Reviews Reimagined: What You’ll Need to Know in 2023 to Maximize Conversions

Nov 16, 2022 3:00 PM4:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways:

eCommerce businesses are always looking for content that does not require constant ad spend. As budgets shrink and more conversions are required, brands need content that continues to promote products in the background. Few content streams function this way, but leveraging reviews might just be a great solution.

Many partner companies offer a host of marketing services for digital brands including strategic product reviews. These reviews and similar content are able to provide authenticity, information, and trust for potential customers. Best of all, this method can continue to reap rewards without additional investment. So are reviews the right tool for your brand?

In this virtual event, Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson hosts Alex Yedibalian of Cohley and Mat Bingham of Okendo to discuss the merits and challenges of reimagining reviews for eCommerce brands. They talk about how brands can leverage reviews for the holiday season and how to utilize the resulting data. They also touch on getting reviews before a product launch, why brands should syndicate them, and how they generate conversions.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Collecting more specific reviews for better data
  • How to benefit on the backend of holiday sales
  • The reason you should gather reviews before launch
  • Are preview products worth it for high-cost goods?
  • Creating conversions without additional ad-spend
  • High-impact reviews and how they work
  • Why syndicating reviews makes such a difference
  • The positive outcome of negative reviews
  • What is zero party data and how can brands use it?
  • The importance of showing moments of humanity as a business
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Event Partners


Okendo is a customer marketing platform that empowers brands to turn one-off transactions into ongoing relationships by better understanding customer preferences and behaviors, delivering more personalized experiences and enabling customer advocacy.


Cohley is a content generation and testing platform that helps brands create content for social ads, email marketing, websites, and more.

Connect with Cohley

Guest Speakers

Alex Yedibalian LinkedIn

Senior Account Executive at Cohley

Alex Yedibalian is the Senior Account Executive of Cohley, a content marketing platform that specializes in user-generated content, visual asset creation, and text review generation. He has built up experience in commerce and sales through leading positions at Bazaarvoice and BeerMenus. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Dickinson College, including an internship at UBS.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson LinkedIn

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Mat Bingham LinkedIn

Head of Technology Partnerships at Okendo

Mat Bingham is the Head of Technology Partnerships at Okendo, where he handles their tech program strategy and partnership agreements. He has worked in accounts and partnership direction for almost a decade, developing expertise in sales and marketing. Before Okendo, Mat worked at ShipBob, Inc., Justuno, and Intuit Demandforce.

Event Moderator

Alex Yedibalian LinkedIn

Senior Account Executive at Cohley

Alex Yedibalian is the Senior Account Executive of Cohley, a content marketing platform that specializes in user-generated content, visual asset creation, and text review generation. He has built up experience in commerce and sales through leading positions at Bazaarvoice and BeerMenus. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Dickinson College, including an internship at UBS.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson LinkedIn

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Mat Bingham LinkedIn

Head of Technology Partnerships at Okendo

Mat Bingham is the Head of Technology Partnerships at Okendo, where he handles their tech program strategy and partnership agreements. He has worked in accounts and partnership direction for almost a decade, developing expertise in sales and marketing. Before Okendo, Mat worked at ShipBob, Inc., Justuno, and Intuit Demandforce.

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Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Senior Digital Strategist Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

Schedule a free consultation call

Discussion Transcription

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  0:00  

Hi. I'm Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson, I'm a digital strategist at BWG Connect. And for those that don't know, we are a network and knowledge sharing group, we stay on top of the latest trends, challenges, whatever it is, that is shaping the digital landscape that we all love. We are on track to do at least 500 of these webinars this year due to the increase in demand better understand everything in the digital space, we will be doing at least 100 dinners this year as well. So if you happen to be in a tier one city, always feel free to shoot us an email and we'll send you an invite zonings are typically 15 to 20 people having a roundtable discussion around a specific digital topic. And it's always really fun. I definitely encourage it. It's from those conversations that we generate the ideas that we get that we want to know people want to learn more about, and the content for webinars such as this. And it's also where we gain our residents, such as colleagues, and Okendo who are with us today. So welcome you vote. Anybody that we asked to speak to the collective community has come highly recommended for multiple brands. So if you're ever in need of any recommendations within the digital space, feel free to drop me a line at, we can get some time on the calendar and we have a short list of the best of the best. And I'd love to provide that information for you. Also, if you happen to be hiring right now, do note that we do have a talent agency at BWG Talent that we can put you in contact with as well. So with that we have a few housekeeping items, we started about three or four minutes after the hour, we're going to wrap up at least five minutes before the end of the hour. have ample time for you to get to your next destination point, meaning whatever it needs to be. And also most importantly, we want this to be fun, educational, conversational. So you have questions, comments, experiences, anything you want to share, put them into the chat, put them in the q&a. If you feel more comfortable, you can always email me, And we will be sure to them. So with that let's rock and roll and talk about reviews. reimagine what you need to know for 2023. So the team that Cohley and special guests I know have been awesome partners of the network that I'm going to kick it off to you both stuff and they'll be we'll start diving into them coming. Awesome. Thanks so much, Tiffany.


Alex Yedibalian  2:34  

So my name is Alex. I'm a county executive over here at Cohley. But prior to Cohley having been very ingrained in the review space worked at BizarreVoice and so for all of you might be familiar product sampling itself, as well as syndicating reviews out to retailers displaying those on your website. And now as on the quality side of things, being able to work with many providers, such as some of our great partners over at Okendo. And so having had an opportunity to really work quite a bit in the review space and very excited to talk about it from a few different perspectives that hopefully give you a little bit more than you might be able to find just generally out there on a blog post.


