An interesting article on Clickz showed that Bath & Body increased sales by 10-12% after implementing customer feedbacks and reviews on their site.
Bath & Body Works specializes in fragrant beauty products for bath and body care, facial skincare, hair care and spa items. The company has an active customer base who is enthused about their products. The challenge was to convert this offline enthusiasm into something tangible online. Shannon Glass director of Internet operations put the challenge this way:
“We weren’t looking to solve a problem, we were looking to move in on an opportunity,” Glass said. “We had a lot of people that were passionate about new fragrances. They were asking one another if they liked it or not. They already had their own channels and we wanted to harness that and put it where the products are sold.”
In June Bath & Body Works launched a new flip-flop style footwear product called FitFlop. This new product presented Shannon with an opportunity to install the Bazaarvoice ratings and reviews system. Thus customers could share feedback, experiences, and recommendations on this new product line.
The results were outstanding. Bath & Body found that the FitFlop campaign achieved 10% higher conversion and 12% higher sales per visitor as compared to campaigns that did not include customer ratings and reviews.
“We were very pleased with the results,” said Glass. “To introduce a high-price product without a commercial enticement to it… the marketing push being the great reviews that we were sharing, the results were quite impressive.”
In addition to the increased sales, Bath & Body has been able to identify some “super-reviewers”. A super-reviewer is someone who has posted in excess of 100 separate messages on the site. These super-reviewers are great brand advocates and Bath and Body plans to tap into this strong customer base in 2008 by include these “brand advocates” in future advertising campaigns
“In 2008 we’re looking to see how we can work with them to leverage them on the Web site,” she said. “We do have a core set of people that are submitting over 100 reviews, both good and bad. This is something that we’re putting on our roadmap, about how to leverage those prolific reviewers.”
I really like the approach that Bath & Body took. By limiting the original product reviews to one campaign, it made the campaign much more manageable. Also, by understanding the importance on these brand advocates and including them in future online marketing plans, they are strengthening the bond between the brand and its users even further.