It’s not a coincidence that more and more e-commerces and websites in general use reviews from customers to prove a point and help to sell a product. Humanizing your brand when you don’t buy in a store and talk to a salesperson is not easy.
In this interview for Website Planet we talked with Yoni Elbaz, Co-Founder and CEO of Loox, the leading Shopify reviews and referrals app. E-commerce owners will find very interesting what Yoni has to say.
How does Loox work? What differentiates Loox from its competitors?
Loox helps online stores humanize their brand and grow their business using social proof. The key differentiator is that Loox merges visual reviews with referrals into a seamless experience.
Reviews, especially visual reviews, are a social thing. They connect two strangers for a few moments. Indirectly, but they connect them. And referrals, as we all know, work best when people share recommendations with like-minded people. It’s human nature.
Loox connects the dots, enables brands to connect with consumers, and makes the social magic happen.
What are your biggest challenges today? Is it scanning the reputation of a brand, dealing with spam and fraud…?
As Shopify said in their Future of Commerce report, the biggest challenges are rising customer acquisition costs and the death of third-party cookies. In combination with the ever-growing trend of social commerce, there are a lot of new tasks on the to-do lists of ecommerce entrepreneurs.
Our mission is to help our customers grow their business, and so – our challenge is the same as theirs. We are focused on creating new ways for brands to connect with their customers, in order to effectively reach, convert, and retain shoppers.
Asking for a review and a grade can be time-consuming and get poor results. What should e-commerce owners do to boost their profile without bothering the customers?
This is a fantastic question! We recently asked ourselves a similar question to find patterns that can help every merchant collect more reviews.
And when we look at our most successful customers (for example Blendjet, Volant, Move), we see that they’re actually using visual reviews to continue telling their brand’s story. But instead of creating more ads or social media content, they let their customers tell their stories. From angles, a brand can’t do. Because it’s more personal. A great review uses a brand’s product to speak directly to like-minded people. To their peers. Their community. Their tribe.
In order to effectively collect reviews, it’s crucial to provide your customers with an opportunity to leave reviews with minimal effort, and the first thing you want to do is to automate the process.
Set up automatic emails to request and remind customers to submit their reviews. Make sure to get the timing of your messages right – which really depends on the type of product you’re selling. Use language that matches your brand voice, the same way you’d write on social media. And finally, consider offering a reward to those who go the extra mile and add a photo or video to their review. Loox helps merchants nail this process.
Your tool has lots of integrations and that is great for e-commerce owners. I know it’s tough to choose one, but which integration would you recommend that it’s not talked about enough?
This is indeed hard to answer. Every brand has its unique needs and different audiences. And because of that, some communication channels work better than others. Usually, the preferred channel of a brand is also the one where reviews can be collected in the most efficient way. Whether that’s via WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, push notifications, or SMS.
E-commerce had a boom during the pandemic, with most of the brick-and-mortar stores closing their doors and having to go online. What trends did you observe during that time and what actions Loox took to follow that growth?
On a personal level, It was (and is) a difficult time for all of us. Many business owners had to drastically adjust their operations to this new reality and go online. We witnessed an unprecedented number of new online stores created, and a massive increase in the number of consumers buying online.
Following this new scale of growth, we expected an increase in support tickets, review requests, and server load. So we made sure to hire new staff around all departments at Loox and create more resources to support entrepreneurs in these critical times. For example, we did a complete overhaul of our Knowledge Base.
If you could give one tip for someone that is starting an online store tomorrow, what would that be?
Humanize your brand. What I mean by this is creating a brand that not just sells products, but is actually part of a group, community, tribe,- or however you want to call it. This advice is certainly inspired by Shopify. It’s the essence of their “Future of Commerce” report where they gave actionable insights on how the best ecommerce brands act in order to not just survive, but also grow.
What are Loox plans for the next few years?
To continue building products that will enable Shopify merchants to humanize their brand efforts and build a tribe. We’re entering a new era: the era of Connect-to-Consumers (C2C). It’s more important than ever to build lasting relationships with customers.