When it comes to social content, nothing beats the old standby of customer reviews — especially during the holidays, when shoppers research heavily and rely on the testimonials of other buyers to inform their gifting decisions. Merchants should put reviews front and center and let shoppers’ picks guide merchandising and promotions.
Consumers report that customer reviews play an important part in the purchase consideration process. More than half of participants in the 2014 MarketLive Consumer Shopping Survey reported that writing reviews was somewhat or very important, and 49% said receiving product referrals from friends via social channels influenced their spending.
Further data demonstrates just how influential review are during the holidays, on Black Friday and Cyber monday in particular. According to reviews provider Bazaarvoice, traffic to user reviews spikes during the sales extravaganza the weekend after Thanksgiving, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2013 beating the November daily average review pageviews by 77% and 84%, respectively. Overall in 2013, review pageviews for the months of November and December exceeded that of all other months by 38% and 48%, respectively.
The action item
To capitalize on consumers’ usage of and trust in customer reviews, merchants should spotlight them prominently in campaigns that draw on the latest top picks to create shopper-centric product categories. Use reviews:
- On the eCommerce site for mobile and desktop. “Top rated” categories should be a featured component of holiday gift sections.
- In email campaigns. Featuring five-star gifts and excerpting review text gives shoppers access to relevant, authentic product information they can trust.
- On social media. As discussed in Monday’s tip, a Pinterest pinboard showcasing customer favorites can spur repins and purchases. And enabling brand followers to view and contribute reviews directly from within Facebook increase the engagement power of review content, as Figi’s does with its “Ratings and Reviews” Facebook page. Both customer favorites and featured products are spotlighted, along with the most recent reviews.
Watch for 2 more holiday tips on the blog through Black Friday, and read up on winning strategies in MarketLive’s holiday whitepapers.