Customer reviews make shopping online intimate

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Online lingerie store Fig Leaves has just added user-generated reviews to its e-commerce site employing the Bazaarvoice platform.

Due to the personal nature of selling women's undergarments, Fig Leaves wanted to create a platform in which customers could communicate experiences with other customers.

"We believe that it is hugely important to get our customers to interact on the site," said Katherine Hewison, online merchandising director at Fig Leaves, London. "Ultimately a customer is going to favor what another customer who bought the same product has to say. The more first-hand experience we offer on the site, the better our customers are served."

Fig Leaves sells designer bras, panties, swimwear and nightgowns from brands including Aubade, La Perla and Calvin Klein. To promote the new feature, Fig Leaves sent out e-mails to customers after a purchase, inviting reviews.

Since signing up for the Bazaarvoice platform earlier this year, Fig Leaves has received over 2,000 reviews. Fig Leaves sees an average of 25 reviews left on the site a day, and has reached as high as 60 reviews a day at the peak. According to Ms. Hewison, Fig Leaves sees increased reviews after the e-mails are sent out.

In addition to customer reviews, Fig Leaves' new social networking features also include blogleaves, a branded blog.

So far the user-generated content is only on the Fig Leaves' site in Britain at www.figleaves.co.uk. But the retailer plans to add the Bazaarvoice platform to the U.S. site at www.figleaves.com in the near future.

Fig Leaves is one of the first U.K.-based retailers to sign up for the Bazaarvoice platform after the user-generated software firm recently entered the British market.

"We see the U.K. online marketplace exploding, and we wanted to be there to facilitate user-generated reviews during this growth," said Sam Decker, vice president of marketing and progress at Bazaarvoice, Austin, TX.

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