Harnessing the power of word-of-mouth, online camera and electronics retailer Abe’s of Maine has integrated new site search capability that has increased e-Commerce site usability via customer feedback and user reviews. As a result of these enhancements, Abe’s of Maine reported that 20% of site search users are now choosing to browse user reviews; and that number is growing.
Not only are today’s shoppers more selective when searching topics and products of interest, but they want access to the product and service reviews and ratings submitted by other shoppers. In an effort to enhance the company-to-consumer relationship, more retailers are enabling customer feedback on their sites.
As social media channels continue to dominate online activity, the availability of consumer input tactics is critical for eTailers. Research shows that by 2014, a majority (53%) of total retail sales (online and offline) will be affected by the web, as consumers increasingly use the Internet to research prior to purchase, according to the Forrester Research report titled Double-Digit Growth For Online Retail.
Tapping technology from SLI Systems, an on-demand solutions provider for site-search, Abe’s of Maine added a “Click to Browse by User Feedback” toolbar at the top of its site search results to help shoppers find relevant reviews about items of interest. Additionally, Abe’s of Maine deployed Review Champion, a joint solution from SLI Systems and PowerReviews, designed to add search and filtering capabilities to online user reviews, and also help increase organic search traffic from reviews. The toolbar leverages PowerReviews’ structured reviews to help shoppers make more informed purchase decisions by grouping reviews based on product and reviewer attributes.
In May 2011, Abe’s of Maine reported increased sales and profits a result of enhancing the customer experience for online consumers. The company increased web site conversion by 9.3% and noted approximately 1.3 additional sales for every thousand web site visitors.
“Research is very important to our shoppers — they rely on our site to help them identify which products are best suited to their needs,” said Sarah Marcus, Marketing Director, Abe’s of Maine. “By bringing user reviews into search, we can encourage customers to spend more time on our site, which leads to improved conversions.”