Mat Bingham  3:13  

Yeah, thank you. Yeah. My name is Mat Bingham manage tech partnerships here at Okendo been an eCommerce for about 12 years in a variety of channels and Okendo for almost a year now. And really what I liked about Okendo is we're ratings and review platform for DTC brands on Shopify, we actually just launched a new product as well. It's called Okendo connect, it's actually a survey tool that can help you collect more zero party data. So yeah, I'm really excited to join the panel and talk about better ways to grow your business in 2023.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  3:49  

Thank you both fantastic. So thinking about 2023 Again, can't believe it and I also can't believe next week is Thanksgiving then we go into the cyber five. And for 10 years previously before coming to BWG I was instructor eCommerce. So the week before the storm, so I feel you all that are on this call right now like this is this is Game Day coming up. And then think about all of that traction you're gonna get in those five days in the next two weeks before the holidays and shipping cutoff times and once that attraction happens. Now we wait to review the reviews and we go out there five star plus right so it's like what should everybody on the call I guess they're thinking about now and when everybody is in the grind of we're going higher getting ready for execution of cyber five that post of like how do you get those reviews are rolling in the right direction?


Mat Bingham  4:50  

You want me to start out so I guess I can jump? Yeah. So you know like you said we're what last minute you know opportunities here right before Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Someday, you're going to have an influx of traffic. And you're going to have a lot of people purchasing from you. And really one of the things that we always kind of like champion for a lot of our merchants is really focusing on the review collection process. And then in that process actually asking for additional, I guess, customer or product attributes of your customers. So instead of just trying to collect maybe something along the lines of like, great shirt, five stars, which is still a valuable review, don't get me wrong. But you know, can do you can actually customize some attributes on that submission process where you can ask them about their age range. If you're like a skincare brand, like what type of skin you have, is it dry, oily, or dry or oily? How often do you purchase it and those data points on the review submission process can be super valuable to, you know, everyone knows how the landscape of paid media is changing, you know, you want a personalized war one to one relationships with your customers. And the best way to do that is through zero party data collection. So if you are getting this influx of orders over the next, you know, two weeks, and you have a good review strategy in place for collecting more reviews, maybe take the extra layer of asking the that reviewer to give you a couple extra data points about themselves. So that one you know more about that person, but to taking that data. So you can personalize more of your email marketing or your SMS campaigns a little bit more personalized approach that can help with like that second purchase or making them more part of your brand's community. So yeah, I think that's something brands could start looking at in December and start enabling at the beginning of the year. And that could be some pretty easy win to help you start growing your business quickly.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  6:44  

That's that's a great idea of a fact of taking that opportunity to get some personalized data, because we talked to 30 40 brands a week, top of mind for everybody is that personalization. But is the customer journey? How do I get that data when they don't want me to follow them? How? So with that? Just a simple question. Like you said, you can get 123 different data points, and be able to better understand your customer without spending oodles of money trying to figure out who they are. And you still might not know. Yeah, exactly. Very cool. Alex, I think that.


Alex Yedibalian  7:22  

Yeah, I mean, I think when you're boiling it down to what you can do right now, because a lot of what we'll end up talking about is a little bit more focused on 2023, with a concept of how you can on your own control and generate reviews. If we're thinking about in the immediate here, how can you benefit from holidays and thinking about it from a reviews perspective, you can kind of boil it down to exactly what Mat was saying, like, collect and quality, if you can do some things to have people speak to either who they are so that other customers can see what had customers with oily skin also say about this and make sure that this product is great for me. But then you'll also benefit from that information. So can you be asking a little bit more to get that much more valuable of a review that then turns into the next person coming in actually buying? Because it answered their questions. And so what can you do about quality, and then the idea of just collecting in the first place, you have that increase in traffic? So ask also, if you feel like you're not doing you're not getting a great collection right now. Could you tweak when you're sending that email? Could you send a second email and try something if you're not seeing what you're liking, but both of those things ended up applying very, very much so and when you're trying to generate them, but right now collect quality. And I feel like if you can focus on those two things, you'll get some nice wins in the here and now. And then you're turning your attention to a slightly different strategy, when you have the time and space to be creating them on your own moving forward.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  8:51  

So then thinking about that strategy moving forward in tandem, but that was immediate, of pointers that we mentioned for the next two weeks. What the How much should we be thinking about for 2023?


