1.6 million pieces of customer content improve Argos’ shopping experience and boost multichannel sales

Summary

Whether online, through a mobile-optimized site or via mobile applications, Argos serves consumers wherever they shop.

Argos is the UK multichannel retailer per excellence. In fact, in 2011, multichannel sales comprised 46% of total sales for Argos and grew to over £1.9bn. Whether online, through a mobile-optimised site, or via mobile applications for iOS and Android, Argos serves consumers wherever they choose to shop.

Developing new multichannel strategies and partnering with Bazaarvoice allowed Argos to excel in new areas of growth.

Challenge 1: Delivering a seamless multichannel experience to encourage cross-sales

An important part in Argos’ growth strategy is connecting customer feedback across channels and touch-points. To address this goal, Argos partnered with Bazaarvoice to ensure the same user-generated content would be available across channels, whether a customer is using the Argos “click & collect” service to reserve a product via smartphone and pick it up in person, or texting to reserve a product they’ve seen in the catalogue. Argos also relies on social across channels to boost website visits and sales. The company’s social team engages with customers through Facebook and Twitter, and via questions and answers on the website.

★★★ Results: £4.36 in referral sales per Bazaarvoice’s “social alerts” email sent. This system informs customers when their reviews are posted or questions answered, which encourages website traffic and boost conversion. On a weekly basis, they directly generate 3,000- 4,000 transactions.

“We’re able to use real-time analysis of the online channel to improve service on another channel.”
Jim Bassett, eCommerce Operations Manager, Argos

Challenge 2: Ensuring that customers receive the product information they need to make confident decisions

Implementing Bazaarvoice Conversations led to 1.6 million pieces of customer content being generated across channels. As Argos largely sells through non- traditional channels like catalogues and kiosks, where shoppers can’t physically experience the products, connecting this information for shoppers is a strategic priority for Argos that Bazaarvoice helped achieve.

★★★ Bassett reports 50% conversion rate uplift for customers who interact with ratings and reviews, and 30% uplift for the question and answer functionality.

The strategy of including user reviews in every channel is also paying off. For example, promotional emails with reviews have a 36% higher click-through rate than those without customer feedback.

“Conversations plays a big part in helping the customer choose and make sure the product is suitable for them based on what other customers have fed back.” - Jim Bassett

Data intelligence: Bazaarvoice’s measurable impact defines a new KPI for Argos

Product reviews have proven to be a strategic gold mine of customer insights. For instance, Argos uses the average rating of a product range as part of its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for its trading teams, with a focus on rating improvement over time.

In addition, thanks to comprehensive reports, customer feedback assists in defining multichannel strategies. Here are just a few examples:

  • Instead of using the number of product returns as an indicator, Argos uses online customer reviews as a great way of uncovering dissatisfaction with products that may have never been returned.
  • The supply team uses online customer feedback to improve catalogues every six months, and make inventory decisions based on customer sentiment.
  • Anytime the company launches a new product range – such as books – they use reviews to gauge the customer response.
“We put content throughout the customer journey, no matter where they shop, because it’s very important that the customer sees that content. It will have a real impact on their conversion to sales.” - Jim Bassett

The bottom line

Argos understands exactly how selling across channels is both a tremendous opportunity and a difficult challenge for a retailer. They’ve used customer feedback to refine product offerings and improve the shopping experience while successfully creating a high-quality customer experience across multiple channels and, with the Bazaarvoice software, converted shoppers into customers.

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