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TurnTo Upgrades Partnership with Magento to Enhance Customer-Generated Content for Retailers and Brands

May 14, 2019 by Rahul Chadha

TurnTo Networks, the innovation-leader in Customer-Generated Content solutions like ratings & reviews, community Q&A, photos & videos, and more, today announced its Select Technology partnership with Magento, an Adobe Company, a worldwide leader in cloud digital commerce innovation.

The upgrade of TurnTo’s partnership with Magento to the Select Technology partner level signals the company’s commitment to the Magento ecosystem, and to online merchants powered by the eCommerce platform.

Under the partnership, companies using Magento Commerce will be able to quickly and easily integrate the newest version of TurnTo’s best-in-class voice-of-the-customer platform into their digital storefronts.

“TurnTo’s clients already benefit from higher content collection rates, faster load speeds, easier customization, and simpler maintenance,” said George Eberstadt, CEO and Founder of TurnTo Networks. “Our renewed partnership with Magento and the launch of our newest Magento 2 extension means that retailers using the platform will now have an even easier time taking advantage of our newest products.”

“The team at TurnTo has continued to drive innovation in Customer-Generated Content solutions that our customers leverage to stay ahead of the curve,” said Ryan Murden, Head of Business Development at Magento. “We are pleased to build on our collaboration with TurnTo as a Select Technology Partner and to offer their extension on the Magento Marketplace.”

TurnTo’s partnership with Magento—and its new Magento 2 Extension—gives merchants:

  • An automated catalog sending process that saves eCommerce sites the work of creating custom feeds
  • The sharing of Ratings & Review information for inclusion in Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLAs)
  • The ability to automatically display Customer-Generated Content like product review counts and average star ratings on their storefronts
  • Improved site performance and SEO value through support for dynamically embedded content
  • The ability to include highly rated products via star ratings in guided navigation experiences in Magento 2
  • Advanced integration capabilities, including single sign-on and SKU families for easy sharing of content across item variants

Magento merchants that use TurnTo also benefit from:

  • More Customer-Generated Content though TurnTo’s optimized review collection process
  • An Open Review Syndication network that allows brand and retailer partners to freely share review content with one another
  • Top-notch client support from the highest-rated Customer-Generated Content solutions vendor, according to technology vendor review site G2 Crowd

TurnTo’s Select Technology Partnership with Magento comes on the heels of the release of SpeedFlex™, the newest version of the TurnTo front-end architecture, which offers clients a breakthrough in load speed and in server-side customizability.

With SpeedFlex, the overall size of TurnTo’s JavaScript bundle is over 60% smaller than the bundles from leading competitors.  This reduced size, together with SpeedFlex’s state-of-the-art architecture which minimizes browser workload, delivers a net load time reduction of over 50% compared to these competitors.  Faster loading not only improves customer experience, it improves SEO, resulting in increased organic traffic, especially on smartphones and slower networks.

Further, SpeedFlex gives retailers the ability to customize all aspects of the user experience through server-side configuration files.  This customizability extends to functionality and layout, going far beyond look-and-feel customization through CSS.  The SpeedFlex configuration model also enables user experiences to be tailored by product category even on a single page type and the easy generation of variants for A/B testing.

Interested in learning more or scheduling a demo?

Let’s Talk

 

 

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5 Ways to Take Advantage of Your eCommerce Site’s FAQ Page

March 27, 2019 by Rahul Chadha

At first blush, a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page might seem like a dated throwback to the earliest days of the web—more dial-up internet than sophisticated eCommerce selling tool. But an FAQ page is actually a crucial part of a modern digital strategy for eCommerce sites.

A well-crafted FAQ page can free a customer who’s hit a friction point, and then ease them back toward a conversion. The proactive nature of FAQs can also reduce customer service costs by eliminating a shopper’s need to reach out to your customer support team.

Most brands understand the importance of FAQs, according to recent research from Gartner L2. The research company found that more than 85% of brands it examined had put FAQs in their sites’ primary or secondary navigation1, a clear nod to how important they’ve become for eCommerce companies.

But it’s not just about serving your shoppers. FAQs provide a source of high-quality, searchable content that can be used by several other systems in your eCommerce toolbox.

