Today we launched BrandAnswers, which notifies manufacturers when shoppers have questions about their products across our network of retailers. With BrandAnswers, manufacturers have a whole new way to impact sales across the channel. Watch a quick video about BrandAnswers here.

We’ve seen that answers to customer questions on a site can drive sales – PETCO’s Answer Den case study showed a 72% increase in conversion. JC Whitney saw that answers decreased product returns on 80% of products with answers had a lower product return rate, with an average 23% decrease in return rates for these products. And Canadian Tire found that questions with more than three answers eliminated up to 81% of their pre-sales calls taken by the customer service department, greatly reducing those costs.

BrandAnswers notifies participating manufacturers when a shopper has a question about one of their products across all retail sites that use Bazaarvoice Ask & Answer. The manufacturer answers the question and it’s immediately posted to the retailer’s site. Manufacturer answers are badged with the brand’s mark, giving the brand even more visibility on the retailer site, and showing that the manufacturer is listening and responding to shopper queries.

Samsung sees the power of answers

s_logoJust over three months ago, Samsung launched BrandAnswers and we ran analytics to see the impact their answers have on sales on a major retailer site. We looked at TVs that are comparatively rated, have similar traffic, and are in the same price range. We split these televisions into two groups: those with high BrandAnswers engagement (an average of 15 Samsung answers per product), and those with low BrandAnswers engagement (an average of four Samsung answers per product). Here are the trends we saw over three months:

Samsung answers correlate with a 96% increase in product views, suggesting that Samsung’s involvement fostered an increase in interest for these products.

When Samsung answers questions, the number of questions doubles, suggesting that Samsung’s brand engagement influenced an increase in their community’s engagement.

Samsung fills information gaps while learning what’s important to shoppers. BrandAnswers helped Samsung address online knowledge gaps – 91% of the content Samsung provided in their answers was not already on the site. The most repeated question was, “Can I hang this TV on the wall?” From Samsung’s perspective, the answer may be obvious; however, shoppers are telling them that it’s not clear. Filling these information gaps can help turn shoppers into buyers.

Each answer creates a “ripple effect” of value. Unlike one-to-one communication vehicles, such as a customer email or phone call, answers provided online help the overall community. When a shopper asks a question, it’s safe to assume that others have the same question. Additionally, having these answers within the purchase path helps drive sales conversion, so just one answer from Samsung can help drive incremental sales beyond the one person who asked the question.

Now Samsung – and other forward-thinking manufacturers – can easily help inform consumers, increase awareness of their products, and help drive channel sales. BrandAnswers requires just one sign-in to see questions across multiple retail sites, can notify product experts via email, and can let manufacturers publish answers instantly.

The best part? Manufacturers finally have first-hand insights into how consumers consider and buy their products. This perspective will help them create even better marketing campaigns and product information, and help them gain a major leg up on competitors. Look for more interesting BrandAnswers stories to come from major manufacturers.

Oh…and the other best part…for retailers. The content is FREE to retailers, and requires no impact to IT if they are a Bazaarvoice Ask & Answer client!

3 Responses to “Announcing BrandAnswers! New Channel Marketing Tool Enables Brands to Answer Questions Inside Retail Sites”

  1. Mike, this product looks like a real value-add for the brand owners. Not only it allows manufacturers to directly connect to their consumers, but provides real time feedback about their products and their market positioning.
    However, I am a bit surprised not to see lot of activity around it – haven’t seen much mention on BV’s blogs or anywhere else. I am curious to know if companies are eager/comfortable adopting it? How extensively is Samsung using it?
    Is cost playing any factor for manufacturers to adopt it? – my understanding, to be really successful, companies need to constantly manage this channel and keep their consumers engaged. Obviously, I do believe that returns on these investments would be substainally worthwhile.

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