Early Learning Centre is launching customer reviews on its web site (elc.co.uk) to increase trust in the brand among online shoppers.
The high street chain of children’s toy and gift shops has appointed Bazaarvoice, the hosted social commerce ratings and reviews technology provider which helps online brands drive sales, to implement and manage a service that will enable customers to read other shoppers’ opinions and experiences of products before they make a purchase.
“Due to the increase in social networking and the focus on user generated content, it’s become increasingly important to effectively engage with our customers and give them a way of contributing towards the site. Adding a ratings and review function is an ideal way of enabling this,” said Matthew Legge, e-Commerce Manager at Early Learning Centre. “Peer reviews are so much more effective than the brand reviewing its own products – Mums value and trust what other Mums think.”
Legge added that customer reviews are expected to have an impact on Internet sales – currently Early Learning Centre’s fastest growing sales channel. “We think that by letting shoppers voice their opinions on the site, we’ll also drive higher conversion rates,” he said.
Bazaarvoice will provide Early Learning Centre with a dedicated Community Manager to help drive review volume, SearchVoice landing pages to deliver maximum natural search traffic and a reporting tool - Bazaarvoice Workbench - to track review volume, measure responses to the service, sort data and support review management.
“Bazaarvoice is helping Early Learning Centre tap into the power of customer-generated content to improve merchandising and increase multi-channel sales,” said Sam Decker, VP of Marketing and Products at Bazaarvoice. “The ratings and reviews service will also attract new customers and improve satisfaction and loyalty.”
Early Learning Centre’s own research shows that a large number of its online customers are multi-channel – most go to the site to buy items for planned events such as birthdays or Christmas, but will buy last minute treats in-store. The company has 215 shops in the UK.
Bazaarvoice (bazaarvoice.co.uk) is an online ratings and reviews provider. It offers outsourced technology, hosting services, analytics and expertise to help brands enhance the online shopping experience with social commerce applications that drive sales. Launched by web analytics pioneer and Coremetrics founder Brett Hurt in the US in 2005, Bazaarvoice’s stable of clients include Hewlett Packard, Dell, Early Learning Centre and figleaves.com. Bazaarvoice Ratings and Reviews and Ask & Answer products help brands to maximize the impact of user-generated review content through customisation, deep integration, community management, advanced analytics, search engine optimisation and syndication across the Web. Bazaarvoice’s services empower consumers to share honest opinions and influence each other to make more informed and rewarding purchase decisions. Bazaarvoice was named Marketing Innovation of the Year in the 2006 US ClickZ Marketing Excellence Awards and received a “Red Herring 100 North America” award from Red Herring magazine.