The sports industry is very special. Customers know a lot about the products and want to share their knowledge.
The sports industry is particularly well suited for collecting user reviews. That is the opinion of industry expert Henning Frettem.
When you talk about user reviews, you often talk about product reviews in an online store, but it can also be reviews of a brand or a store, hotel or restaurant visit.
In the industry, a distinction is often made between “ratings” (often 1-5 stars) and free text (often referred to as “reviews”).
Great commitment to all types of sports equipment
Henning Frettem is the founder of Lipscore, which provides technology for collecting user reviews. The company has several hundred chains and online stores on its customer list, including a number of sports shops. Frettem believes that the sports industry stands out positively with great commitment among customers.
«Customers who buy sports equipment online and in stores are often very engaged. They like to do a lot of research before shopping, but they are also keen to share their own experiences after a purchase, to the delight of other customers. The sports industry is like one big community with many experts», says Frettem.
Lipscore currently works with online stores such as Sportsmaster, Hekta På tur, Northern Playground and Skittfiske, as well as the Swedish sports chain Sportshopen.
Uses customer data throughout the organization
The Lipscore manager says that it is not uncommon for sports shops that use Lipscore to get as many as 1 in 5 customers to provide feedback after a purchase.
«The fact that customers share their experiences after buying expensive products such as treadmills and bicycles is not so surprising. But we often see an equal commitment if the customers have bought a new training jersey or a new ball.»
Figures from Lipscore’s customer database show that a typical customer gives 4.2 out of 5 possible stars after a purchase of sports equipment. Negative feedback is a small problem, on the contrary.
«Here in the Nordics, the sports shops mostly sell quality products. And should there be a negative feedback, it’s just fine. Customer-oriented companies are concerned with representative and genuine data, and are not afraid of negative feedback. They want representative data in large volumes that reflect reality», says Frettem.
He believes he sees signs that the market is maturing. Before, everyone wanted user reviews to increase sales and conversion rates. Many wanted a supplement to the company’s own product texts or unique and updated content with a view to search engine optimization. There are still valid arguments, but the best in class have come much further.
«What we now see is that the best companies use the customer data in the entire organization with a good foothold in the management. For example, they use the insights from product reviews in negotiations with their suppliers, in predicting returns and in their marketing. In addition, they measure brand strength and performance in any physical stores. Everything can be measured», concludes Frettem.
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