Wickes uses online reviews to increase brand loyalty

DIY retailer Wickes has implemented ratings and reviews on its website to build brand trust and help customers better understand its products.

By the end of February 2009, Wickes.co.uk customers had generated more than 4,000 authentic customer reviews, without any direct marketing of the launch of the new online reviews feature.

The retailer can now use this customer-generated content to increase customer conversion online as well as improving merchandising and increasing sales and conversion across multiple channels. It is also hoped that the new feature will help to attract new customers, enhance customer satisfaction and garner increased loyalty.

"We're always investing in new technology to use on the web that enhances the customer's journey and increases conversion rates, said Seago. "Customers are free to share their thoughts on any product or project, and put their name on it,' safe in the knowledge that we both take pride in a job well done."

Seago added that the feature has supported the company's marketing campaign around quality and trust in the brand, as well as providing added intelligence about customer buying habits to key areas of the business.

"The ratings feature, for example, has been taken on within the business through the buying team and a range of other departments," she said. "New range reviews are informed by our Ratings & Reviews reports, as are our supplier negotiations."

Wickes has also been able to create a Top Rated Products' section on its website homepage, to make it easier for customers to browse popular items. While the customer content is also used to update and improve individual products' features and benefits' listed on the website.

Wickes' top three lessons learned

1) Make sure online ratings and reviews functionality is used as part of a strategic customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing strategy.

2) Look at what internal customer processes can be improved before specifying technology.

3) Ensure the data from online ratings and reviews is shared and used across the business to aid decision-making processes.

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