After establishing its business with natural products specialty stores and a select group of e-Commerce companies, the Seaweed Bath Co., a manufacturer, wholesaler and online retailer of seaweed-based skin, hair and personal care products, began to grow its business with larger retailers.
Leveraging consumer-generated content (CGC) in the form of online product reviews was a key component of the company’s strategy to build its brand in the mass market, so Seaweed Bath turned to Bazaarvoice to help collect authentic product reviews from consumers and distribute them to its retail customers.
In its first 10 months of working with Seaweed Bath, Bazaarvoice collected 100 reviews, which were distributed to a major retail partner. “Seaweed Bath collected and distributed three times as many reviews as were posted at the retailer’s web site (independently) during the same time period,” said Patrick Kilgore, Bazaarvoice Product Marketing Manager in an interview with Retail TouchPoints.
Since then, the number of customer reviews in the retailer’s e-Commerce store has roughly doubled.
“In working to build awareness out of the gate, the most important thing is to show and share feedback from customers,” said Kim Chisholm, CEO of The Seaweed Bath Co. in a statement.
34% Of Consumers Always Check Reviews Prior To Purchase
Just over one-third (34%) of consumers always check reviews before purchasing a product or service, and slightly less than one-half (48%) sometimes check reviews, according to a YouGov survey of more than 1,100 consumers conducted in May 2017. Only 6% of respondents never read online reviews.
Online customer reviews also have a growing influence on in-store sales. A Bazaarvoice study of shoppers who Research Online, Buy Offline (ROBO) indicates that the frequency with which CGC influenced offline purchases increased from 39% in 2016 to 45% in 2017.
Bazaarvoice solicits genuine customer reviews by sending samples to consumer influencers and engaging with them to contribute content. Product sampling has been an effective way to collect reviews and feedback for the company’s new products, said Allison Grossman, Co-Founder and Marketing Director for Seaweed Bath, but the company also leverages the “passionate brand advocates” it has gained organically.
“Through online reviews and social media, we identified fans of our brand who have a vested interest in our products,” she said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “When we reached out to them, these advocates were more than happy to share their experiences and product feedback without us having to offer them any free products or incentives.”
By making sure customer reviews are in place when a product launches, Bazaarvoice’s Brand Edge gives an item a head start with consumers who are not yet familiar with it. The reviews also provide brands with “valuable qualitative feedback from your customers,” Kilgore said. “That information has been crucial to the way Seaweed Bath informed its product development strategy. Additionally, the brand incorporates some of the review copy into imagery and social media marketing to amplify the voices of happy customers.”