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Strategies, research, industry trends — your pulse on the marketplace
The   Bazaar   Voice
Strategies, research, industry trends — your pulse on the marketplace
increase customer engagement

Something every marketer wants to do is increase customer engagement. But brands and retailers are often faced with the same challenge(s).

How do you set out to offer the same shopping experience for both your in-store and online customers? How can your customers test your products’ smell, texture, and ingredients when they can’t touch them?

Sure, they can head to a retail store that carries your products, but with 32% of shoppers preferring to make all or most of their beauty purchases online, that leaves out a large chunk of the target market. And that doesn’t include the other shoppers who are increasingly making purchases online.

increase customer engagement
According to 8,000 global shoppers. Source: How UGC strengthens customer relationships to grow your brand

But before we get to that question, there’s another question we need to answer first.

What is customer engagement?

Customer engagement is every interaction you have with customers, both online and offline, anywhere in the shopper journey. It’s one of those terms every marketer knows, but if you actually pressed them for a definition they’d probably struggle for a concrete answer.

To increase customer engagement means to foster awareness, loyalty, and advocacy with customers. It’s important for businesses of every size because successful customer engagement means your brand is always top of mind for customers in the decision-making step of the buying process. When your brand is top of mind, you’re who shoppers come to first to buy a product.

3 ways to increase customer engagement

There’s multiple ways to increase customer engagement, but every strategy is a hypothetical suggestion until you’ve seen a brand implement them successfully. That’s why we’re going to look at the tactics beauty brand Fresh used to increase customer engagement, create a rich shopping experience through expanded review volume, and increase conversion rates, and drive a $1.65 million revenue impact.

1. Sweepstakes

Imagine buying your favorite product, leaving a quick review, and winning $100. Sounds like a good deal, right? That’s exactly what Fresh offered customers during its summer sweepstakes campaign designed to increase customer engagement and boost review volume. 

89% of consumers consult customer ratings and reviews before making a purchase, so collecting (and displaying) this form of user-generated content (UGC) is essential for every business.

Fresh customers were encouraged to leave a review on their favorite Rose product for a chance to win a $100 eGift card, and the brand immediately saw results. Within the first week, Fresh gathered 217 high-quality reviews, with 11% of those containing visual UGC, like pictures and videos. Throughout the month, review volume reached 549, with review ratings of 4.8. 

increase customer engagement
Source: fresh.com

High product ratings are essential in marketing beauty products, but they can also be damaging if review volume is low. A recent survey revealed that 68% of shoppers don’t trust high ratings unless they also see a high review volume. Because Fresh — armed with guidance from Bazaarvoice — gathered an extensive amount of reviews, the ratings made sense to potential buyers. 

“Now we’re actually doing one [sweepstakes campaign] per quarter and we know that this is going to be an always-on strategy that we want to continue to grow. ” said Brittany Uhal, Senior Manager of the US e-commerce team at Fresh.

2. Visual user-generated content

According to a Bazaarvoice survey, 66% of shoppers look for visual UGC before buying a product, making customer photos and videos a key factor in persuasive reviews. In the beauty industry especially, this type of content is crucial for increasing customer engagement and selling a product.

Social media, online beauty communities, and review sections provide valuable visuals for online shoppers, which can make or break a product’s reputation.

“I think it was two years ago that a beauty product went viral on TikTok and completely did record-breaking sales. I think every beauty brand, whether they want to admit it or not, is trying to recreate that or understand how to break that algorithm,” explained Uhal.

With this in mind, Fresh introduced photo-first displays, putting visual UGC front and center. Now, when customers shop on product description pages, they’re able to get a good feel for products through detailed photos and application videos submitted by fellow consumers. 

increase customer engagement
Source: fresh.com

“Photo-first displays lead customers to leave more photos of their own, so it was great to see that within the increased reviews,” explained Uhal. This cycle of consuming and creating visual UGC means higher customer engagement, a better online shopping experience, and increased sales for Fresh. 

“We know UGC isn’t the future — it’s now. So how do we incorporate all of this great social content from the customers that we already have?” said Uhal. 

3. Retail syndication

With 19 international sites and three major retailers stocking Fresh products, the decision to syndicate reviews was an easy one. Syndication takes organic reviews from original sources, like fresh.com, and distributes them across all online sales channels. For brands like Fresh, this means a wealth of reviews shared between global sites and major retailers that stock the brand. 

With the Bazaarvoice Retail Syndication tool, Fresh saw a 7,702% increase in review volume, and they also used it to tackle another challenge: limited edition products. Limited edition gift sets and holiday bundles are popular features on most beauty brand websites, but gathering reviews is difficult because they have such a short lifecycle. 

Instead, Bazaarvoice syndicated reviews for the core products within the limited edition gift sets. When Fresh launched the new product description pages, they already contained a strong collection of UGC.

Source: fresh.com

“We know reviews increase conversion and interaction. We wanted our limited edition products to have that as well, and it’s been great to see that,” said Uhal. 

A Fresh way to increase customer engagement

Fresh has big plans for its beauty e-commerce model: integrating more social content, building relationships with influencers, and expanding its sweepstakes campaigns.

“We’re really excited to continue growing our program at Bazaarvoice. At Fresh, we always say the sky’s the limit, and I feel that way working with Bazaarvoice,” said Uhal.

Transform your e-commerce strategy and increase customer engagement by learning more about Fresh’s successful implementation of Bazaarvoice tools here.

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