Bazaarvoice recently released Ask & Answer, a new product that allows consumers to ask questions and get answers directly from other consumers (or from the company itself) on the product detail and product category pages. It’s an innovative idea intended to address a significant problem: 67% of online consumers leave a website due to a lack of product information. Giving consumers the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision makes it more likely they will buy on your site rather than look, and perhaps buy, elsewhere.
Imagine being able to quickly find the answer to a critical question you want to know before buying a new digital camera. “Does the Canon EOS 400D Digital Rebel XTi camera perform better in low-light conditions than the Nikon D80?"
With Ask & Answer, consumers who have experience using these cameras can share their opinions by answering questions and helping the purchaser make a more informed decision about which camera best meets their needs. Think of it as a new way to create an online “community knowledgebase” containing rich consumer-generated content, augmented by detailed product reviews. It has significant benefits over forums or online chat because all questions and answers are fully moderated for appropriateness by Bazaarvoice before being posted to your site and archived at the point of purchase.
We recently conducted a client case study for Shoes.com to measure the business impact of Ask & Answer on their site and found that in just the first two months after launching…
Products with just one question and one answer had an 18.26% higher browse-to-buy conversion than they did previously
Products with at least two questions and answers had a 22.00% higher browse-to-buy conversion rate.
In addition to these strong sales conversion results, there are other key benefits that drive ROI for Ask & Answer:
- SEO benefits –
Ask & Answer provides a new way to capture user-generated content that can then be leveraged for better SEO. Bazaarvoice helps clients maximize their SEO benefits by providing SearchVoice landing pages with dedicated Ask & Answer content fully optimized for search engine spiders. We also provide promotional best practices to help increase participation from your online community and integrate it with product reviews promotions. Better yet, your customers use terms that other customers are more likely to use in their own searches, further increasing potential SEO results.
- New online audience –
In our case study for Shoes.com, we also found that only 4% of the Shoes.com online community that uses Ask & Answer have previously written reviews and that 29% of contributors answer more than one question. This is a strong indication that Ask & Answer attracts an entirely new audience of consumers, in addition to people who write reviews that come back to the site to participate.
- Reduced customer support costs –
Customers generate the majority of the Q&A content, creating a new self-help resource on your site that reduces customer questions to your support center. We’ve seen that deploying Ratings and Reviews with Ask & Answer is reducing call volumes to our client’s customer support centers.
- Competitive differentiation –
Implementing Ask & Answer is a great way to differentiate your site from your competition and to inspire your online community to participate in this new archived Q&A tool. Clients like Home Depot Canada have even branded it “The Answer Depot” and experienced a high level of community participation on their site.