Ready to boost your holiday strategy? Discover the key tactics to help you thrive this holiday season. Register now!
 
 
Strategies, research, industry trends — your pulse on the marketplace
The   Bazaar   Voice
Strategies, research, industry trends — your pulse on the marketplace

The following article is based on a webinar hosted by Bhavik Gandecha, Solutions Consulting Manager at Bazaarvoice, and Angeli Rodriguez, Senior Client Strategy Manager at Attentive, on ways e-commerce managers can maximize conversion potential. If you like, you can watch the webinar here.

It’s the big, holy-grail question in retail: How do you take a person who’s casually browsing for a product and convert them into a buyer?

We all know that having a good product helps. We also (should) all know that having a good product isn’t enough. Throughout the entire funnel — from awareness to consideration, purchase, and post-purchase loyalty — there are important opportunities to build trust and engagement with your brand, and prime shoppers to hit the BUY button.

For instance, did you know that 93% of your potential customers consider product reviews the deciding factor for a purchase? It’s a statistic that generally holds true regardless of differences in products, industries, and economic conditions.

User-generated content (UGC) — including reviews and social content — can have a consistently measurable impact on conversions. In this article, we’ll show you how to combine UGC with real-time, personalized messaging and analytics to craft a strategy that influences purchase decisions at every stage in the funnel. Consider this your new checklist for supercharging your conversion potential.

Chapters

  • Awareness: Building visibility and trust
  • Consideration: Rewarding shopper curiosity
  • Purchase: Making it easy to hit BUY
  • Loyalty: Fostering long term engagement
  • Beyond the funnel: Encouraging continuous improvement

Awareness: Building visibility and trust

In this initial stage in the marketing funnel your goal is to put your brand on people’s radar, and in so doing, accomplish two things: increase visibility and establish credibility.

Think broadly about where shoppers hear about you

67% of Gen Z starts their shopping search on social media. That’s TikTok, Instagram, YouTube — even LinkedIn. The customer journey doesn’t just start on your site, so make sure your brand has a presence where the potential buyers live.

Assess your reviews to make sure they’re working hard for you 

Not all review sections are created equal. Some things to consider:

  • Quality: All reviews are valuable, even the one-liners. But 75% of shoppers look for reviews of three or more sentences.
  • Quantity: Do you have enough? Going from 0 to 100 reviews has been shown to boost sales by as much as 37%.
  • Recency: 85% of shoppers consider how recent the review was written to inform their purchase. If all of your reviews are old, it’s time for a refresh.

Balance and syndicate your content mix

Shoppers are savvy enough to notice inconsistency. So make sure you have both brand and user-generated content coming to your product page or retail site. That means having a mix of both product reviews and social content, like user-generated pics of happy customers with your products.

This content mix should then be syndicated across not only your brand site but all retailer pages. We at Bazaarvoice have found that retailers report a 15-26% lift in sales after displaying this UGC.

Use email and text sign-up to prime the pump

Build a base of subscribers who are on-deck to engage with the brand and turn into buyers. Offer an incentivized sign-up experience when someone visits your site. Once the contact is in your list, you can ping them in the future, even if they only browse or abandon a cart today.

Consideration: Rewarding shopper curiosity

Once potential customers are aware of your brand, the next step is to influence their decision-making process by providing compelling reasons to choose your brand or product.

Use UGC to accommodate buyers who want more detailed information

Product reviews are an essential first step. But you can complement them in important ways. Offer a section for questions and answers alongside reviews so shoppers can ask for specific information not covered elsewhere. And make sure you respond to negative reviews: this shows you’re attentive, take your customers seriously, and know how to rectify issues (say, with a discount code).

Continue to stoke your contact list

You got a shopper to opt-in, and now they’re a contact. This is the beginning of a journey, not the end. Use email and SMS messaging to:

  • Give updates, education, and offers for your products
  • Facilitate two-way conversations between customers and staff, to help home in on the product customers want. Two-way SMS dialogue is an emerging capability that Attentive is pioneering, and it’s an exciting tool to add to your mix.

Purchase: Making it easy to hit BUY

You’ve got interested shoppers. Now it’s time to convert them into buyers. Here are some ideas for answering any lingering questions, removing barriers, and nudging shoppers over the finish line.

Keep building trust to encourage check-out

One off-note can ruin an otherwise perfect song. Make sure your product info and reviews are consistent wherever they show up, both on your brand site and different retailer sites.

Streamline your check-out process

The same social platforms that help you build awareness can be enlisted to drive purchases, either with links to your PDP or in-app purchasing capabilities. One Bazaarvoice customer recently saw a 77% click-through rate from a LinkedIn bio promotion, and an astounding 216% lift in conversions using image galleries.

Use SMS and email reminders to reduce abandoned carts

In 2023 Attentive’s SMS messaging was able to help brands recover over 2 billion carts that would have stayed abandoned otherwise. Attentive is even starting to employ AI in this space, so that reminder messages can be automated and super-personalized at the same time.

Loyalty: Fostering long-term engagement

After a purchase, maintaining customer engagement and encouraging repeat business is essential. UGC and personalized messaging are both core pieces of the lasting relationships you build with buyers.

Thank your customer for their purchase

It sounds elementary, but a simple “thank you” goes a long way. A thoughtful thank you message offers buyers instant gratification, makes them feel special, and can include educational content about how to get the most out of their product.

Ask your customer to review their product

Without this step, none of the above works. Be proactive: emailing your customer (or letting us do it for you!) can bump your review numbers by 5-9% compared to relying on your PDP or retailers to collect reviews. And adopt technology to make it easy — for instance, Bazaarvoice has developed templates that allow customers to leave reviews directly in your review solicitation email.

Think about incentives that reward loyalty and encourage future purchases

Ideally, customers who purchased one of your products are likely to do so again. Check back in with them periodically to offer new product recommendations and complimentary accessories that work with their last purchase.

Beyond the funnel: Encouraging continuous improvement

One benefit of engaging customers at all points of the funnel (aside from the conversion, obviously) is the continuous treasure trove of data about product performance and shopper behavior.

Are your products selling? Are they garnering reviews? Are they hitting industry benchmarks? Are there discrepancies between product sales and review ratings? These are crucial data points that you can turn into actionable insights. And now with AI, we can even scan reviews for common words, revealing trends about both the product and what shoppers care about.

Share this data with your product team to make improvements over time. Use it to adjust your marketing messaging and media spend, and plan new ways to deepen your relationship with new and existing customers. For brands that want to break through the noise and maximize conversions, insight-driven continuous improvement makes all the difference.

Want to learn more? Watch the full webinar with Bhavik and Angeli for an in-depth look at how Bazaarvoice and Attentive have teamed up to help brands like yours crush the conversion game.

Want the latest content delivered straight to your inbox? Join our monthly newsletter.