eSpares.co.uk, the UK’s biggest electrical spare parts and accessories company, has launched ratings and reviews and customer-generated Q&A to help build consumer confidence in buying parts and fixing appliances.
The retailer stocks over 300,000 different product lines from 500 manufacturers, and receives over 450,000 unique visitors each month. eSpares appointed social commerce technology company Bazaarvoice to implement its Ratings & Reviews and customer-generated Ask & Answer platforms.
“We’ve always attracted avid DIYers, but as a result of the economic situation more people are looking to replace things themselves, to avoid the cost of calling an engineer out,” said Matt Henton, Marketing Director of eSpares. “We initially wanted to increase the amount of user-generated content on the site to increase credibility, but customer feedback is impacting across the whole business. One of the key things that reviews have done is help to improve the depth and quality of our product descriptions – we sell so many products and customers’ experiences help drive differentiation and clarity. When people buy from us it’s usually a ‘distress’ purchase, so they need to know they’re ordering the right item. Customer reviews clearly help increase buyer confidence.”
eSpares recently sent an email to all customers who’d bought products in the past 12 months and received 2,500 reviews back. The company sends a regular email a few weeks after product delivery, asking customers to provide product feedback.
Ask & Answer has already allowed eSpares.co.uk to pull a couple of product lines that weren’t performing well. The volume and content of questions has also prompted the company to employ a new staff member dedicated to monitoring in-coming questions and helping provide answers.
“We’ve just sourced another supplier for our universal dishwasher baskets after some less than positive feedback,” Henton continued.
“This is a great example of how, using customer feedback, a retailer can become customer-centric – that is putting customers at the heart of its business,” said Sam Decker, Bazaarvoice’s Chief Marketing Officer. “eSpares has already seen benefits across the board, from sourcing new manufacturers, realising the need for a dedicated staff member to answer queries, and using reviews to increase buyer confidence. Questions from customers have also forced manufacturers to look at their own literature and provide eSpares with better product descriptions.”
Bazaarvoice is a social commerce technology company. It helps over 290 brands globally including Boots, Halfords, Wickes, Thomas Cook, QVC and Boden to harness and amplify customer online word of mouth.
Bazaarvoice’s products - Ratings & Reviews™, Ask & Answer™ and Stories™ - are social commerce applications that drive sales. They enable customers to review products, ask and answer questions and share stories online; enhancing the online shopping experience and allowing them to make more informed and rewarding purchase decisions. Benefits for the retailer include content ownership, seamless customisation, increased search engine optimisation impact, advanced analytics and syndication across the web. Retailers can also leverage the content generated across on and offline marketing channels.
Founded in 2005, Bazaarvoice has offices in the UK, US, France and Singapore. The company was named in 2007’s Red Herring Global 100. The blog is at bazaarblog.com.