Travel & Leisure

RedBalloon

Reviews and photos from customers increases RedBalloon's online conversion rate and average order value by helping site visitors choose the right experience or buy the perfect gift.

At a Glance

Challenge

Drive sales of intangible experiences on RedBalloon’s website.

Solution

Elevate the quality of product pages with consumer content and by inviting brands to participate in the success.

Benefits

Increased sales, new customers, and higher shopper engagement.

123K

Reviews

RedBalloon factors the site's 123,000 total reviews in its quality scores and algorithm.

RedBalloon drives sales, acquires new customers, and improves the shopper experience with UGC

Big Red Group (RBG) and its experience brands (RedBalloon, Adrenaline, and Lime&Tonic) bring experiences to consumers by providing them with a curated range of activities throughout Australia.

On the RedBalloon site, for example, the company helps consumers find the perfect experience to gift or to share, such as flying, driving, wine and dine, getaways, or at home activities. RedBalloon continues to leverage user-generated content (UGC) like Bazaarvoice’s Ratings & Reviews and photos from customers to boost online conversions and sales, reach new consumers, and gather actionable insights.

“Experiences aren’t always tangible products. It’s not a pair of jeans, a shirt, or something you buy for your kitchen, so we really rely on the customer’s voice to tell a product’s story,” said Matt Cavalier, Chief Growth Officer at Big Red Group.

Authentic feedback from customers helps others make confident decisions

The house of brands understands that when shoppers engage with trusted consumer content, they’re more likely to buy and spend more.

“Through our research and data, we’ve seen considerable improvements both in conversion rate and average order value when consumers interact with UGC on RedBalloon’s site,” said Cavalier.

Based on this positive impact, the company strives to continuously increase the volume of reviews and the number of products with at least one review.

“In the world of user-generated content, more is more. Getting more reviews is critical to us,” said Cavalier.

In fact, RedBalloon factors UGC in its quality scores and algorithm. The site’s 123,000 total reviews play a significant role in determining how products are displayed on the site and where they rank when consumers search or navigate to category pages. Factoring reviews in this way makes it easy for consumers to identify the best experience, whether they are buying for themselves or as a gift for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays, and other holidays.

“Buying the perfect gift can be a challenge, and UGC helps reassure customers that the gift they’re choosing will be a big hit,” said Cavalier.

Gaining the trust of new shoppers

RedBalloon also leverages UGC, including customer photos, to reach more shoppers across social channels, which helps create compelling content, inspires consumers, and improves engagement.

“We’re always impressed with the quality of the visual content that’s submitted,” said Cavalier. “It’s king on social media. It’s that thumb-stopping content that cuts through the clutter.”

For example, RedBalloon shares its favorite new reviews each week, and these posts typically get high engagement from followers. The company also launched a social media competition asking followers to vote for the customer image they liked most, which drove a significant increase in visual content.

Using insights to improve experiences and help partners

Customer needs are always changing and successful companies like RedBalloon adapt accordingly, even to large challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We realize that people can’t get out and enjoy the experiences that they usually like, so these new at-home offerings are things they can do while staying inside,” said Cavalier. “Reviews played an integral role when we launched this new range.”

RedBalloon also partners with approximately 1,800 small and medium-sized experience providers across Australia. Many of these companies don’t have the capability to capture post-experience feedback, but due to its importance, RedBalloon does it for them and completes the feedback circle by letting these companies know what’s working and what needs improvement based on UGC.

“We have found these insights to be extremely beneficial for the experience provider, and for us internally to manage the quality of what’s offered on our site,” said Cavalier. “We’ve also found that customers love that we actively engage in dialogue with those who have taken the time to share content. It shows them that we’ve listened and taken action.”

The future of RedBalloon’s UGC program

Along with continuing to optimise RedBalloon’s current UGC program – by increasing customer engagement, review volume, and its investment in visual content – BRG plans to replicate the success across its other brand sites.

“We want to explore leveraging UGC throughout the entire shopping journey. We want to pull that content through the funnel, so as the shopper continues on their journey with any BRG brand, they see content that’s authentic and produced by other customers,” said Cavalier.

123K

Reviews

RedBalloon factors the site's 123,000 total reviews in its quality scores and algorithm.

About the company

Big Red Group (RBG) and its experience brands (RedBalloon, Adrenaline and Lime&Tonic) bring experiences to consumers by providing them with a curated range of activities throughout Australia.

We’ve seen considerable improvements both in conversion rate and average order value when consumers interact with UGC on RedBalloon’s site.

Matt Cavalier

Chief Growth Officer, Big Red Group

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