Product Reviews: Are More Always Better?

We know going from 0 reviews to 1 review improves conversion rates by 20%.

But there is a something I’m curious about. Here is the scenario–

Choice 1: 20 hours of effort to collect 343 reviews for your product page.

Choice 2: 200 hours of effort to collect 34,134 reviews for the same product page.

Given that 343 reviews is itself impressive which option would you pick? Choice 1 or 2?

This isn’t a trick question. We genuinely don’t know the answer.

What choice would you make. Comment by simply typing 1 or 2 below.

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My Holiday Shopping Experience

Now that it’s the holiday season, we are seeing websites use many different strategies to increase conversions. Some of these strategies include special holiday sales, free holiday shipping, extended return and refund policies, and so on.

While doing my Christmas shopping for one of my close friends, I decided to take some mental notes of my observations while on the web. The two of us play video games together often, and he had mentioned a few times over the past year that he was thinking about getting a new gaming headset (the Razer Kraken Pro V2, to be exact). He still hasn’t purchased a new headset, so his gift this year was an easy choice.

I did a Google search for “Razer Kraken Pro V2” on my phone, and these were the first two results:

Search Results

I clicked on the first search result, which was Amazon.com. Although I use Amazon a lot, I’ve never been a fan of the layout of their product detail pages. I eventually decided to go back to my Google search results page and find the manufacturer’s site because I know many sites offer extra benefits if you buy from them directly instead of through their Amazon store.

After navigating to the listing for Razer.com, this is what I saw at the top of my phone’s browser:

Razer Nav Bar.png

Razer informed me that if I ordered today, I would receive my headset before Christmas and get free standard shipping. Razer made a good decision by ensuring me that I’d get my gift before the big day. I already knew I was definitely going to buy this headset, however, but the only information I cared about was if this headset was definitely compatible with my friend’s PlayStation 4.

After scrolling up and down the page multiple times while skimming through the copy, I finally found confirmation that this headset would meet my friend’s needs. I then clicked “Buy now”, entered my payment information, and received my package within 2 days of ordering.

So why am I telling you all of this?

While shopping for this headset, I was in the unique position of being both a gift-buyer and a gamer while shopping during the holiday season. Most of Razer’s customers are likely not in the same position. Many are potentially parents buying a present for their kid while many more are gamers like my friend and myself who are buying a headset for themselves (in fact, I have been considering buying the same headset for myself).

Why is this page treating both of these groups the same?

Parents and gamers will have wildly different questions and concerns when shopping for this headset. I highly doubt a parent cares if this headset is made of Bauxite aluminum, but a gamer definitely does because it makes the headset very lightweight. A gamer who is buying this headset for themselves may not care if they receive it by December 24th, but a parent most certainly will. Both parents and gamers will care if this headset is compatible with their kid’s or their own gaming system, however. No one wants to go through the hassle of returns and refunds.

This is the perfect time of the year to personalize content for shoppers to reduce friction and increase conversions. As an example of this, we created a mockup for one potential solution for Razer. In our concept, when a shopper arrives at the Razer Kraken Pro V2’s landing page during November and December they see a question:

Default.png

When the shopper makes a selection, they see this next question:

Activated_System.png

(Note: for shoppers who answered with “myself” in the first question, they won’t see “I don’t know” in this question)

Here we ask the shopper which device they need this headset for. This will serve two purposes: 1) to let them know if this headset will be compatible with the device they select, and 2) to personalize the copy around their selected device on the product detail page.

After the shopper selects their device, this is what they see:

Activated_Final.png

(Note: for shoppers who said they are shopping for their themselves, this page will begin at the YouTube video)

The gift-buyer’s biggest questions and concerns will be answered. They will see that this headset is compatible with the device they selected and that they will be able to receive a refund if they need to return the headset. For shoppers who are buying for themselves, they will see that the copy on the page has been personalized based on the device they selected. Here is a closer look (the content in square brackets [ ] is dynamic and changes based on the device selected):

Razer LoL.png

Razer PC.png

League of Legends is an extremely popular PC game. We’ve used our Serendipity tactic by predicting something about many shoppers who arrive at this page and play this game. By doing so, we’ve increased the chances that a shopper will convert. Alternatively, a parent may notice this content and remember that their kid plays this game. That may be enough to tip the scale in our favor.

Razer is a company that saw $4 billion in sales last year and they are one of the biggest names in the eSports world, which is growing every year. And yet, even their website has room to improve conversions.

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Let Your Customers Do the Talking

Hat tip to Paige Kusmierz for sharing this.

Expedia is in the business of maximizing profits (you should be too). And the highest margin item one can sell is insurance. So Expedia pushes hard for it. But instead of just pushing it they show a real customer story to drive home their point:

expedia_insurance

Shoppers care way more about the opinion of Mary C from Gloucester than Expedia’s marketing machine. And Expedia knows this.

And the best part is Expedia can A/B/C/n test many travel insurance customer stories to discover the customer review that’s most persuasive.

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Pitching Amazon

Many shoppers only trust Amazon. So it makes sense let your site visitors know you also sell on Amazon. But, leatherhoney.com advertises their Amazon availability right on their homepage:

Leatherhoney.com_Amazon.png

The shopper is already on your site. So, does this strategy make sense to you? Am I missing something?

There are literally 8 references to Amazon on just their homepage (see listing):

Leatherhoney.com_Amazon1.png

Leatherhoney.com_Amazon2.png

Leatherhoney.com_Amazon3.png

Leatherhoney.com_Amazon4.png

Leatherhoney.com_Amazon5.png

Leatherhoney.com_Amazon6.png

Leatherhoney.com_Amazon7.png

Leatherhoney.com_Amazon8.png

In my view, if they really didn’t want to miss a single Amazon sale they should do 2 things:

1: Mention Amazon on product pages. No need for shoppers to see Amazon reference moment they land on site.

2: Show this popup message when shoppers click Amazon call-to-action:

We are a small family business and we’ve been creating leather care products right here in the US since 1968. If every American spent $64 on something made in America, it would create 200,000 new jobs.

We totally understand the convenience of buying from Amazon. If you buy from us you’ll pay the exact same price but we’ll get a little more. And we want to use that to create more American jobs.

                                [Proceed to Amazon] button               [Close] button

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Geotargeted Reviews

For years I’ve been thinking about a test idea that combines these 2 facts–

1: Shoppers are more likely to convert when they can read reviews.

2: For a shopper in [Michigan] reading a review of another shopper who also happens to live in [Michigan] is a strong influencer.  Here [Michigan] can be any state.

And then, I discovered a page on easyclosets.com that does exactly that.  They show an interactive map of North America and you can click on any state and see reviews from that state.  Naturally shoppers from North Carolina will click on their home state.  Here is a screenshot of the idea–

US_Map_Reviews

And here’s the live page (you have to check it out!).

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