March 8, 2011, 8:33 AM

Online retail group JustShops goes social

Reevoo’s ratings and reviews solution to build community and improve trust in pet goods.

JustShops, a collection of speciality e-commerce pet stores, is to add social commerce to all of its online stores with Reevoo. Social commerce will build greater trust, improve on-site conversion and make its sites more interactive and engaging.

JustShops provide pet owners with handpicked products, ranging from dog beds to rabbit hutches and chicken coops to parrot cages. Robbie Reddy, manager of E-commerce at Forward Internet Group Ltd – parent company of JustShops – said: “Social commerce is about building trust, raising brand awareness and adding value for our consumers. We want to encourage our customers to interact with us and with each other so that users can enjoy a more social, community experience on our sites. Word-of-mouth, peer-to-peer advice and recommendations are incredibly important to consumers, especially when they’re buying something online; we think it’s vital to bring this interactive quality to our sites so that users can get reassurance from other pet owners.

“Going forward, we will also be able to ask customers for their feedback on our sites and service; this information will help us to improve our sites and to provide our customers with the things they really want. We see this as the start of something really good for both our sites and our customers,” he added.

JustShops will measure the success of its social commerce solution by tracking review response rates, monitoring feedback on its products and services and, ultimately, by measuring the uplift in conversion rates that comes from providing impartial reviews to customers.

JustShops will be deploying the Reevoo Mark service across all of its product categories, to help customers make the right purchase decision. The Reevoo Mark service uses proactive harvesting to solicit reviews from verified product purchasers only, collecting and aggregating them, and then displaying reviews and Reevoo scores for all products directly on the product page.

One of the ways in which JustShops customers will be able to interact with each other is via the Reevoo Ask An Owner service, which transforms customer reviews from a broadcast medium to a conversation. Ask an Owner enables would-be purchasers to ask questions of already verified purchasers of that product, and to get a speedy response. Currently 55% of all Ask An Owner questions are answered within 24 hours, and response times can be as little as 12 minutes from question to answer.

Recent research by Reevoo shows that consumers are now more strongly influenced by consumer reviews (92%) than by friends’ or family recommendations (87%). Richard Anson, CEO and co-founder of Reevoo, said: “Everything to do with reviews and recommendations online is built on trust and it is at the heart of everything we do. Our research shows that people now trust Reevoo reviews more than word of mouth recommendations from families and friends; people have learned to trust the wisdom of crowds.

“And the size of the crowd can grow very quickly: as we sign additional retailers in any given market sector, we gather more and more product-review content which is then aggregated and syndicated on the sites of all relevant partners,” he added.

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