The Elevator Pitch … Channel Signal, an aggregator of product reviews and analysis, features the Consumer2Consumer (C2C) Score, an independent and unbiased review score located at the buy button. By providing consumers with independent, accurate and unbiased guidance at the buy button, product reviews prove to increase conversion rates by 25 percent—equating to millions of dollars for online retailers. Channel Signal collects, cleans and validates thousands of reviews from all major sites, daily. “An accurate and reliable score at the buy button drives faster and more confident decisions with fewer clicks,” explains CEO Paul Kirwin, who points out that while other vendors syndicate reviews, Channel Signal ensures the reviews are accurate, relevant and ready to drive confident buying decisions.
The Pandemic Impact … “As shoppers continue to flock to online retailers in the post-pandemic world, the way we shop is changing, too,” Kirwin says, adding that intuitive and user-friendly technology is intrinsically making people of all ages more sophisticated and less patient. “With a screen in the palm of their hands, 89 percent of digital buyers rely on product reviews to inform their decisions — either a tap of the Buy Button or cart abandonment.”
How It Works … Channel Signal designed the Consumer2Consumer (C2C) Score to help run, outdoor and athleisure retailers boost their bottom lines and turn reviews into revenue. As a true picture of product performance Ð an aggregated score of real consumer feedback, including ratings and comments Ð the C2C Score is embedded on e-commerce sites, right beside the Buy Button. As a customer gets ready to purchase, they get a clear, visual picture of the product’s rating—from green (Buy With Confidence) through yellow (Mediocre) and red (Reconsider). “For buyers, this speeds the path to purchase immensely,” Kirwin explains. “They now have a trusted rating to rely on that channels millions of reviews from across the internet into a single, consistent metric.”
Benefit to Brands … At the same time, brands get a comprehensive window into product performance. As a counterpart to the C2C Score, Channel Signal’s Brand Experience Platform aggregates customer reviews on a daily basis to deliver cleaned data that’s normalized down to the product title. Retailers get a view of top and bottom-performing products (and everything in between) to definitively understand consumer intent and adapt product performance, customer service, shipping times/rates, etc., as necessary. “By adopting technology, brands can transform operations with confidence-inspiring data and the full picture of product performance,” Kirwin says.
The Why … “Consumers are tired of loungewear, Zoom calls, Netflix and a lack of face-to-face connection. And they want to move into the real world and a lifestyle that they might have neglected before the pandemic,” Kirwin continues. When they go to buy their running shoes and yoga mats they don’t want to have to plow through oceans of product reviews that amount to growing confusion.
The Retail Benefit … Consumers want to research online, arrive at the Buy Button and have their decision reinforced—to quickly know that what they’re buying has been vetted by their peers and is a good option. This is where the Consumer2Consumer Score comes in by combining comments and star ratings from the most recent product reviews, collected from major e-commerce sites, to deliver an accurate marketplace score. It leads to confident decisions and new freedoms.
Advice to Retailers … Channel Signal, with a people-first approach to technology, has a goal to empower brands with knowledge and to help them turn reviews into revenue. “Adopting more technology gives brands the opportunity to leverage data to truly understand people and their buying behavior,” Kirwin says. “With access to key metrics, your team can reach new customers and understand existing ones, get insights into the overall market and ultimately control how your brand is perceived, along with how to improve it and the customer experience.”
The Future … With a greater focus on the quality and relevancy of reviews, Kirwin expects to see a much more personalized experience over the next few years: “With artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things and other emerging technologies, retailers have an opportunity to create a smoother path to purchase by knowing what the individual wants and when they want it.”