Customer opinions help QVC UK improve products and sell more

Summary

Using reviews to identify top-rated products, the brand was able to sell more and acquire new customers.

Well-known for its television shopping channel, QVC UK also boasts a strong ecommerce site, QVCUK.com. As they had a highly engaged customer base, QVC UK launched Ratings & Reviews in October 2007 in an effort to continually improve customer interaction online, in order to drive engagement and boost sales.

Customers embrace reviews

"The company has a history of using on-air testimonials, so reviews were a natural extension," said Gina Deeble, Head of Interactive Content at QVC UK. According to Net Promoter Score surveys, "75 percent of QVC UK's customers would recommend us, so enabling ratings and reviews is important to us."

Customers readily embraced the feature: QVCUK.com has received over 310,000 reviews across 44,900 products since launch, 74% of which are four stars or higher. QVC UK uses on-air adverts and printed shipment inserts to invite customers back to the site to write a review of their purchase. And review readers on the site have been shown to buy more, demonstrating higher revenue per session and more items per order.

Customer feedback is like an early-warning system

QVC UK’s merchandising team uses review data to quickly take action on feedback. The Business Analysis team delivers weekly reports on review volume, average rating, comments, and trends over time to merchandising and customer service teams. The interactive content team even posts on-site responses to specific negative reviews to demonstrate to the community that the company is listening and responding to the comments in real-time.

These reports have uncovered product flaws, and they continue to serve as an early-warning system for future problems. In one case, a batch error caused a set of bedding to shed, clogging dryers and frustrating customers. When reviews on this previously highly-rated product turned negative, QVC UK investigated. The company quickly contacted the manufacturer, posted a response to negative reviews on the site, and offered a replacement set to recipients of the bad batch. The product quickly returned to its previous high rating.

In another case, a popular brand of perfume began receiving negative reviews after consistently being one of the highest-rated products sold. QVC UK began investigating the issue with the manufacturer, and used review quotes to communicate the problem. After weeks of digging, much to the manufacturer’s surprise, there actually had been an erroneous change to the perfumes formulation. The brand was able to correct the problem, and QVC UK benefitted from being able to solve the issue on their customers’ behalf.

Reviews uncover brand-damaging products that may have gone unnoticed

Reviews have also uncovered issues QVC UK would never have otherwise known about. A popular ice cream maker had a low return rate and no customer service complaints prior to reviews; it was a frequently featured item on televised sales. After launching reviews, the company found that reviews on the product were overwhelmingly negative – so much so that the product was “hurting QVC’s brand reputation,” said Deeble. Many of these poor reviews were from veteran QVC UK shoppers, who indicated that the product sold at such a low price point they weren’t bothering to return it or call to complain. QVC UK discontinued sale of the product immediately, to ensure only the highest-quality products are associated with their brand. 

Reviews help drive multichannel sales

QVC UK is known primarily for its on-air broadcast. Using reviews to identify top-rated products, the brand was able to sell more and acquire new customers. In October 2010, QVC launched the first “Customer Top-Rated Kitchen” show. The one-hour segment drove 50% more in sales than expected and drove 10x the number of new customers as the show that followed.

The bottom line

Reviews help QVC UK engage with their passionate customer base, and customers have welcomed the chance to further interact with the brand and each other. Feedback from reviews aids QVC UK’s customer service and merchandising teams in ways traditional metrics overlook, and further helps drive multichannel sales and custom acquisition.

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