Visual content inspires DSW customer purchases
DSW, a retail chain known for its wide selection of brand-name & designer shoes & accessories, faced a challenge common in the retail space — how to give online shoppers the confidence to purchase.
Our customers have been asking for more on-the-foot photography, more style guidance, more ‘how to wear’ kind of content, says Alison Wagner, Digital Product Specialist at DSW.
The answer to this customer demand? Visual user-generated content (UGC).
Visual content drives site engagement and conversions
A website redesign presented a prime opportunity to improve the customer experience by placing UGC at the center of their digital strategy. DSW implemented Bazaarvoice’s visual content solution to collect and display user-generated images from a variety of social platforms on their homepage, product pages and some brand-level pages. This powers an engaging visual experience that showcases products in the real world. DSW shoppers can now find their ‘how-to-wear’ inspiration by seeing a pair of shoes styled in a variety of real-life settings.
Within the first six months after launching the solution, a majority of DSW site visitors engaged with visual content. Shoppers who did so were more than twice as likely to purchase than those who did not, and spent substantially more money per order.
Augmenting the omnichannel experience
DSW weaves visual and social sharing into its omnichannel strategy. DSW uses the hashtag #MyDSW across multiple customer touchpoints, including store mirror clings and handouts inserted into shoe boxes to encourage customers to share their visual content.
We want customers in every channel to be aware of our social media activity so we work closely with store partners to ensure that shoppers know they have the opportunity to join in the conversation, explains Wagner.
Customer-generated imagery creates a richer omnichannel experience and a pipeline of visual content to spur additional conversions.
A force multiplier: Visual UGC with Ratings and Reviews
Bazaarvoice Ratings and Reviews complements visual UGC on the DSW website.
A challenge for any online retailer is the missing in-person ‘try on’ element. Letting customers read reviews on how a shoe fits or feels along with seeing customer photos for style, fills that gap, says Wagner.
The combination of text reviews on key elements like fit and comfort, coupled with the style inspiration from visual content, leads to increased consumer confidence.
The two types of content overlap in their overall purpose. A shopper might be looking for a shoe for a nice occasion and see that a particular sandal has reviews saying it’s comfortable. That checks off one box in their buying decision. Then looking at the visual content and seeing other customers wearing the sandals in certain styles, checks the other box, explains Wagner.
The combination of Ratings and Reviews with visual content acts as a force multiplier, increasing overall responsiveness to user-generated content.
Millions of visitors viewed the two types of content, those who did were more than twice as likely to buy than those who did not, which resulted in a doubling of the revenue per visitor.
One of the Digital Team’s main strategies is bringing DSW’s assortment to life. Having more lifestyle photography and ‘how to wear’ information from user-generated content increases customer confidence and drives conversions, says Wagner.