Experts make product recommendations everyday to consumers and in order to be effective recommenders, they need to be knowledgeable about product details and brand history. The information found on a brand website often doesn’t have the depth, details, and examples of real-life use cases to make experts informed.
A recent research study commissioned by ExpertVoice examined how our experts use high-quality educational content to recommend products and increase sales for brands, whether they work behind the counter of a local retailer or as a first responder.
ExpertVoice surveyed its members from January 9-16, 2019, gathering 540 responses from our experts across multiple categories, from Animals and Pets to Bike. 91% had taken ExpertVoice content modules in the previous year, giving them deep insights into the valuable lessons provide to them by the brands on the platform. Their responses demonstrate that ExpertVoice lessons assist them in making better recommendations to those who seek out their advice, whether it’s customers, friends, or family.
ExpertVoice is best equipped to give retail associates and industry professionals the information they need
Many brands believe they can adequately educate retail sales associates through a combination of information on their website and brand reps that periodically visit retail locations. Our survey casts doubt on that assumption. 91% of respondents indicated they want product details, and 83% expressed a desire for insights that they can’t find on a brand website. In addition, details on the brand’s origin story are seen as valuable by 74% of experts. These details tend to require the precise storytelling ExpertVoice’s creative team provides.
Experts say they want to engage with brands that will provide quality content, updated regularly. Nearly half of respondents would like to see new content from brands at least once per month. Regular lesson updates provide the best way for experts to learn about a brand’s most important products and initiatives. ExpertVoice partners such as Vortex Optics, Brooks Running, and Garmin have all seen success from this approach.
Top-notch content leads to top-notch recommendations
What defines quality content? It contains product details and features insights from people with real-world product experience, it’s engaging, and contains enough details to allow a RSA or a professional to recommend a product to others with confidence. When asked how they utilize ExpertVoice content, 85% say the lessons on ExpertVoice help them make better product recommendations to consumers. Our experts reach consumers through their work at retail stores such as REI and through membership in professional organizations like the American Alpine Club or the International Association of Fire Fighters. Because of who they are, the strength of an expert’s recommendation is higher than an average person. This makes the consumer much more likely to act on an expert’s recommendation.
51% of respondents applied their knowledge from content to help customers purchase products. 74% used their insights to help friends and family make better purchase decisions. We know from previous ExpertVoice insights that American consumers turn to groups they trust, such as friends and family, when making high-consideration purchases. Better content leads to better recommendations.
ExpertVoice’s study confirmed that our experts, are interested in learning technical product details from brands, details that go beyond what is available on the brand website or through other information sources. Our experts are hungry for insights that come from both product designers and ordinary people who use a brand’s product. Perhaps the most interesting result is the finding that most experts want to see new content at least once per month. ExpertVoice partners who release detailed content on a regular cadence will see an increase in positive recommendations on their behalf.