What’s Worth Showing, and What Isn’t

Ctshirts.com shows their 94% customer satisfaction seal right on their homepage–


Is that a good or bad thing? Does 94% satisfaction make prospects more likely to buy (“wow, 94% of people love this brand, they must be good shirts”)? Or less likely to buy (“I’m finicky about fit and feel; wonder if the 6% who didn’t like their purchase had fit and feel issues?”)?

I’d A/B test this.

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Most sites draw attention to their product reviews in one of these formats (blue boxes below)–

Ballarddesigns.com does something different–

What I like about their approach is that they display percentage of reviewers that recommend this item.  Now, this feature isn’t new, it comes standard with tools like PowerReviews.  The big difference is that in PowerReviews implementation percentage of customers that recommend a product info is displayed within product review section, which is seen AFTER the visitor clicks reviews link (example– http://www.rei.com/product/813224/electra-crusier-1-bike-2012).  On ballarddesigns.com this information is displayed BEFORE the visitor clicks reviews link.  So, on ballarddesigns.com even before a visitor starts reading reviews they are “primed” with the knowledge that 98% of customers recommend this product.  And even visitors who don’t want to read reviews now know 98% of customers recommend this product.  The fact that they didn’t have to click reviews link to learn this fact might seem like a tiny incremental improvement, but over hundreds of thousands of site visitors this difference adds up to quite a bit.

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Beyond Reviews

There’s no doubt that customer reviews generate conversions.  http://www.kitchenwaredirect.com.au/Current-Specials/Top-Sellers-On-Sale/Scanpan-Classic-Covered-Chef-Pan-32cm is a product page with 75 reviews.  But kitchenwaredirect.com.au understands that sometimes a potential buyer might have a question that isn’t answered in a review, or is too time consuming to locate.  And this is why they have a feature called ASK a Question on the product page–

On click–

For this particular product customers have asked 16 questions, received 82 answers, and generated 164 comments.  Here’s why I love ASK a Question feature–

1: The standard format is that a visitor enters a site, seeks to answer their questions and leaves if their questions remain unanswered.  Now, they can post their unique question and receive a quick reply.

2: In order to be notified with a reply the question poster must leave their contact info.  What would have been an abandon is now a warm lead.

3: Questions are answered by customer community + site staff.  Every time a new question is posted the community is notified, which prompts them to visit kitchenwaredirect.com.au (generating brand recall.)

4: In the traditional format customers with questions call customer service who end up answering the same question 50 times.  Now, once a question is posted and answered the next customer doesn’t have to call your customer service team.

5: Most product pages remain static and become stale over time.  Now, your product page can improve in richness as more questions and answers are published.

An interface like this is especially useful for products with technical features.

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Ann’s PPC

I was doing a search for a Dynamo LED Flashlight and was presented 3 ads–

Sierratradingpost.com has done something incredibly clever here.  They know, that we know, PPC ads are very ‘salesy’.  So Sierratradingpost.com is using customer Ann’s review of their LED dynamo flashlight to make their ad stand out.  And it worked.  When I clicked the ad I was shown this landing page–

Note: I would have selected a stronger review for this ad, but the concept is brilliant.

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Review Count

We know 5 positive reviews are better than 0.  But for a product with 4.5 stars does it matter if the review count is 48 or 25,631?

According to social commerce company Reevoo more reviews = higher conversion even at higher numbers: 50-100 reviews: 3.9%, 500-1000 reviews 6.4%.

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Handwritten Testimonials

Folica.com specializes in hair products.  Their site has 100s of products and 1000s of reviews.  How could we make reviews more persuasive?  They should pick a popular product and for any customer that buys this item two weeks after purchase mail out two pre stamped postcards requesting a handwritten testimonial.  Scan these testimonials.  Then run a split A/B test where one group of visitors see the old testimonial format and the other group sees the scanned handwritten format.

If conversion lift > cost of mailing out pre stamped postcards expand test to other product pages.

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Dishola For The Offline World

If restaurants added a feedback feature on bills it would give valuable input on how people liked individual dishes.  As long as the feedback process was painless most patrons would participate and the information could be integrated to update the menu.  Avinash has shown how simple feedback gives valuable insight through 4Q, my idea merely extends the concept to an offline environment.

Concept Bill
Concept Bill
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