Field Agent Canada, a company that leverages crowdsourcing and mobile technology to collect retail audits and conduct mystery shops for retail operations, has now launched an easy and cost-effective way to get ratings and reviews for products being sold online.
Jeff Doucette, General Manager of Field Agent Canada, said the concept mobilizes real shoppers to buy a brand’s products from specific retailers, try them at home and then leave honest ratings and reviews on product pages on either brand or retailer websites.
“It’s a new service that we’ve launched in Canada based on the success we have had in the U.S. business, which launched it earlier in the year. It meets an important need in the industry especially as online sales are seeing dramatic increases,” said Doucette.
“Field Agent Ratings & Reviews helps brands ensure that their own brand website and the websites of different retailer partners have a sufficient number of ratings and reviews on each product in their lineup.”
Doucette said research discovered that many products had either no reviews or very few reviews. Other products had reviews that were really dated or did not include a lot of detail that was helpful to other shoppers.
“We’ve done surveys and explored the topic in-depth and even on grocery store and drug store type products, shoppers are using ratings and reviews to help them decide which products they’re going to put in their online baskets,” said Doucette.
“Field Agent Ratings & Reviews is about making sure that every single product has a good assortment of reviews and that they provide relevant information to help other shoppers make purchase decisions.”
The Field Agent Ratings & Reviews concept is very simple as it takes all of the work out of it for the brand. The brand provides a list of products that they would like reviewed and the website(s) where they would like those reviews posted. Field Agent takes it from there.
Shoppers are then asked to buy a specific product at the specified retailer either at a local store or online. This ensures that the posted review is a result of a verified purchase from a specific retailer and the purchase is made by a real Canadian shopper.
“If someone is placing a review on a specific retailer’s website, we are ensuring that that product was actually bought from that retailer,” said Doucette.
“Field Agent has 125,000 Canadian users that have downloaded our mobile app and we post Ratings & Reviews opportunities in the app to qualified shoppers. They’ll go and buy the product at the local store, they’ll try it at home, and they’ll provide us with verification of where they’ve bought it so we know it’s a verified purchase at the correct retailer. We then we ask them to post their product review on the retailer/brand website and also submit the details of the review through the app so our client can track the reviews on our on-line dashboard; making the process easy for the client to see all the reviews posted on their products.”
The big question that normally comes up, added Doucette, is if the reviews and ratings are being filtered. That’s a big no-no.
“It’s really about genuine reviews and real honest opinions. We do not filter out less-positive reviews but we do stress that the review must be detailed and explain why the shopper gave the rating that they gave. No three-word answers. We get the shopper to elaborate and give some context as to why you gave it a four out of five instead of a five out of five,” he said.
“Field Agent Ratings & Reviews is basically a hands-off solution where our clients only need to provide us with a list of items and the sites where they want reviews to be posted and we take care of the rest,” said Doucette.
There has been a significant increase in online shopping over the past few months so the launch of this service is very timely. Shoppers today are increasingly shopping online, whether it’s for delivery or pick up, and one of the main ways they filter products is by the star ratings on each product.
“Products that do not have a robust assortment of reviews will have a smaller chance of making it into the basket.” said Doucette. “Ensuring all products have ratings and reviews needs to be part of every brand’s e-commerce strategy.”
Field Agent Ratings & Reviews provides a quick and inexpensive solution for brands looking to boost their online sales performance in today’s omni channel marketplace.
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