Alex Yedibalian  9:08  

Yeah, I mean, we're 2023 Like, especially anybody in new you New Year kind of space in industry, were imagining you're launching products, or you've got some very critical ones that are always coming in and going to be big and potentially has a lot of competition as well for 2023. Like, it's the primary reason we're having this conversation now just before Black Friday so that you have the time to be able to make the moves to put yourself and your business in a really great position in 2023 Knowing that the economic landscape might be a little bit uncertain, but that's why we're talking about reviews because if people are going to be thinking more about what they're purchasing why they're purchasing it, there's no better investment than answering those questions in the way that they trust the most by Random normal other customers. And so that's with those ratings and reviews. And realistically, when people are thinking about what they can be doing for 2023 is product launches, launching with the right amount of reviews, we can get into some of those numbers. But like product launches, number one, launching with 50 lodging with 100 reviews can completely change the game for how that those products perform for you. And then any of those really critical ones. When we think about what might be most important for those always on product your hero skews, how recent are those reviews, six months old, people aren't going to be taking that very seriously. So making sure that those reviews are are up to date, are high quality. And so if you focus on where you're getting the most traffic, or the products you have launching, you focus on those two places, there can be some really big gains to have in 2023 coming right out of the gate tapping into what customers need to know in order to purchase and, and then once you've also generated those reviews, you have an amazing reviews collection provider or display provider like Okendo, and then as those purchases are happening, on top of the reviews you generated, now you're collecting all this amazing organic stuff on top of it and you have two pieces working together, you can you control a portion of it. And then you get all this added benefit from having the right partner to collect those reviews. And now you've got two pieces working very, very well together. And it kind of just snowballs from there with a bit of a rinse and repeat throughout the year.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  11:29  

Awesome, friendly reminder, anybody if you have any questions, comments, put them in the job q&a. I'm looking at the product launch. So I think that's a great way to maximize reviews and from my own personal experience is in theory, can you get the reviews before the inventory even enters warehouse?


Alex Yedibalian  11:48  

And that's actually it's an amazing question, because we work with this with a lot of brands on this all the time. So I mean, this is very much where the quality element comes in Okendo and all great reviews provide like Okendo able to collect after the purchase occurs. But when we're thinking about that product review, how do we get that 50 or that 100 So that people buy so that you then collect those reviews. And if we're talking about a product where you're getting the full experience from a sample, you can also be sending out samples to the Cohley community in order for them to experience that product. And then write that reviews so that the day that that launch is on your website or the day that that launch is at retail, you've already got a number of reviews that people feel very confident that it's a great product, or it's the product for me. But being able to have a partner where you can either send that full experience product, or that sample, in order to generate those reviews in advance is the linchpin because I mean, one thing that I would recommend anybody kind of thinking about where might I fall? And what might I need from a review standpoint, think about maybe your top two or three competitors. And check out what their products look like on retail, or what their products look like on their website. And it will give you kind of a good proxy of if your customer saw that one. Or if that customer, your customer, potential customers saw yours? Which way would they lean? Especially if they'd be new, and they don't have that brand affinity just yet. And that can give you a really good idea of where you'd stand. But if you don't have product in hand, but you have samples, that can be a really cost effective way to get to where you want to be prior to inventory coming in,


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  13:31  

in the door. And it's such a gift that keeps on giving. Because one, if all those amazing reviews, you're helping your supply chain, which we all know is still a big challenge, it's going to be a big challenge through 2023. And you helping your Forecasting team, I can already see that some of the community is really loving this product, you may want to already put on a reorder before you've even gotten your initial shipment and to see the ball rolling. And then I can also imagine the product development team. And Mat maybe you can leverage this to as you see clients leveraging that Intel of like what used to be put people in a room like a focus group. Tell me how much you love this product. Now you can take those keywords from the reviews and provide it to


Mat Bingham  14:17  

ADT. Yeah, you know, we have to kind of differentiators with attributes. There's always like customer individual attributes that you collect on the review. But you can also ask the reviewer with an Okendo review requests to say, you know, was this product True to Size did what was the quality? And you can take that stuff back and really, you know, I think that first and foremost helps new people that are looking at this product kind of aligned decisions like Oh, I really liked these gym shorts because a lot of people are saying that they're really good high quality and true to size. But if you're getting some like product attributes back in the review process that can help you know make iterations to your product. If you use that information. It's kind of like a The general, you know, consensus that you're getting from all your reviews, and you can take that information and maybe enhance a product or maybe come up with new ideas. So, you know, I think it's really kind of a great way to kind of build upon your business. And you know, what Alex mentioned earlier about the samples and having some reviews as part of that process of the launch. I love that idea. I think it's definitely something that we noticed that if you have a PDP page with only like three reviews, sometimes people don't even interact with that review, display. But if you have a few that you can enable right off the bat, after some samples and some review collection, then you know, you're just going to set yourself up. So yeah, we always try to say, limit the number of attributes that you ask for both customer and product wise, but that's a great part about oh, cannabis, you can customize it to whatever needs you want, in terms of the review collection process, and then how you display or use that data is really set up to the merchant at the end of the day.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  16:02  

At the end, a couple of questions coming in here. So what is the best platform to collect reviews that isn't your website? Example, Google, Facebook, etc? And how do you make them convert into qualified leads?


Mat Bingham  16:17  

Yeah, for us, you know, we have integrations with like Clavio, attentive postscript. And usually kind of a mixture of sending email and SMS requests to like an individual customer. So I buy a t shirt on a site, you send me an email, they don't respond with that review request in a few days, then you send me like an SMS. And it's kind of a good way to differentiate and have multiple touch points while you're asking for that review request. And then we also ask a lot of our reviewers to add additional like UGC or photos or videos with their collection. And you can actually incentivize people for that review submission. So hey, here's a 10% coupon off your next purchase, if you submit a review with like a photo or something like that, but email and SMS are usually the best channel that we've seen.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  17:08  

Awesome. Another question. And he says, when the product is a large example, vehicle, I price point when samples aren't a possibility. That's it. That's an interesting one. The only thing Alex


