6 ways Staples displays social proof throughout their purchase journey
"We find reviews very important due to the fact that we see a massive shift in customer behavior. The customer of today has many resources to find information on companies before they decide where to purchase." - Anna Domanskiy, Digital Operations Manager, Staples Europe
Staples is part of a global brand family. Today, Staples is the largest company in the industry, serving customers in five continents. In Europe, Staples has wholly-owned operations across 21 countries and work with Alliance Partners in a further 9 markets.
The Staples brand is a stamp of quality that every business person can rely on. Every Staples associate works hard to help customers get the most out of everyday and achieve their goals - whatever they might be. Staples' ultimate goal is that whenever anyone sees the Staples brand they can be 100% sure that the products and services, advice and information we offer will help make more happen.
In recent years, given Staples size, connecting with customers in a meaningful way and building trust with future customers hasn’t been easy. The challenge to connect individually with each consumer has compounded as the Staples buyer journey has shifted increasingly from in-store to online.
- Needed a simple way to have a genuine dialogue with customers, solve customer issues, and ultimately validate that their brand is one that customers connect with and trust.
- Build trust into the consumer’s online purchase journey to continue to dominate the increasingly competitive digital space.
Staples realized they could collect and leverage customer reviews to solve both of their challenges. After researching multiple review solutions, Staples determined that in order for reviews to build trust in their brand, people first needed to be able to trust the authenticity of the reviews. For Staples, that meant collecting reviews via a third party platform that would ensure all customer reviews were public, not merely the positive ones. When Staples came across Trustpilot, they quickly decided it would be a good fit, due to the open review community and safeguards to detect fraudulent reviews. Trustpilot’s global presence and rock star customer success team solidified their decision.
Empower customers to represent Staples’ brand
Using Trustpilot’s automated review collection technology, Staples proactively invites both online and in-store customers to leave reviews post-purchase, in a way that fits seamlessly into their customer journey. This method has helped Staples amass over 2,000 reviews across 11 different domains, increasing their average review score across all domains from a 1.9 to a 8.0. Staples finds that setting up automatic review collection to be incredibly easy and surprisingly effective as their 8.0 TrustScore is now a more accurate reflection of their brand.
Connect with customers on a personal level
Across Europe, Staples’ customer service reps log-in daily to the Trustpilot platform to reply to reviews, connecting Staples with customers on a personal level that was previously impossible.
Staples also uses reviews to detect customer issues. They strive to respond to all 1 and 2 - star reviews within two hours. After replying, customer service agents follow-up with each customer complaint offline, to both resolve customer concerns and retain loyal customers.
Staples’ dedication to engaging with customers via reviews not only drives customer loyalty, it also helps soothes any concerns potential customers might have. All of Staples’ reviews and responses displayed publically on their Trustpilot page show prospective customers that despite the business’ large size, all customers can expect personal assistance when needed.
Provide prospective customers with social proof throughout purchase journey
Staples recognized what a critical role reviews play when customers are trying to decide where to buy office supplies. To maintain its premium position in the online retail space, Staples needed reviews to be readily available to consumers via various channels to keep them moving through the purchase funnel. Here are a few of the different ways Staples does this:
Google shopping ads
Staples was able to leverage their customer reviews in paid search via the Google Seller Ratings ad extension. These gold stars not only make their ads stand out for both branded and non-branded search terms, they also convey trust driving more people to click on their ad.
As Staples is a household name, prospective customers often come directly to their site to do research before purchasing. Staples displays their third party verified reviews on their homepage to boost consumer confidence in Staples, whether buying online or in-store.
By amassing reviews on Staples’ dedicated Trustpilot pages, these pages started to rank in organic search for keywords like “Staples reviews” or “Staples UK” - terms often searched by prospective customers when considering buying from Staples.
To boost their social media presence, Staples integrated Trustpilot reviews on their Facebook page, another common channel that prospective customers reference before purchasing.
Email is another important marketing channel for Staples, driving traffic to their site and influencing purchases. To optimize their email marketing and show transparency, Staples links to their Trustpilot page in the bottom of all marketing emails with the text “See what our customers are saying”.
Store flyers are an integral part of Staples' retail marketing strategy. To promote Staples’ trustworthiness outside of online channels, Staples is adding their Trustpilot score to all flyers.
For more info on how integral the Trustpilot partnership is to Staples, check out the video below: