By Anna Skaya, Community Manager
Rugs Direct is a great example of an online company that uses Ratings & Reviews to drive all types of business results. This company was founded in 1997, and has a mission of being the nation’s most trusted and esteemed retailer for all types of area rugs and other flooring products. I recently sat down with Rex Creekmur, the Director of Marketing at Rugs Direct, to ask him about his experience with Bazaarvoice.
- What made you decide to introduce Ratings & Reviews on your site?
We've always received lots of unsolicited compliments from our customers, but never had a good way to share these with others. On top of that, most all of the experts in online commerce are saying that customer ratings and reviews are on the verge of becoming mandatory for Internet retailers. From our own online shopping experiences we knew that we were far more likely to buy something if other customers recommended it. It was pretty much a no-brainer that we should make this service available to Rugs Direct customers.
- What is your favorite thing about working with Bazaarvoice? How do they compare to your other vendors?
One of the things that impressed us from the start was Bazaarvoice's credibility and professionalism. The company came through on everything it promised and never attempted to mislead us with outlandish projections or predictions. Our IT Department was skeptical when they were told how simple the implementation would be, but again, Bazaarvoice was absolutely correct in what they told us. I find Bazaarvoice is very responsive to everything we request and seems to understand the problems an online seller faces on a daily basis. By and large we work with a great group of outside suppliers, but Bazaarvoice is certainly at the top of the list.
- What did you do to build volume? Any results you’d like to share?
We give a customer approximately 30 days with a product and then send an e-mail to request a review. A great many respond and it has allowed us to quickly go from no reviews to well over 5,000. It has helped that Bazaarvoice gets the reviews into and out of moderation very quickly, so we can post them on our website with very little delay. We have some plans in the works that we think will increase our average daily volume of reviews even higher than it is today. People seem to genuinely like to be asked their opinion of the products they purchase, and we love giving them a forum with which to share their experience with others.
- What value have you seen the Bazaarvoice functionality drive on your site?
Our overall product returns have dropped dramatically since we added Ratings & Reviews to our site. We can only assume that people are reading reviews that are either confirming their product selection as being a good one, or are steering them away from products that haven't lived up to the expectations of others. Either way, it's great to see so many more customers happy with their purchases and not sending them back for a refund or exchange!
- Have you been able to measure ROI from this solution?
We’ve worked with Bazaarvoice to prove the ROI of this solution and the results showed that we had a 17% increase in conversion on products with reviews vs. products without reviews. That’s a huge jump for our company and surely proves that the investment in the user-generated content functionality was the right way to go.
- How does this functionality tie into your overall roadmap for your site?
We try to be totally customer-driven in everything we do. We want our site to be easy to use and for products to be easy to find. Because it's so simple to comparison-shop on the Internet today, we think it's important to provide a research component to the process. That's one of the things Ratings & Reviews adds to our offering. People can see that other people bought and like this product, which gives them confidence that it will be right for them, too. So just like we want to offer a great selection, low prices and an easy search and navigation system, reviews fit in with our overall strategy perfectly.
- What is the number one thing you would recommend new clients implement from the Bazaarvoice platform?
Make it easy for customers to write reviews and offer them a reward for doing so.
- Any word of advice for prospects that are looking into the Bazaarvoice solution?
Do it. (Sorry, that's two words.) Seriously, if you sell a product or service of any type, let your customers be your best salespeople. They will believe each other far more readily than they will believe you, so let them talk to each other. But make sure you don't inject yourself into the conversation. Don't censor (within reason) what your customers say and don't only publish the "good" reviews. It's got to be honest to be effective. Let Bazaarvoice be the impartial party that keeps you above reproach. To the best of my knowledge, there aren't any "competitors" who can offer this important credibility to your review program.
Read more about Rugs Direct in E-commerce Guide!