Alex Yedibalian  17:24  

or I was gonna say that, that's, that's one of those areas where I mean, to an extent the the idea of being able to do product sampling, I mean, if you're doing a $15,000 couch, not going to be the ideal scenario to be able to send and ship and do that, realistically, the primary areas where this is going to be valuable, and honestly still can be high price point items, because one of the things that I feel like sometimes in talking with people is having a better idea of cost of goods like landed essentially, what was the what is the cost of your good $1,000 sunglass can actually be an amazingly valuable thing to potentially get reviews for, because if that was $20 cost to actually produce, but you're retailing it at that thing. So at a certain point at a certain size for shipping, especially, and then just general cost to produce that good reviews is going to be less of an option for you. But I would also say that not looking at maybe a retail price, but thinking more about what does that cost to generate or create that product, because then there can be some amazing opportunities, if you have great spread more on the luxury side, from what that retail price ends up being.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  18:36  



Mat Bingham  18:38  

I think items with like, super high value, by the you have to kind of take, especially if it's a product launch, I think that's kind of the theme we're doing here. But you know, it's really more important of like building trust and community with that person. Like, I'm not going to click through a Facebook ad and drop down my credit card on a $3,000 couch, right like, but if you ask me for my email address, and then you like send me content about that couch or like maybe something on like a community of like people who have bought this couch or something similar and helped me kind of get over that threshold of trust, because I might not be able to physically touch something like a couch. But you can tell me about like other people who've bought similar items or like, why they value your brand a lot. And it's going to take multiple touchpoints to get you to that point where like, I'm going to take that leap of a purchase. So I would say for people like that, like grab an email or SMS, you can use a survey tool like us we have not just a static one time survey, we can actually do like in moments survey questions like throughout the visitor journey on site or, you know, during the visitor experience and you know, ask them questions like Are you shopping now? Like, what's your timeframe? Are you looking for certain like fabric and help create better customer profiles for you to then again, market towards me with like, relevant information. I think it's just more about building in community with like larger ticket items, because it's a big decision for a lot of people, especially in these economic times, so you have to really create a better trust one to one with that person. And that is usually done through like personalization and data collection that you get on that person.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  20:16  

Great points. Awesome. Looking at 2023 and thinking, okay, budgets, I make an assumption will be tighter, that will be maxed less bandwidth, like, there's a lot of different digital channels and content types of business to invest in. Why should an organization focus and invest in review? Yeah, I mean,


Alex Yedibalian  20:40  

for us, like it's a, it's a, especially when we think about in the context of the economic, a potential economic landscape to have that people are less excited about is really boils down to that ratings. And reviews are the only form of content that once you've generated it, simply by placing it on that website, or wherever that place is that you want it to be without any additional spend, it's going to increase the amount of people who come to that product or see that product or come to your website. And it's then also going to convert that traffic at a higher rate. And so this ties into some of those critical pieces we talk about when thinking about reviews, and where the value of tapping a partner to like actually generate them is because the quality of a review, or review just says awesome product, other than it doesn't really help the person once they see it. Also, when people are searching on Google, or looking on different places to try and find the product to fit the need. They're typing in things that in a quality review would say, This helped me solve such a critical problem in this way. And I love it so much as a result. And so when you have all of those words, typed in 10s of or hundreds of reviews, that product is getting shown on Google in search results, that product is popping up in different places. And so more people see it, when you have that quality review. And then once they're showing up, then they're converting because they see 150 reviews, 4.8 stars, and then I can filter for my hair type my skin type my weight, and answer the question of Is This the product for me, and so you're gonna get found more often. And then that increase in traffic is also going to convert higher without any additional spend. There's no other form of content that can offer that. Plus, when things get better, you also it's the foundation, it's the foundation of the a strong digital presence. And so you're building something that really sets you up for both being healthy now. And then potentially explosive when when things are really coming back. And that's where we see the opportunity right


Mat Bingham  22:48  

now. Yeah, I think those are all great and valid points. And I think, you know, sometimes I kind of take a different approach and more layman's approach. And I kind of think about like myself as a consumer, like, how often do you read reviews when you book an airline, book a hotel, go out to eat. Same thing is with like eCommerce, when you're buying online, like, if I'm buying a new jacket for the winter season, when I'm going to be freezing in New York and Boston later this year. You know, I'm gonna read reviews on people that have maybe similar attributes. And that's where we kind of promote to people is like, when you have good attribute collection, I can go into like a snow jacket site, look for tall people over six feet that have a similar build, and see what they've said about that product. And I think that creates a level of trust, when I'm reading those type of things. And I think that really helps, again, with people aligning their purchase decision around the similar attributes of other people like them. So you know, Alex also mentioned a great thing around, it's a great SEO tactic, it's a great way to build your brand. And it just kind of compounds and snowballs over the course of the year if you're doing it consistently throughout. From January wine all the way to Black Friday, just think about how many reviews you can collect from your existing purchasers. And like all that data that you have collected on them, and then how you can leverage it next season. When you market you know, new product launches or different sales, you can personalize messages to them. We've also seen even with that type of collection, like putting reviews in social proof into like emails or SMS campaigns or even if you put them in your paid ads, they have a really high click through rate or engagement rate compared to non review display. So an example is like you run a Facebook ad with a review that's like embedded into the image. People click on it more than they would versus you know, just a normal paid ads. So like I think the psychology around reviews is interesting. I think people trust the masses a lot more. And I think that's just something that can kind of help kind of bridge the gap during uncertain times. You And Mat,


