February 17, 2011, 10:10 AM

Customer feedback makes its mark on a tattoo site

A customer feedback tool brings a conversion and sales lift to Tattoosales.com.

Lead Photo

With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, at least one online shopper in America decided that the annual celebration involving green beer, small mountains of deli meat and nostalgia for County Cork would not be complete without a temporary tattoo of a leprechaun holding a bag of money.

So that shopper used a new customer feedback tool at Tattoosales.com—which sells skin-ready artwork to consumers who for various reasons don’t want the full needle-and-ink treatment—to ask the online retailer to come up with a suitable design. The company plans to have the artwork ready in time for the unofficial holiday.

Since introducing the customer feedback tool in October, the company—a manufacturer and multichannel retailer that operates as Tattoo Manufacturing—has seen significant increases in conversions and average order values from shoppers who use the feature, says Amber Golden, a marketing communication specialist with the firm. That’s mainly because of the discounts the company offers to shoppers who use the tool, but also because those shoppers feel more engaged with the company, she says.

Visitors to the e-commerce site see a “Feedback” button in the lower right-hand corner of the page. Clicking on the button calls forth a pop-up box that gives shoppers a chance to comment on a variety of issues including product suggestions, site content and bugs. Tattoo Manufacturing pays about $300 a month to use the technology, provided by Kampyle.

Though only about 2% of visitors to the e-commerce site use the tool, 65% of those who do leave their e-mail addresses. The company sends automated e-mail messages to those consumers, and all of the messages include a coupon code for a 15% discount on a future purchase, Golden says. The site records some 1,300 transactions per month, representing about half of the company’s retail business, with the rest coming mainly via bricks-and-mortar stores.

Consumers using the feedback tool tend to buy more often from the site than do other visitors, she says. The overall conversion rate stands at about 2.8% for all site visitors; consumers who use the feedback tool have a conversion rate of 29.5%. And while the average order value for all shoppers at the site is $48.50, those customers who provide feedback spend an average of $168 before the discount is applied. “It’s probably mostly the code,” she says, “but it’s also us just getting out in front of shoppers.”

The feedback tool also can alert the company to important e-commerce problems. A few weeks before Christmas, during the morning, a shopper used the tool to inform site operators that the free shipping function was not working at checkout. “Every order ships for free,” Golden says. “We went right in and fixed it within a half hour.”

Customer comments collected through the tool also are helping the company beef up its shopping experiences beyond specific product offerings, she adds. For instance, though the company enables shoppers to upload their own artwork to the site, consumers complained they could not tweak that work between the time it is uploaded and before it is made into custom, temporary tattoos. “So within the next few months, we will be more user-friendly and let shoppers play with images in our site,” she says.

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