Thursday, June 3, 2010

QVC Drives Sales with Customer Reviews

Via Click Z

Consumers rarely buy a product without consulting customer reviews first. Before making just about any purchase - clothing, electronics, household items, anything - people go online to check out the reviews. A July 2009 study by Nielsen found the most trusted forms of media are "recommendations from people I know" (92 percent) and "consumer opinions posted online" (72 percent). I'd be willing to bet those numbers are even higher one year later.

...QVC featured top-rated products on its television broadcasts. The shopping channel labeled some products showcased on the program as "Customer Top Rated," and also published excerpts from online reviews on air, unedited, to reinforce the Customer Top Rated label. Sharing customers' opinions on air worked so well in driving sales of these products that QVC aired a standalone show called "Customer Choice" that showcased only products rated highly by its customers.

"Customer reviews have now become an important tool and resource in our programming and merchandising strategies. They reinforce the trust our customers have with QVC and help to take our customers one step closer to an experience of shopping with their friends," said Alex Miller, director of programming at QVC.

...When extending review content across marketing channels, remember five simple principles:

Work together: Marketers, merchandisers, and brand managers should work together to identify the top-rated products and the most compelling reviews of those products to be used in marketing materials. The use of review content in multichannel marketing materials should meet your overall marketing goals.

Choose wisely: Highlight the products that you really want to sell. People pay attention to products you promote with reviews, so make sure these are the items you want to move.

Don't be shy: Highlight the product's value in numbers. For example, "22 of 24 users would recommend this product to a friend," or "4.8 of 5 stars." Don't be afraid to include prominent stars, bold graphics, or highlight the most glowing words from reviews.

Keep it short: Review snippets included in marketing materials should be short - no more than two lines.

Get personal: Give the name and location (and/or age) of the reviewer. Showing customers that the reviewer is "someone like them" is a great way to build trust in the authenticity of the review content.

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