Bath & Body Works increases its e-mail sales with customer product reviews

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Retailer Bath & Body Works is using its recent partnership with Bazaarvoice ratings and reviews to increase sales via e-mail.

In the recent e-mail campaign for the FitFlop, Bath & Body Works used customer ratings and reviews in its e-mail messaging and found 10% higher conversion and 12% higher sales per visitor as compared to campaigns that do not include customer ratings and reviews.

"We've seen an 87% growth in reviews in the past two months," said Shannon Glass, director of Internet operations for Limited Brands, parent company for Bath & Body Works.

"We are seeing a higher conversion rate for products with reviews versus products without reviews," she added. "Consistent with this, item abandonment rate is decreasing. Customers are making more informed choices prior to adding the product to their shopping carts."

With the partnership, implemented last summer, customers can share their recommendations on shower gels, lotions and soap on the e-commerce site. Bazaarvoice's community services team identified opportunities for the company's marketing and merchandising strategy.

"We wanted to give our customers an easier way to connect with each other and the Bath & Body Works brand," Glass continued. "The end result is that our customers get unbiased opinions about our products from their peers."

The Bazaarvoice platform was integrated with its e-commerce GSI Commerce platform to include ratings and reviews technology, community moderation, analytics and reporting. The integration included custom categories such as fragrance and price value. Bath & Body Works immediately began to extend consumer-generated review content into its marketing campaigns.

Customers have been most vocal about the Bath & Body Works online exclusive Signature Collection, which includes fragrances such as Sweet Pea, Cinnamon Bun Heaven and Japanese Cherry Blossom. The line features the retailer's top-selling products, all of which have received five-star ratings, which, according to Glass, has increased sales.

"Users can share their authentic opinions about products so that buyers can make the best purchasing decision possible," said Sam Decker, chief marketing officer for Bazaarvoice.

"Consumers are relying upon word of mouth and ratings and reviews before they will make a purchase."

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