Reviews give Ulla Popken valuable feedback to weave into the customer experience
Ulla Popken teamed up with Bazaarvoice to engage a true customer dialogue with Conversations and Ratings & Reviews. This dialogue has brought Ulla Popken a more than 40% lift in conversion rates from online visitors who are interacting with reviews.
Solution at a glance
Use customer feedback to create a close customer dialogue and a truly customer-centric business approach.
Use Bazaarvoice Conversations to collect customer reviews and share them internally to improve products, as well as with customers to enhance the shopping experience.
Draw on customer feedback to identify and address problems with products, and share reviews through marketing channels, all with the aim of cultivating closer customer relationships.
Ulla Popken, a German retail company specializing in plus-size fashion, faced a challenge that’s familiar to many companies with successful histories in traditional brick-and-mortar environments. How do you create the same type of close, personal relationships customers have enjoyed with their local store staff in the online world? It’s those loyal relationships that Ulla Popken has long relied on for the customer feedback needed to constantly improve the customer experience.
By teaming up with Bazaarvoice, Ulla Popken has been able to have a true customer dialogue in the online world, where customers can express their ideas and opinions through product reviews – and Ulla Popken can respond by altering products and processes to ensure that customers are getting exactly what they desire. Having this dialogue is working: Beyond engagement statistics, Ulla Popken is seeing over 40% lift in conversion rates from online visitors who are interacting with reviews.
Learning from customers how to make even the best products better
“In general, we get a lot of valuable product and service feedback from customer reviews,” says Christian Kämmer, Head of E-commerce, Popken Fashion Group, which includes the flagship Ulla Popken brand as well as the JP 1880 menswear brand. He points to several recent examples of a customer’s feedback resulting in a better product:
- After customers complained about a problem with the button on a particular type of trousers, the company worked with the button supplier to develop a new solution. Reviews coming in after the solution was implemented have been very good with no reported problems with the buttons.
- Another pair of trousers sold so well that it never occurred to anyone at Ulla Popken that there might be a problem with the product. But reviews consistently mentioned that the trousers were too long – so even though people bought them, they had to have them shortened afterward. A change in specifications resolved the issue, opening the way for even better future sales.
- Ulla Popken expects that an undergarment customers have always loved for its design and quality is going to be even more popular after it’s revamped to make it adjustable – based on reviews from customers who said they’d like it even better with that one improvement.
“Of course, it’s not possible to incorporate every single bit of customer feedback into consideration, but when we find really good product suggestions from our customers in the reviews, we’re always open to them,” according to Kämmer. He envisions a future in which customers become even more closely engaged with the company, bringing their opinions into production to enable a process best described as co-creation.
Getting the word out with customer content in marketing messages
In addition to using feedback from reviews to improve the products it sells, Ulla Popken also uses it to promote products, sharing customer feedback through a variety of marketing channels for retail, catalog and ecommerce sales.
“We have not said a lot about ourselves historically, but now we’re saying something through product reviews that let everyone read exactly how good the product is,” says Kämmer. He reports that the company has already incorporated reviews into newsletters and marketing campaigns and expects next to integrate customer-generated content into stores.
Finding the right partner to ensure a successful review program
For Ulla Popken, internal support was crucial to launching a successful review program. Some employees initially approached the prospect with apprehension about the possibility of negative reviews having an adverse effect on the company. This concern was not something to be taken lightly, especially since the company made it clear from the very beginning that it would maintain a strict policy of publishing authentic customer reviews and not censoring review content, according to the Bazaarvoice Authenticity Policy.
“This is where the competence of Bazaarvoice has really paid off, in that they have managed to dismantle internal anxieties about customer reviews completely,” says Kämmer.
Through months of intensive training with Bazaarvoice, the Ulla Popken team came to understand that customer feedback – even negative feedback – is a useful tool and a valuable asset if it’s handled right.
“Bazaarvoice showed us what the outcome can be if you analyze feedback and act on it,” says Kämmer. “You receive valuable insights for improvement, and it has a positive impact on online conversion as well.”
Creating a crucial competitive advantage
Over 30,000 reviews later, Ulla Popken is seeing teams throughout the company – from purchasing to marketing – realize the value of a strong program for customer-generated content. It’s been established as the benchmark internally for how customers are thinking, and it’s bringing the company closer to realizing its goal of a truly customercentric approach to business, both in stores and online.
Being intensely customer-centric creates a crucial competitive advantage for Ulla Popken, especially in ecommerce, where the competition is always just one simple click away. Having an effective customer-review program adds value for customers, improves their shopping experience and helps keep them loyal, reducing the chances that they will turn to a competitor.
That’s why the choice of partner for the company’s review program was so important. As Kämmer puts it, “The technology is great, but what sets Bazaarvoice apart is the fact that they are great people who really partner with us and support us in accomplishing the great vision that we have for customer dialogue.”Download PDF »