Alex Yedibalian  25:01  

Mat's I found something really, that we also are huge proponents of because in a potentially thriftier budget world, that what I was explaining was the traditional use of these reviews. But then you own these reviews, you own these amazing, legitimate authentic descriptions of your product that you can then bring anywhere, or turn into another medium, maybe you spin that up into a video testimonial, or you overlay it on an ad. But in addition to all the things that will do just on its own, without you essentially literally having to touch it at all, then you have all of this rich information and content that you can bring anywhere and do so many things with. And so if you need to take one thing and turn it into four great things, there might be few, there might be few things better than a really robust five star review. And so investing in that as that foundation, and then all the places it can go is, in some ways limitless. And so that's again, where we're seeing that opportunity in 2023 Regardless of how things are trending.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  26:06  

Yeah, it's so 2.0 I was thinking back of like the days and trying to get a review and you got five star and like, champagne wand. But that is not good enough anymore. Like now you got to level up. And it is better all around. I mean, it's such a better consumer experience. And with this qualify them as a high impact review. They keep hearing more about high impact reviews. And like what what does that exactly mean?


Mat Bingham  26:36  

Yeah, I think a high impact review for us is really like if you're able to collect multiple attributes, it is an optional fields for some of the setups that we have with our merchants. But if you can collect some text around their experience, and then they fill out two or three attributes, and then they give you like a photo or video like those have way bigger impact than it would just be like a basic five star really cool shirt. Like, I think consumers again, like myself, like when I read those reviews, I kind of skim past it. But if there's a video of somebody, like in a snowboarding jacket, like on top of a mountain, I might look at it and kind of get a better feel of like how it looks out in the wild. Right. So I think those are kind of high impact reviews. I don't know, what's your thoughts there, Alex?


Alex Yedibalian  27:22  

I mean, we kind of boil it down to two pieces of kind of like, who is they? And what do they need to know. So like, who's your customer? And so the exactly what you're saying like, if you are a if your jacket that has sizes for people above six foot and then you're trying to genuinely attract that person like to be able to filter for above six foot or six foot to six, five, something like that. So who's your customer? Can I filter for me? And then when I can filter for me? Or the question, can I get my questions answered about my hair, my skin, my whatever those things are that are about your, your who that customer is and so like, but to like boil it down into be more action was like, Can your reviews answer your customers three biggest questions, and can your customer find themselves in your reviews, and if so, like, you're in a really, really great place. And this is where one of those pieces from the reviews generation piece where something like a colleague can help out with talking about like, here's the things we want to talk about. You can't tell people what to say about things. But like, here's the things that we want to focus on or being able to have them fill out that form as a part of the reviews creation piece. And once you have more of that type of review, that many more people are also going to be filling out your own candle review that says the exact same things because if you see it, it's that much easier to get people to do it. As opposed to if you have people doing freeform, and now you're going to try and get them to do something much more long form, it can be a little bit more difficult. So if your first 50 include all this stuff, it becomes that much easier to generate more and more of that type of good content. And that's where generation plus collection works hand in hand to just keep getting information from my customers about my customers and what they need to know to


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  29:11  

find new customers. Awesome, friendly reminder, anybody ask questions, comments, put them into the chat or q&a. We had an email come through about Amazon. So if you sell on Amazon, I remember Amazon vine was painful process. Our I guess other websites as well. Like, how can you get those reviews everywhere? Essentially, and just one channel? Yeah,


Mat Bingham  29:41  

for us, you know, we do syndicate to a few big partners, one of them being Walmart. It's one of the largest marketplaces in the US where you can take your DTC website reviews that you collect and syndicate it over into the Walmart marketplace. We also do the same for meta. You know we we can take your review was collected and put them into your like Instagram shop. And those are kind of our two main syndication but with like other marketplaces, you know, we rely on some of our providers and partners that we work with, including Alex's old company Bazaarvoice. So we have some great relationships with them, where brands use us for more of the customization, some cool stuff that attributes things that we kind of specialize in. But for that syndication piece, that's kind of something we rely on our partners.


Alex Yedibalian  30:31  

Yeah, and obviously, it any conversation that starts with Amazon begins with, sorry to say, Amazon has the most epic wall up that does not allow any human anywhere or any technology partner to bring any additional value from their or to their. So that is unfortunate, but at least we're all in the same boat. However, from the quality side of things, like we're a place where it gets generated, and then through that partner you're working with that will go everywhere in anywhere. So whether it's working with an Okendo to get to Walmart and then Okendo plus Bazaarvoice. There's a lot of different layers to it. And so depending on where you want to get it to, that's a great opportunity happy to connect with anybody who's like I sell here and here, how the heck do I get my my reviews there plus my website, always happy to have that conversation, because it can be a bit convoluted or a bit complex. And there's a lot of different ways that you can get that accomplished, but happy to talk about how that could happen for you, depending on where you want to get it to. Because yeah, it's not not straightforward to say the least


Mat Bingham  31:40  

in most cases, there's a ton of marketplaces, obviously, Amazon's a great channel in the marketplace, if you can get in there with for your brand. That's awesome. But I would say try to stick to a few major marketplaces that you can can syndicate for, and also double down on trying to get people to buy on your own site, you know, you don't have to pay affiliate fees, you don't have to deal with all these crazy nuances of like getting listed into a marketplace. So like, I think that's something we always try to encourage people is like, you know, if you are going to syndicate, try to pick a few key partners. And then, you know, the Amazon, it's its own monster and beasts, but we're always talk through strategy as well. And typically, just


