-Generated Content outside of your product detail page, such as in a carousel on your homepage, or on category pages. That aids the customer journey because you’re providing information that can help shoppers land on a purchase.

But you have to show shoppers the right information. Don’t only showcase the five-star rating of pair of shoes that only has one review—show the review count as well. Your shoppers might bounce without the additional context. Instead, show them a display for a pair of shoes that has 100 reviews and a 4.5 average star rating.

You can also show customers’ Checkout Comments on pages other than a product detail page. Spreading your Customer-Generated Content around lets your shoppers customize their own journeys.

Some of our clients use a visual pinboard that shows recent purchases with a Checkout Comment. It’s a very visually focused way for customers to interact with products, and it helps retailers identify products that are trending.

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3. Share Your Insights Internally

Our products generate a trove of data and insights, and you should try to get all of that information into the right hands. Customers submitting Ratings & Reviews are giving you valuable feedback on your products, that’s something your buyers or merchandisers would benefit from learning about.

If people are always asking the same question or complaining about the same topic in a review, highlight those learnings internally. Maybe you can change the copy in the product detail section or change its location on the product detail page.

If there’s something that people really love about the product, pull a quote from a review and place it somewhere else on the page.

Retailers can also share insights about products with their brands, which can help foster a good relationship between the two.

4. Engage With Your Customers

Reviews help build trust with your shoppers. The more content you have, the more trust you can generate because you’re letting other people speak for you and your products.

But Customer-Generated Content tools like those offered by TurnTo also provide a platform to respond to your shoppers, which is a great way to build loyalty. If someone leaves a good review, you can thank them. If a shopper leaves a bad review, you should absolutely try to resolve their problem.

If people are asking questions, you or your community of shoppers should answer them quickly. The faster they get an answer, the more it’s going to impact their purchase decision.

When Twitter was first being used by consumers to lodge complaints, the smart companies jumped on it as a customer service tool immediately because it let them respond faster.

Retailers can also loop brands in by letting them answer customer questions. In fact, brands actually have a big incentive to get involved because they want people to buy them over their competition.

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