Ashford.com seeks out more customer reviews — and finds them with Bazaarvoice

Company profile

Brooklyn, NY
Retail

Bazaarvoice Solution

Ratings & Reviews

Client since

2007

Web link
www.ashford.com

Summary

The company was inspired by Bazaarvoice to implement a successful post-purchase email program to boost its reviews numbers.

Solution at a glance

Challenge

Drive sales and spark business improvement by generating more product reviews

Solution

Bazaarvoice Ratings & Reviews combined with post-interaction email (PIE) campaign

Benefits

  • 137.5% increase in average daily review volume.

  • Bazaarvoice best practices help make the most of a top marketing tool
  • Post-purchase email drives 137.5% jump in reviews
  • Support for customer success sets Bazaarvoice apart

As an online retailer specializing in luxury watches, Ashford.com relies heavily on customer reviews to influence potential buyers. That’s because buying a watch — unlike buying a camera or a PC, for example — is a highly emotional and exciting purchase. The buyer’s behavior is influenced far less by specs and statistics than by the feelings associated with the product. Customers considering buying a watch are deeply interested in what other people are saying about it: how it looks and feels on the wrist, how often they wear it, how easy the ordering and shipping process was, and ultimately why they chose Ashford.com for the purchase.

Since 2010, Ashford.com has counted on Bazaarvoice Ratings & Reviews to make it easy for customers to share their shopping experiences. In 2011, the company was inspired by Bazaarvoice to implement a successful post-purchase email program to boost the number of reviews it collects online.

Bazaarvoice best practices help make the most of a top marketing tool

Since initially rolling out Bazaarvoice Ratings & Reviews, Ashford.com was pleased with the quality of the solutions as a strategy to help the company sell better and to understand customer needs more clearly. But the company was looking for more: literally, more reviews. A sweepstakes increased review volume, but did not provide a long-term solution for consistently capturing a high volume of customer feedback.

Then, after attending the Bazaarvoice Social Commerce Summit, Ashford.com Chief Operating Officer Joel Katz found himself inspired to put into play best practices that Bazaarvoice and its clients had shared. He went back to the company’s headquarters in Brooklyn with a fresh commitment to making Ratings & Reviews its top priority – and an idea for an email campaign to generate strong, relevant customer reviews.

Post-purchase email drives 137.5% jump in reviews

Guided by best practices gleaned at the Social Commerce Summit in April 2011, Katz launched a post-interaction email (PIE) program in June in which Ashord.com followed up with all customers who had purchased watches in the previous three months by sending them an email inviting them to review their purchases. The company saw a measurable increase in results right away, and after just two months, average daily review volume had shot up by 137.5%.

Support for customer success sets Bazaarvoice apart

According to Katz, hosting the Summit and sharing ideas to drive more success with Bazaarvoice products is an example of the company’s commitment to clients’ success. “That’s why we chose them instead of their main competitor in the first place,” he explains. “They’re not just selling you a service, they’re becoming partners in your success. Bazaarvoice is not going to rest until they’ve done everything possible to make sure you’re successful.”

What's next for Ashford.com?

Persuaded of the value of PIE by the results of Ashord.com’s initial campaign, Katz now plans to follow up by sending emails to all previous customers who haven’t yet provided reviews. He looks forward to more reviews that will help the company not only as sales and marketing tools, but also by providing unique ways to learn about what customers want, increase customer satisfaction with the company, and benefit from the product knowledge that customers gain as product owners.

"I’ve explored all the options for increasing review volume, and post-interaction email is by far the most effective thing I can do," concludes Katz. "I highly recommend it."

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