Alex Yedibalian  32:18  

one thing with for anybody who maybe isn't familiar with the word Syndicate, because I feel like I've, I've sometimes dropped it like multiple times in a client meeting and, and then realize how much I like my might not be, but syndication being the idea that, and this is where reviews can become so valuable, if it was worth paying to generate it. Or if it was worth taking the time to collect it and put it on your website, because of the impact it would have. There's also the opportunity to take that from your website, and have that exact same review show up on any of the retailers you sell on or all of the retailers that are part of different companies that provide that service of taking your review from your site, and showing it on the other places you sell. And so, reviews generation does make sense for a website alone. But if you can, then 7x That or maybe even 90% of your revenue comes from Target and Walmart, and the websites a smaller piece that like it can make reviews make just that much more sense. And that's really the way when you look at potentially some of your competitors, you're like, how in the heck did they get 1100 reviews on this eyeshadow? Like I bet you it's good. But like, I don't know if it's 1100 good. That's because between sampling and reviews, generation and collection and syndication, it all comes together to do something like that. So for anyone who isn't syndicating who's like, Oh, I'm in those retailers, or I'm in retailers, like always happy to have that conversation. Because yeah, that that can be game changing, especially as it's getting so much more competitive at retailers and people trying to be able to reach those captive audiences. But that's kind of the


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  34:03  

high level. Appreciate the descriptions here, because I also have been in that situation and people are like, What are you talking about? But is amazing once you can get the reviews indicated? It's just kind of like content syndication to it's a game changer. I mean, it's a beautiful thing. I'm talking about all of the positive impact that reviews have on the business. One that I didn't bring up but I've seen firsthand is to get that budget to people to do a review or program or to be able to prove that yes, you are making an impact to the organization. This isn't just about five stars and more sales, which obviously we all want, but the return. Watching the reduction in the returns was very powerful. And just curious from your guys's lens with clients who work with like if you've seen that as well and how you know those managers when they're going from word budget to do more of these programs can prove that yes, it's making an impact outside of this marketing and sales and PD world, it's actually making an impact on the quality side of it. And the operations side,


Mat Bingham  35:13  

you know, an example I can think of as well outside of returns, or just like how review information can be leveraged in different channels. You know, one of the integrations we have that I think is pretty powerful is with gorgeous, it's like a Customer Support Platform Shopify space. And we built an integration where all of this review data and information can be passed over into the gorgeous support channel, where like a chat representative has like all of this personalized information around this one person that's in the chat window. So it's like, Hey, here's Mat, he's done three reviews on your products. And here's some other attributes about him. And, you know, whatever the case may be for my reach out via chat. There's some ways that that chat representative can be more personalized, because it's like, oh, like, you know, he may not have liked this, and you're handling a return or whatever it may be. But like, Have you thought about buying, you know, this item, or giving me suggestions on something else? So like, I think the way that you can leverage this type of data in different channels is super relevant. And something that I think we try to encourage our merchants to do, not only like customer support, but an email or SMS, I think those just really enhance those type of platforms. But yeah, that's just my two cents.


Alex Yedibalian  36:30  

Yeah, and to be honest, I think part of it comes back to something we were talking about before we actually got on where you were talking about, potential fear around bad reviews, which I see in a very similar vein is this because one big value add that if you were to generate 100 reviews out of the gate for either a product launch, or or maybe shortly after reformulation bad reviews could save you 10s of 1000s, or hundreds of 1000s of dollars in marketing and product creation. For something that turns out oh, this, that or the next thing was wrong. And so rather than either putting it out to market, or waiting to slowly get that drip of information in the organic reviews down the road, you do equate you do a certain amount of each generation of those reviews out of the gate, you can get either that affirmation that this thing is amazing, awesome, run with it, or I'm so glad we caught this in the beginning. And then you can have that drip of information down the line as you're collecting with those emails from your provider to like, make sure these new formulations or these slight changes are working. And so make sure that you have the kind of product that's going to sell. And that is really set up to resonate with your customers. But to your point, like one of the things that we know is the confidence that people purchase with like buyer's remorse is both real and fake. That's something that like you already regretted when like you haven't tried it on yet, how do you regret it? And it's like, because you were probably a little bit more wishy washy or unsure. But when you have those questions answered, that lets you feel like I made the right, the perfect purchase for me or the right purchase for me. Because you don't have any additional questions because you got to see, you got to see a couple of one star reviews. So like it says real, you got to see a whole bunch of five star reviews. So this thing is great. And then you got to have three questions answered that are like really personal to you. That's, that's the shopping experience. It's one thing we talked quite a bit about the difference between buying and shopping, buying is the act of clicking the button. And then that is when you do that and you haven't done any of the shopping. That's how you end up returning something because you didn't go through the things you need to do to feel happy about it. But when you shop you, you check out the other stuff, you peruse the aisles and reviews can give you that exact same experience around bad good and the things about me so for anybody who's who's unfamiliar with that idea about the impact on returns again, especially as people are thinking about being more particular with their purchases and what they are aren't, you'd expect that people are like you know what I that I did not need to spend that $100 is going to come into the head more often. But you can do a lot to minimize that if people feel really confident because they have those questions answered and there's there's no better way potentially then reviews especially on the website.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  39:21  

