As consumers spend more time on social channels, social media integration and building customer engagement has become a major component for eTailers. One way to accomplish this goal is to motivate customers to post and follow reviews on e-Commerce sites, which can help retailers gain additional traffic.
Advance Auto Parts, an automotive aftermarket retailer, sought to generate this integration and engagement by incorporating PowerReviews’ Social Loyalty and Customer Reviews management tool into its company web site. By doing so, Advance Auto Parts dominated its social channels competitors in terms of customer engagement and became the Number One online auto parts dealer on Facebook, according to Howard Blumenthal, E-Commerce Platform Solutions Director for Advance Auto Parts.
During a recent webinar titled, “Advance Auto Parts Tunes Up Their Social Commerce With PowerReviews,” Blumenthal discussed how the company encouraged customers to share photos of recent purchases and product reviews, which can drive more sales through social media. He said that the PowerReviews implementation in 2009 helped Advance Auto Parts gain approximately 55,000 reviews ― a 700% average yearly growth in reviews ― and a quick retailer-to-customer question response rate of less than 24 hours.
In addition to this growth, the PowerReviews tool helped Advance Auto Parts achieve a 141% growth in reviews posted to Facebook. “It’s all about getting people more engaged and thinking of us as top-of-mind,” said Blumenthal.
The online retailer now is the leading multichannel auto parts dealer, “due to the fast implementation and easy customizability of the PowerReviews software,” said Blumenthal, and has increased customer engagement levels while exposing its products to a larger audience.
In the webinar, Blumenthal noted three major insights that surfaced during the company’s social commerce process, and which Advance Auto Parts addressed successfully through customer engagement:
Customers are utilizing mobile to research products in-store;
The Q&A functionality is extremely important; and
Customers are passionate about their rides.
Gamification Encourages Sharing And Reviews
PowerReviews’ Social Loyalty and Customer Reviews platform features gamification techniques, such as the online Leader Board, which Advance Auto Parts launched in February 2012. By the end of May 2012, the board already had more than 13,000 followers. Through the Leader Board, page visitors can receive points based on the products and product categories discussed and shared on their personal Facebook pages, noted Blumenthal. In addition, to follow ongoing comments on areas of interest, page visitors can subscribe to reviews either on selected products and/or by individual members of the community. Other gamification techniques included in PowerReviews’ Social Loyalty and Customer Reviews tool include ranking community members based on the amount of votes they receive from other users.
Using gamification helps page visitors share within their known networks ― those with whom they directly interact on their personal Facebook pages ― and allows them to reach out to other members in the web site community, Blumenthal stated.
He said that rewarding the most passionate customers “encourages them to share. It drives stickiness, sales and repeat customers, while creating valuable social content.”
He added, “We’ve seen how important reviews are to our customers: People will often come into our stores requesting things that were highly reviewed online.”
Blumenthal underscored the importance of simplicity in social sharing options: “We found that the easier it is for customers to share their advocacy, the more they’re willing to do so.”