The shape of ecommerce today is not what anyone would have predicted three years ago. Recent events have propelled it forward at such a pace that businesses have really had to up their game, adapting to increased demand, increased competition, and a whole new world of consumer expectation. As an online merchant or DTC brand, the challenges you’ll face in the coming months call for just as much creativity.
For 2022, it’s about trust and authenticity. You need to rethink your acquisition strategy, offer a unique customer experience whilst respecting privacy, and finding ways to engage your audience in the burgeoning realm of social commerce.
In this post, the team at REVIEWS.io share their insights on the key challenges ahead, and how review collection provides solutions you might not just have thought of.
Challenge 1: The rising cost of customer acquisition
Solution: Focus on long-term brand building
With more brands fighting for ad space and a tightening of privacy laws, it’s now more expensive than ever before to drive new customers to your Shopify Plus store. It’s a pinch most brands have already felt, with research showing a 15% rise in CPC between Q2 and Q3 in 2021. There is, of course, still value to be had from a robust ads strategy, but more sustainable growth can be achieved by investing in a brand community.
This long term approach focuses on what today’s consumers crave – a sense of belonging, shared values and experiences. Rather than being drawn in by the brand with the highest bid on their search term, they’re looking for something to connect with, to be acknowledged, and to be rewarded for their custom.
Your review strategy plays a big part in the shaping of these communities. Customer feedback helps cement your brand identity, showing the values you promote really do translate to your products and service. It also gives browsers something to relate to, as they see their own wants and needs met in the experience of others. And by turning review content into dynamic, branded visuals, you can use the voice of your biggest advocates to grow your community through social campaigns.
That sense of belonging can be promoted through reward – and by integrating your review solution with a loyalty platform. Offering redeemable points in return for feedback shows how much you value customer opinion, and strengthens the bond between brand and consumer.
It’s an approach fashion label Apéro took with its Apéro Spritz Club. This cleverly implemented reward programme issues points not just for reviews, but for purchases, birthdays, social media follows and referrals. Designed to engage throughout the entire customer lifecycle, the brand estimates an additional $68,000 AUD in revenue was generated in the first 12 months of the Apéro Spritz Club.
What your community looks like, and how it’s built, will be unique to your brand, but the end result is universal – a strong identity, increased loyalty and customer lifetime value, and acquisition through advocacy.
Challenge 2: Personalisation without third-party data
Solution: Optimise the on-site experience
There’s quite a conundrum facing ecommerce brands in 2022 – consumers want an increasingly personalised experience, but they also want greater privacy. And Google’s response to the latter means saying goodbye to third-party cookies and the data they generate.
Rather than seeing this as a barrier to personalisation, look at it as an opportunity to improve your strategy. After all, how ‘personal’ actually are cross-site retargeting ads? By optimising the on-site experience of your Shopify Plus store, you can cater to individual needs in a far more considered way. And review content can help.
Review attributes – When it comes to personalisation, the greatest challenge in ecommerce is replicating the unique experience customers get by shopping in-store. We’ve been so preoccupied with browsing activity we’ve forgotten that actually, to make it personal, we need to make sure that what they buy from us meets their needs.
That’s where review attributes come in. They give a customer deeper insight as to how well a product met the needs of someone like them. How true to size does this item fit a person of a similar height and build? Does it stack up in terms of performance for what I’ll be using it for? These questions are personal, and you can answer them by adding attributes to your review collection strategy.
Relatable UGC – When you start collecting photo and video reviews, you give the customer authentic, relatable content. They can physically see a product in use, in much the same way they’d use it themselves – and that’s another aspect of the personal that has so far been absent from personalisation.
It’s all about giving them relevant detail, improving their knowledge of how a product would fit into their life, and helping them envisage their own post-purchase experience.
Review translation – This is one for the brands selling, or looking to sell, internationally. And with the way ecommerce is evolving, that’s likely a high percentage.
We know that review content plays a significant role in the buyer journey. As such, that content should be accessible to everyone – and in their language of choice. You can achieve this by integrating a translation tool with your review solution.
The whole process is automated, based on a visitor’s geo-location. In one sense, review translation gives everyone the same experience, but in another it makes it all the more personal, because you’ve considered the preferences of that visitor as an individual.
Challenge 3: The battle ground of social commerce
Solution: Implement a killer content strategy
As purchases made directly through social media continue to rise (at a rate that expects social commerce to have nearly tripled by 2025), more brands will be pulling the likes of Facebook, Instagram and TikTok into their omnichannel approach. The problem for many will be finding ways to stand out in a crowded space.
Your content strategy is key here, and since we know consumers respond more to UGC than brand-generated content, there’s all the more reason to focus on review collection.
One social commerce technique is to use photo reviews to create shoppable posts. These images are seen as trustworthy, draw greater engagement, and are more cost-effective than continual photo shoots. Why spend time editing to perfection when customers much prefer authenticity?
But where the real power lies is with video. This is the preferred way of consuming content, and the medium of choice for the social savvy shopper. In fact, a recent Shopify report found that 46% of consumers look for product videos before making a purchase. And because they’re also looking for authenticity, video reviews are your greatest asset.
These user-generated snapshots bring products to life through genuine customer experiences, adding real value to your social commerce content strategy.
Implementing your review strategy
The review space has evolved just as much as ecommerce over the past couple of years, and with the right solution, you can use review content to assist with so many parts of your growth strategy. It’s not just about displaying star ratings on your Shopify Plus store. It’s about community spirit, catering to the individual, and connecting through authentic experiences.
Essentially, it’s about finding creative ways to meet the demands of today’s exacting consumers, and establishing yourself as a cut above the competition.
If you want to chat further about your reviews strategy or would like to integrate REVIEWS.io on your Shopify Plus store, get in touch with our team of ecommerce experts today.
REVIEWS.io is a google licensed platform that allows clients to grow their online reputation through authentic reviews. They offer a seamless integration with a multitude of different shop platforms and other ecommerce services in order to maximise your customers’ engagement and confidence. Utilising our tools will allow you to collect your customers’ photos and videos, which can be integrated into your marketing campaigns ensuring an authentic and trustworthy tool, to drive up conversion rates.