It was a beautiful Tuesday morning in Salt Lake City, Utah. After a snack break featuring fresh fruit, granola bars, and strawberry-infused water, the Expert Effect attendees were divided into three rooms in Snowbird’s Cliff Lodge for the ExpertVoice Product Labs. As I sat among industry leaders discussing the brands they work for, the elevation gain in Utah and what was being served for lunch, I grabbed my laptop and got ready for a day of learning. Here’s a recap of the Product Labs and the new ExpertVoice features that were announced:
What’s A Recommendation?
In April 2018, ExpertVoice introduced product recommendations onto the site. Without actively promoting the new feature, we acquired 14,000+ recommendations on over 5,000 products. In less than six months, more than 300 of our brand partners saw their products being recommended by a qualified expert on our site.
Here’s how it works: The bottom of every product page includes a section where recommendations are posted, follow-up questions are permitted, and meaningful conversations happen.
While most online reviewers are fairly anonymous, every recommendation on ExpertVoice is attached to an expert’s profile, where you can see their bio, credentials, past recommendations, and more — helping you decide whether or not you can trust the person behind the review. Rod’s profile tells us he’s a hunting expert who works in law enforcement AND he owns the product. This information helps the reader trust Rod, and his recommendation becomes even more powerful.
This new feature not only elevates the shopping experience by allowing experts to read recommendations and ask questions about gear they haven’t tried yet, it also allows experts to do what they do best — share recommendations. And brands love the feature because they gain authentic, qualified feedback they can use in future discussions with their marketing and product design teams.
Is this the revolution online reviews need? We think so. The benefits of these recommendations go beyond helping experts have a better buying experience. They also represent the ROI on a brand’s investment with ExpertVoice.
Bonus: This isn’t an upsell product; every brand partner already has access to product recommendations.
KPIs and ROI for your ExpertVoice Program
I love watermelon. I can’t understand why other people don’t — it’s sugar water that’s good for you! Selecting the perfect melon takes time and research. I don’t just lob any old watermelon into my grocery cart; I know the exact one I’m after.
When I find the lopsided melon with the giant yellow spot, I know I’ve met my match. But I’ve seen other shoppers selecting their perfect watermelon differently. Some knock on the fruit, others weigh it, a few even smell it. While we’re all looking for the melon that really tickles our taste buds, our selection process is unique.
Just like watermelon choosers, our brand partners often differ in the specific data they’re pursuing. We’re excited to introduce customizable dashboards that make obtaining that information a seamless experience. This new feature empowers brands to curate reports specific to their goals i.e. helping them find their own distinctly perfect melon without having to take extra steps.
These dashboards allow brands to gather information specific to their KPIs, such as engagement numbers by team (pro or retail), region, and/or campaign. In addition, they can be changed as quickly and as often as they can be built.
And with subscription options, our brand partners can receive the requested data directly to their email at the cadence they prefer, so they won’t have to log in for updates. That’s like someone knowing the exact melon you’re looking for and delivering it to your front door on the day you want it — it’s pretty badass.
Content is the Key to Success
Did you know that more updated content drives engagement and increases sales? It’s true, and we’re working to create more content, more frequently, at a lower cost for our brand partners. In addition, we’ve got some pretty rad stuff coming down the pipeline:
Bring your own content. If a brand has video content that’s relevant to our expert audience, we’re happy to utilize it on our platform. If not, our world-class video team can whip up content that’s both professional and mind-blowing. Whether you BYOC or we make your OC, let’s get great assets that can live on our website and yours.
Flexible content offers. We’re happy to introduce new content options such as: a media library where experts can explore brand content anytime, modules that conclude with surveys instead of Edu-Games, and allowing experts to choose the content they want to learn about to unlock their discount.
Deeper dive on products. Our video team is excited to produce 90-second videos (playing to our short attention spans) that present the features, benefits, and use-cases for products to help experts make better recommendations and buying decisions.
Product pages just got better. Saving the best for last. These deeper dive videos will live on the product pages as well as in the modules. So when our experts look to make a purchase, they’ll have both credible recommendations and the finer product details available to them on the same page, so all they have to wonder about is which color they should order.
These new features are like Legos in a toy box: they can be mixed and matched to build a customizable content plan that you’re proud of. And just like Legos, you can find the pieces to help you build pretty cool things, cool things that drive engagement, increase sales, and measure KPIs.
Even though I was already aware of the new features being presented, seeing the reactions from our brand partners confirmed how great they really are. We’ve worked hard to create an exceptional experience for our experts and our brands — and things are about to get even better.
Learn more of what was presented at the Expert Effect here.