Here are 5 ways that eCommerce sites can max out the usefulness of their FAQs:

1. Give the People What They Want

Customer service communications are a great way to identify problem areas and figure what content you should be putting in your FAQ. Is your customer service team fielding the same questions over and over again? That’s a sure sign that your website is either failing to include the information your customers actually want, or that the particulars are difficult for them to find.

Remember, good FAQ pages are about specifics: How do I use this coupon I received in the mail? How long will it take for my new rug to be delivered? Both the question and the answer should zero in on a clearly defined issue.

2. Keep It Simple

Now you know what information your customers are looking for, so make sure you actually give it to them. Keep your answers short and clear; your language should mirror the question being asked. Don’t be afraid to play around with tone either. You can use jargon or slang if your target audience is a niche one that will get it, but only as long as it’s consistent with your overall brand voice.

3. If You Have a Lot of Questions, Group by Topic

Gartner L2’s research found that nearly nine in 10 brands organized their FAQ pages by topic, highlighting a best practice. By grouping a lengthy list of FAQs by topic you’re giving shoppers a better user experience by organizing your content and giving them some visual breathing room, rather than wall of text. You’re also make it easier for shoppers to scan content that’s similar in nature, and might be related to their original question.

WhatsApp, for example, does a great job of breaking up its FAQ by device, platform and vertical. The service rightly assumes that WhatsApp Business users are more likely to have more questions in common with one another than with WhatsApp users on an iPhone.

4. Guide Your Shoppers Back to the Purchase Funnel

FAQs should be a detour on the customer journey, not a dead end. Include links in your FAQs that will guide your shoppers back to the path to purchase, but only when they’re relevant. Think hard about using calls-to-action that serve shoppers’ interests first and foremost, not yours.

5. Search Should Be Top-of-Mind

Shockingly, Gartner L2 found that only about one-quarter of brand sites it analyzed took the effort to make their FAQ pages searchable. Big box brands were leaders in this regard, while fashion and hotel brands lagged behind. Both retailers and brands can benefit from instituting good SEO practices on their eCommerce site’s FAQ pages.

Start by creating a multipage FAQ instead of cramming all of the information on one page. You can add a search bar to your FAQ page if you think it will help shoppers get to the answers to their questions faster, or if you have a lot of information for customers to parse through.

How TurnTo’s Community Q&A Can Help with eCommerce FAQs

TurnTo developed its Community Q&A product to deliver fast answers to shopper questions from a resource they trust: other customers who’ve already bought the product. Answers to questions submitted to Community Q&A come from a number of sources. They can be drawn from previously answered questions, product Ratings & Reviews, as well as other relevant product content.

In addition, with TurnTo’s Community Q&A your FAQ pages—and any other pages on your website for that matter—are searchable, giving shoppers instant answers from both customers and your own in-house experts at the same time.

One of the major benefits of TurnTo’s Community Q&A is that it keeps shoppers on your product detail page even when they have a question that’s unrelated to a particular item.

In the example above, a customer on a product detail page wants information about Cole Haan’s shipping and tracking features. Community Q&A can serve up an answer without forcing a shopper to navigate to another page, removing a customer’s potential digression from a conversion.

Want to learn more about how TurnTo’s Community Q&A can help?

Let’s Talk

1 Helping Customers Help Themselves; Gartner L2, March 2019

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TurnTo makes CIO Review Magazine’s Top 20 list of retail solution providers for 2015

December 16, 2015 by George Eberstadt

Each year at this time, CIO Review Magazine picks 20 technology solutions for the retail business that stood out during the previous year.  TurnTo was selected as one of them in their just-published 2015 list.  Here’s a link to their official citation.  Their explanation did a very nice job summarizing the changes that are taking place in shopper behavior and the resulting challenges and opportunities for online sellers.  Reprinting it here:

Product ratings and reviews have been a staple of eCommerce since Amazon introduced them in the mid-90s. But the basic model hasn’t evolved much, while the online environment has changed dramatically. Phones have passed computers as the primary means through which many people access the internet. Visual content has become far more important in the online product discovery and selection process. Social media has trained people to value 2-way interactivity over passive content consumption. Messaging has taught people to prefer their text shorter and shorter.

Set against this backdrop is New York-based TurnTo Networks, the fastest-growing provider of so-called “customer- generated content” (CGC) tools for top eCommerce businesses and brands. TurnTo’s mission has been to update the basic ideas of traditional ratings and reviews to address the changes in the ways people shop online and how they create and use CGC in the process. To accomplish this, TurnTo has developed an innovative suite of customer-content applications for eCommerce built around this new environment: mobile-first, highly visual, 2-way interactive, and short-form text.