Yeah, definitely. It's like the return bucket was never never a good feeling. So anytime you minimize that is an amazing achievement. I was thinking back of like conversations I've had in the past and that whole life but we don't have a crystal ball like we don't know. But I think we could safely say that the crystal ball and eCommerce is truly reviewed. Like that is going to tell you something more than anything else because data is fantastic post you're analyzing but be able to get reviews even going back to the product launch scenario. You are Getting a little glimpse of what, what could and to your point being able to stop the bleed early from a product launch that is going to fizzle in the end and cost you hundreds of 1000s of dollars. accept reality now move on to the next, you know, and that is very impactful and can make a huge difference on a p&l. Purpose. And so I'm super excited to stuff and I'm so excited to see it moving past like five star, and, you know, getting into the more sophisticated and better experience. So we have about, you know, 510 minutes less left. Anybody has any questions, drop them into the q&a, I want to talk a little bit about zero party data. I mean, what can you do with zero party data collected from reviews?


Mat Bingham  40:49  

Yeah, you know, I mentioned it a few times already. But we like to encourage our merchants to collect as much zero party data within the Review Submission, also with our new connect product, with this micro survey feature or post purchase survey, and leveraging that data across your marketing channels. So, you know, our biggest email integration is clay, do we have the ability to match their customer profile with all the reviews that are collected or the surveys that are collected and push it into those that platform so that you can be better at segmentation, you can be better at personalization and emails. And I think that's really what consumers are looking for. Nowadays, I think if I saw a poll recently, like, you know, seven, eight out of 10, people expect brands to personalize their communication with them, like if I give you my email, for the first time visiting your site, and you just send me kind of a sales email right off the bat, like, yeah, that I kind of get that starting strategy. But like, if you can personalize it in some capacity, or find like a second, third, fourth, like a kind of a loyal customer to you like, what are you doing to kind of keep me engaged or interested in purchasing something new. And I think that's something that brands are looking to do. And the best way to do that is with zero party data, you know, back in 2014 15, used to just be able to make look like audiences on Facebook and scale your business in a pretty good manner. And retention was kind of always a nice to have or like people were doing it, but they weren't really like investing a lot into it, I think with the changes that you're seeing in paid or acquisition strategy, people are really leaning into retention, models and strategies and ways to get, you know, a second or third time purchase. And I think that's really where the zero party data that you collect in reviews is super powerful, because it can really give you some insights on like, some segments, or really one to one communications that I think a lot of consumers are craving to get out of brands nowadays.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  42:49  

And the platform you're talking about, that's like connect, correct?


Mat Bingham  42:55  

Yeah, so connect is really more of a survey tool. We have the ability to like on site, say like, where did you come from? You know, like, was it a Facebook ad or, you know, something generic like that. It's about 30 templates you can choose from to start out with, I think our most popular is our post purchase survey. You know, it's like, if you're shopping for your dog, it's like what type of breed? Are they? What size are they? All that information is like, okay, now I know that this person has a Labrador, and it's like seven years old, maybe I can send them some more elder dog toys or elder nutrition things to make sure that that dog is like having a longer life, but also that that person who owns a dog is seeing that there's other things to kind of like help with their pets. So that's really where the reviews but also the survey responses are super valuable because it can give you new insights on flows or segments. You can do it both in email or SMS. So that's how I would use it, but love to hear Alex's thoughts.


Alex Yedibalian  43:54  

Yeah, and I mean, honestly, like for anybody also wondering like, for zero party data like that, if you're pissed that you can't reach your Instagram audience. That's why zero party data, because these are platforms you own. So if you collected you can leverage this information to reach the people who said that they wanted to be reached by you, as opposed to some other platform, allowing you to only reach a certain amount of people based on the information they give you, in this case, through Okendo, like you're able to select what it is you get to learn about people and then use that to be able to message them in a way that resonates with them because it speaks to them. So the way that I mean, it is it is the most and I've brought so into full focus with a lot of the changes that have happening in the social space that like these owned platforms are places where you can truly leverage the information and reach the people in that way is how you can avoid the shocks of changes that happened to a platform like TikTok Like five years down the road, or somewhere else, where if we lean too hard on a place where we're closer to a renter than an owner, then you're set up to be that much more successful when you have that information to leverage and leverage it in a successful way. But it obviously is, it's the way it's the way of the now in the future.


Mat Bingham  45:19  

Yeah, and I am, you know, I always say, people are willing to give up that information. You know, it's kind of a token for token for sometimes it's like, you know, I'm gonna give you a review as an attributes, and like, maybe you'll give me a discount code for, you know, next purchase. And it's kind of a token for token situation sometimes, but you'd be surprised how often people are willing to give you honest feedback, or honest details about themselves. Because, one, I think, consumers are a little savvier than they were, you know, five or six years ago, they, I think they realize that I'm giving you this information, so you're probably going to tell me something I need back around my attributes or who I am. But I think it's also just consumer behaviors, people are expecting that more. So they're, like, willing to give it to you, because they know they want that type of one to one communication. And I think that's really where brands are kind of start really kind of going towards, you can do it in reviews, you know, my old platform that I worked at, just you know, we were all about email, SMS collection, and that's more top of the funnel, right? But you can make multi step forms on your, your pop up that you have on your site and says, Hey, you know, sign up for our newsletter, tell us Do you want men or women's clothing, and we'll give you you know, 10% off your first purchase, you know, you can make the initial opt in process really engaging and personalized right off the start. And I think that's really going to give you a big advantage, right from the beginning with your communication paths with the new person.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  46:46  

Awesome. Final time here for q&a chat questions. As we wrap up, I have a random question that you might not know the answer. But I have to ask because I watched my behavior change in the last few years with reviews? How do people search? Or look at reviews now? Do they still default to the most relevant or are they looking at most recent? Or do they go directly to worse? Theories about human nature?


