This blog was guest-written by Sherrie Nguyen, Bazaarvoice Community Manager.

When it comes to multi-channel promotions, Helzberg truly shines. They have seen such success with ratings and reviews online that it was a no-brainer to incorporate them with in-store promotions as well. When I walked into a Helzberg store in Austin, the Associates couldn’t stop raving about reviews and showing me the great signage that helped them spark conversations with their customers. Helzberg is definitely leading the pack with their multi-channel initiatives, and we wanted to get the story on their vision and strategy.

We sat down with Maureen Hultgen, Interactive Marketing Coordinator, and Tracie Charvat, Creative Director, both with Helzberg, to get their insights.

Why is Helzberg interested in promoting product Ratings & Reviews offline?
We think it is important to communicate the brand and product experiences of our existing customers and brand advocates into conversations with new customers and prospects. In addition, we understand that our customers are making a big purchase decision and trusting us with that purchase so we wanted to ensure that trust with reinforcement from other customers. We want our new customers to be able to connect directly with our existing customers.

What types of multi-channel promotions do you currently utilize?
In-store signage, in-store (display cases), direct mail catalogs, in-store digital displays, website and email campaigns

What immediate effects have you seen?
We have seen an increase in product and brand engagement. Ratings & Reviews provides customers the opportunity to engage with the company outside the store. There is also an added dimension of personalization. Reviews help illustrate how purchasing a product can truly create a personal moment that sparkles for our customers. It reinforces market position. Reviews reinforce product selection by providing word-of-mouth proof of quality and value in their selection. Finally, it provides feedback. Our buyers now have an opportunity to see how consumers perceive our product.

How do the store employees respond to Ratings & Reviews?
It provides Associates talking points and product focus. It also exposes our Associates to online conversations about products. Ratings and Reviews could potentially act as a support to training – letting Associates know what specific benefits appeal to customers, so they can focus on those attributes when communicating to new customers.

How do customers in the store respond to different promotions?
We have not done any research to determine this, but we do know that a customer has brought the catalog into the store with the reviewed merchandise circled telling the sales associate, “I want this.” (while pointing to the merchandise).

Your ideas are very innovative. What’s the inspiration?
We are sticklers for authenticity and this offers us an opportunity to communicate a REAL, modern version of the testimonial. Again, going back to the connection one customer can make with another – we want people to feel like they are buying from a company that other people just like them are buying from as well. We want them to know that we value what our customers think about our merchandise and that we carefully consider their opinions on our merchandise.

What can we expect to see next?
Further integration into offline media; we are trying to think of creative ways to get our ratings and reviews out to all of our customers.

Visit a Helzberg Diamonds location near you to check out ratings and reviews today!

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