TurnTo’s line-up includes an up-to-date take on traditional Ratings and Reviews, a Community Q&A product that enables shoppers to get their product questions answered by peers who already own the items, a “micro-review” gathered at the point of purchase called a Checkout Comment, and a Visual Reviews product built around the reality that many people would rather use their phones to take pictures and video than to fill in forms and type. Together, these products fulfill the basic promise of customer ratings and reviews while taking the value delivered by customer content to a new level

Not only do these new and updated tools better meet the needs of today’s shopper, they also help online sellers address important challenges that traditional ratings and reviews don’t solve well. For example, stores with “fast-turn” catalogs, such as fashion, often have trouble building up customer reviews before items go out of stock or out of season. But TurnTo’s Checkout Comments start generating content from the first moment an item is available for sale. Or consider highly complex products like cameras and electronics. It’s impossible for reviews or standard product information to anticipate all the questions a shopper might have before purchasing. For that, Community Q&A is an effective way to quickly get prospective buyers the information they need. Or how about the whole category of do-it-yourself–from home improvement to cooking to crafts? Stores often want to call attention to the results of the products they sell–the projects made with their tools and supplies. Text reviews of product features can never highlight these outcomes the way proud photos taken by real customers can.

“Traditional ratings and reviews remain very important, and it’s crucial for stores and brands to use a platform that collects the greatest volume while ensuring authenticity,” says George Eberstadt, CEO, TurnTo Networks. “But it’s no longer enough to stop there. Customer behavior has moved on, which has created great opportunities for sellers to use these new types of customer-content to create better experiences for shoppers while addressing some of their most important merchandising challenges.”

TurnTo is the Fastest-Growing UGC Solution Provider to the IR500

May 28, 2015 by John Swords

[Updated October 11, 2015 to reflect changes Internet Retailer made to their 2015 Top 500 database since the date this was first published.]

According to the newest data from the leading trade publication, Internet Retailer, TurnTo Networks Inc. is the fastest-growing user-generated content (UGC) solution provider to the “IR500” – the top 500 online retailers in North America.

Of the top 3 solution providers in Internet Retailer’s “Customer Reviews and Forums” category – TurnTo, Bazaarvoice, and PowerReviews – only TurnTo showed significant growth from the 2014 tally to 2015. The number of top 500 retailers using TurnTo grew by 53% during the period, while the number using Bazaarvoice declined 3% and the number using PowerReviews declined 12%.

Measured by the annual web sales of the retailers served, the results were even more dramatic. TurnTo grew 198% during the period, while Bazaarvoice grew 2% and PowerReviews declined 1%. Additionally, the Internet Retailer 2015 research shows that 50% of the annual web sales of the PowerReviews customer base is represented by a single customer. Excepting this, the total annual web sales of TurnTo’s IR500 customers would be ahead of PowerReviews and second only to Bazaarvoice overall.

 

I had a quick chat with our CEO, George Eberstadt, to get his thoughts on the reasons for this growth.

Me:  George, the first thing people are going to ask on seeing these numbers is what’s driving them.  So, what’s driving them?

George:  First let me say – and I don’t want to be too saccharine about this – it’s  humbling and gratifying to get this kind of trust from these businesses.  The alternatives have been around a while, so we recognize that the retailers adopting us are making a bold move rather than the safe choice.

And I think that’s the short answer to your question.  The customer-generated content space hasn’t seen much bold innovation for a while, and retailers that are tired of the same-old haven’t had alternatives – especially at the enterprise level. We bring the fresh perspective, smart innovation, and fanatical commitment that a lot of retailers are looking for.

Me:  Can you put your finger on any particular TurnTo innovations that the market has been responding to?

George:  I think it’s a mix – some big, some subtle.  For example, we were the first to introduce the “active outreach” mechanism for getting fast community answers to shopper questions.  That was really the breakthrough that makes community answering work.  Then, we expanded our vision of Q&A to include answering an ever broader range of shopper questions even faster, so we added instant answers and knowledge base features.  Q&A is still a new frontier with lots more opportunities for major innovations, and we’re pursuing those.

Checkout Chatter is another example.  It’s simple and highly effective.  And it’s a TurnTo exclusive.

