Integrating Customer Reviews into our Cart

Several months back I built an email follow-up system for Detailed Image that sends an email to our customers two weeks after their purchase.  In addition to checking in with them to see if they received their products in a timely manner, it also asks them to write a product review for each product they ordered.  The email provides direct links to the product review pages for the specific products.

However, the reviews were intentionally buried a bit on the site.  We wanted to have a substantial amount before making them part of the buying process, as so many successful e-commerce sites do these days.  In addition to the reviews, we also needed a way to convey any detailing packages we sell that included the item the customer was looking at.  For example, if you’re buying a wax it’s helpful to know the various packages we offer that include that wax and other supplementary items.  It makes the customer more aware of what we have available in relation to the product they’re looking for, which hopefully leads to them making a better purchasing decision.

So we mimicked the “tab” format that sites like CircuitCity.com and Newegg use so well:

Detailed Image Tabs

We’re hoping that changes like this improve the buying process for the customer and in turn increase our conversion rate.  I’ll be implementing the same feature – with a few modifications – tomorrow on Tastefully Driven.

Certainly not a major overhaul, but just another example of micro-innovating, constantly improving our sites and our business.   It also helps lay the groundwork for the complete shopping cart overhaul that we’re looking to do at some point in ’09.

5 comments on Integrating Customer Reviews into our Cart

  1. nethy says:

    Hi Adam,

    Looks like a good feature. I like the tabs. Well done.
    Discussions, products reviews & such are nice in that they give you an asset. I know that I research on Amazon for the reviews.

    “We’re hoping that changes like this improve the buying process for the customer and in turn increase our conversion rate.”

    What’s a conversion in this context? A review or a sale?

  2. Adam McFarland says:

    Good question. To clarify, a conversion would be a sale. My logic being that the reviews – almost all positive for most of our products – will influence customers who are on the fence about buying.

  3. nethy says:

    I wonder what dollar amount one might put on a review?

  4. Adam McFarland says:

    Now that’s an interesting question 🙂

    If reviews increase sales, there’s obviously some dollar amount one could place on each review.

    The hard part is to gather the data to find what that # is. You’d have to do a lot of split testing with the product page (with/without reviews) and gather substantial data. Then place some value based on the increase in revenue/profit because of having the reviews there.

    At that point you could offer customers a credit for each review they write.

    Now that you mention it, this is a pretty interesting idea…

  5. nethy says:

    Ye. It’s interesting.
    I’ve been thinking about that sort of thing. But nailing down value is very hard. Also because a 1st comment is more valuable then a second.
    I’m not sure if rewarding a regular comment is the best idea. But rewarding regular contributors might be an advantage. Maybe even a whole karma system.

    But I definitely think that community is an asset, in some way. I like that it’s direct with your users as opposed to SEO which is direct with an algorithm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Commenting Rules

I'm honored that you found this post interesting enough to leave a comment. Before posting, I have a few ground rules:

  • Please keep your comments as relevant to the post as possible.
  • No personal attacks or any other nastiness.
  • Your first comment is subject to my approval.

Thanks!