An update from the Client Services team is long overdue . . . My silence is due in part to how busy our team has been in recent weeks managing the deployment of ratings & reviews for several new clients. The second reason for my delay in posting is that I married my best friend and partner of almost 6 years, Andrea, on May 12th, and I spent last week in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina relaxing with her before returning to work. The team has welcomed me back with open arms, but they can't resist poking fun at the fact that I have a new nervous habit – fidgeting with my wedding band!
Starting on April 18th, we kicked off a series of 5 new client launches with the deployment of our solution on Shoes.com, our first true apparel client. From beginning to end, the Shoes.com team worked hard to get our solution out to their customers, and they are now running a $250 gift certificate promotion to encourage review submissions. We expect great things from the Shoes.com reviewer community, as their response to the promotion has already exceeded expectations.
On April 20th, just two days later, we launched with Overstock.com. Overstock is the first client to fully outsource a pre-existing ratings & reviews capability to us, and they are well aware of the benefits of customer-generated content and online word of mouth. For the past 3+ years, they have relied on their loyal customers to be the key suppliers of product content in the form of reviews. In that same span of time, Overstock's revenues have nearly quadrupled, and they will soon surpass $1 billion in annual web sales. In order to preserve Overstock's ratings & reviews experience, we imported tens of thousands of their existing reviews into our system, ensuring that the "customer voice" didn't temporarily disappear even as their ratings & reviews functionality changed.
Next up, The Home Depot, which launched on April 25th. For a retailer of their size, The Home Depot raced to the finish line with their implementation. In time, we hope to prove out with The Home Depot the multi-channel benefits of customer-generated content and word of mouth. In addition to commerce, HomeDepot.com serves as an educational resource for the DIY and home improvement community, so customer reviews should complement existing know-how content nicely.
On May 9th, we launched with Cars.com, a web property of Classified Ventures. Cars.com is only our second client in the content/advertising space (SpaFinder was the first), so we are very excited about the potential impact of ratings & reviews on their business. If you are in the market for a new automobile, research vehicles and read reviews at Cars.com!
Last but not least, we launched Paiva.com on May 16th. Paiva is an entirely new retail brand launched by Finish Line, the highly successful athletic footwear and apparel retailer. From the Paiva.com web site: "Paiva is a unique, inspiring, premium athletic store created exclusively for active women . . ." With Paiva.com on board, we hope to observe measurable differences in how a reviewer community comprised almost exclusively by females grows and evolves, compared to a gender-balanced community.
Needless to say, we've been super busy, but with each new client, we are learning more about how to use customer word of mouth both online and off. The weeks and months ahead will be equally busy, and I'll share client launch notes as they happen.