Ratings & Reviews, on the other had, is a more mature area, so our innovations have been less revolutionary, though they still have a big impact on ROI.  For example, our ready-to-wear UI is exceptionally clean, elegant, and mobile-friendly while still providing easy customizability either through CSS or our comprehensive API.  Our review-solicitation email answer flow automatically authenticates the user, leading to more reviews from verified buyers – especially on mobile devices.  Our transaction history integration enables the system to ask for reviews on previously purchased items immediately after a user writes a review or answers a question, which increases total review volume by 20-30%.

Me: Are there any other reasons you think retailers are switching?

George:  I think our customer success process and the great team behind it is another reason.  By focusing on the business as well as the technical aspects of integrating our tools, we ensure customers get the most value from them.  And we don’t just move on to the next customer as soon as the last one is set up; no one is fully optimized on the day they go live, and we are pretty relentless in follow-through over time.  That’s a hard thing for retailers to get a sense of during an evaluation, but it comes into play in our high customer retention and referral rates, which is a big part of our growth.

Data from the IR500 survey by Internet Retailer are available at www.top500guide.com.

Introducing the TurnTo Social Commerce Suite

June 8, 2010 by George Eberstadt

It’s a big day at TurnTo: we’re introducing our Social Commerce Suite.  (Yes, we know that it’s ambitious to call it a “Suite” with just 2 products – please humor us. Also, there’s more in the pipeline…) Official press release here.

So what’s new? 1. We’ve done a nearly complete overhaul of our current product, now branded “Social Merchandising” and 2. We’re introducing a new product called “Social Purchase Sharing”.

Social Merchandising. We’ve made improvements top to bottom.

  • Shoppers who open the widget but don’t personalize it by checking for friends will now see a range of other customers and their purchases designed to give the site that buzzing busy-store feeling and to encourage consideration and purchase of more items. (The goal is to address one of the big limitations of the shopping online: lots of stuff in the stores, but no people.)  We’ve built a ranking engine that selects which customers and which items to show, ensuring the greatest relevance given limited data.
  • We’ve made the value and process of personalizing the widget a lot more transparent to the user, so many more of those who open the widget will go the next step and personalize it to see their own friends in place of those the system picks. Underlying this is a simplification of the sharing rules to a vanilla Twitter-style “follow” model. (See our last post about the importance of simplicity when it comes to privacy and sharing.) We’ve also switched to delegated login for most of the friend list sources we support, including the newest Facebook protocols. (The short explanation: it’s better.)
  • The widget now shows big, attractive product images throughout, so not only are shoppers seeing which of their friends also shop at that store, the purchases those friends made look particularly inviting.  Good for cross-sell and order size improvement.
  • The comment mechanism has been redone to both capture more input from buyers and to show it more visibly to shoppers.
  • We’ve made significant enhancements to the guts of the system to provide greater speed and reliability. These include use of a Content Delivery Network as well as a range of server-side caching and summarizing strategies. The design point was to be able to support the largest ecommerce sites out there.
  • We’ve added new tools for optimizing the button that calls up the widget. It doesn’t do stores any good to have a fabulous social merchandising tool if only a few shoppers use it. We now provide a range of more interactive button designs as well as tools for doing rotation tests (randomized A/B/C tests) of alternatives. In its initial use, we’ve already seen large engagement rate improvements.

In a nutshell: you have to see it. So here’s the first screen shot we’ve released:

Social Purchase Sharing. Our partner merchants have been telling us how valuable it is when a customer posts to their social network (most often Facebook and Twitter) about their purchase. So we’ve added a simple tool to significantly increase the amount of purchase sharing online stores can generate. It’s an overlay that appears on the order confirmation page right after a purchase and makes a clear, persuasive appeal to share. The permission obtained from the buyer is also used to power the Social Merchandising widget, so the “sharing” appears both on the social networks and on the store site itself. Here’s an example of the overlay – just picture it on top of your order confirmation page. (See also our blog post on “Like” vs. “Bought”.

The TurnTo Social Commerce Suite will be generally available to online retailers at the beginning of Q3, 2010. If you are in Chicago this week for the Internet Retailer show (IRCE), please come by booth #431 and we’ll give you a full demo. If you’d like more information on the thinking that went into these products, please have a look at the white paper we just released: Onsite Social for Online Commerce.