Mat Bingham  47:15  

Yeah, yeah. You know, when we look at like people that engage with the review widget on a PDP page, they usually filter out first and foremost by like, photos and videos, surprisingly, and I feel like that's been more apparent for us, usually, by star ranking, is probably another popular one. And then for us with like, the attribute component is usually they pick a really common attribute of that individual person. So I think those three are the first two are kind of the most common across all review providers. But that attribute, one is a little more unique to Okendo, and I think that really helps both new and existing customers. If I was brand new to this skincare product, I would really want to know what a lot of people like me are saying about it, because it's a decision, not a big decision. But it's still a decision that I have to kind of like, get over the hump and, you know, give you my credit card and I want to try the product. I'm obviously there. I'm obviously interested, right, like I'm looking at this product, I came through whatever channel paid, you know, search, whatever it may be. And if I'm scrolling all the way down to review widgets and kind of clicking around, I think that really shows a lot of intent. So yeah, it's interesting, but I don't know what your thoughts are, Alex? Yeah,


Alex Yedibalian  48:28  

I mean, in in terms of that, it really also depends on how you set it up. Because a lot of people, this is an area where I think people can get a ton of value out of much less effort than like a lot of the other things you can do, because some people will just take that display widget, put it on their product page, and they leave it alone, and it's gotten to your regular filters. If you let people filter by five star, one star, that's one of the first places they're going to go if you let them filter by image video, they're going to do that when you don't give them that ability either, because you just haven't gotten to that yet. Or you want to not let people look at the one star review or something like that. That's one of the easiest ways to get people to bounce and not have a purchase happen because people are going to do what they want to do. Or they're going to find a place where they can do what they want to do. And if we don't let them do that, it's going to be it's not going to work out as well for the brand. And realistically, any of the things that you think might skew like towards bad when I was at BazaarVoice I remember one of the things I always love talking about is that if you had a negative review on a retailer website, the likelihood that somebody would purchase doubled if you responded to that negative review with something that addressed that in a meaningful way and so like these moments of like humanity are opportunities to only improve and so what we see is five star ones are one of the first places people are filtering to to see bad and the and the top. Of course the UGC piece, especially if you're thinking something like fashion wear what does that it's that color really look like that call They're in regular light, like really good places to be looking for something along those lines. And then exactly what Mat was saying with being able to filter by things like about who I am, if the age is irrelevant of hair is irrelevant, whatever that attribute is to be able to answer my questions. And if you can do those three things with the kind of filtering, you're in a great place, and then people will engage, they will do it no, buy more. So if that's the goal, then that's a strong recommendation on our side for sure.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  50:29  

And such a great point about responding, like taking a review and turning it upside down and making it a positive experience and showing that as a brand new carrier. So great point. So we're at time any final thoughts? In closing?


Mat Bingham  50:45  

Do you want to go first, Alex, or?


Alex Yedibalian  50:47  

Well? Yeah, I mean, just in closing, I mean, when we think about reviews, there's a couple of like, critical pieces that we think about what matters most and whether that's quantity, quality, recency. And then on top of that, being able to have control over that process, and so like, how to do that, how to sequence that the way in which you can make that come together with like, a really manageable strategy. Not if you had infinite resources, is really the place that Cohley slots in to be able to work with brands on where do I need reviews? Where would I start? How do I manage budget, make it make sense. And so if those are things that are very top of mind for you, as a business or a brand, if you wanted to reach out directly on LinkedIn, just to be able to chat casually Feel free. Otherwise, you can just go to be able to reach out, schedule some time talk through kind of where your challenges are. And we're happy to talk first and foremost, and if things make sense moving forward, awesome. But otherwise, feel free to reach out. And we'd love to talk. 


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  51:51  

Awesome. Thank you, Mat.


Mat Bingham  51:56  

Yeah, I would just say good luck to everybody in the holiday season. I know it's kind of crunch time. But, you know, good luck with the holiday rush. And I hope it's successful quarter for you. And kind of looking into next year. If you haven't had review strategy in place, I would highly recommend trying to find a review provider that works for you, especially when it comes to zero party data collection or using reviews and surveys, like with Okendo. And I think one thing outside of what we've been talking about how reviews have been really powerful on the onsite experience, but also in your marketing channels. Really just the consistency of building reviews throughout the year and how that can be super impactful for you know, the next holiday season. So if you're getting 20% Review response rate, just a random percentage, you get that every single day, up until Black Friday, Cyber Monday, think about the number of reviews you have, think about the number of customers that submitted those reviews and how you can turn them into a second or third time purchaser and how that could be a really big snowball effect. And really being creative with your reviews I think is a great strategy to enable that probably isn't a crazy lift. In terms of time investment, you can get set up pretty quickly with Okendo and just kind of watch it run on autopilot. So yeah, just good luck for the holidays. And thank you guys for having me on today.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  53:21  

Well, thank you both for joining fantastic content, have really enjoyed the conversation and thank all the participants, participants for joining as well. So we'd love to see you on the next events. Until then take care stay safe and have a wonderful holiday next week. Thanks guys.

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