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80% of E-Commerce Sites are Missing the Q&A Boat

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[COLOR=#000000]The 2011 Social Shopping study from my company's e-tailing group found that consumers rely on social commerce tools to make purchase decisions. When consumers were asked the impact of the following social tools on their buying behavior, 59 percent said customer reviews and 42 percent said Q&A had a significant impact. Facebook activity registered at 13 percent.[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000]Even though the data is compelling that Q&A is consumers' No. 2 social commerce tool, fewer than 20 percent of e-commerce sites have Q&A capabilities. More e-commerce sites have the Facebook "like" button and other Facebook features than have Q&A.

[URL=""]ClickZ[/URL] further outlines the benefits of having a properly written Q&A page:

[LIST=1][*][B]Q&A increases SEO.[/B] Q&A is user-generated content (UGC). And Google favors UGC (text format, not yet video format) in its search results. Many retailers and brands see a 2:1 ratio of questions to reviews and for some merchants this ratio can be much higher. Since Q&A acts as a living FAQ doc on your product page, it naturally generates an abundance of keywords. Make sure your content is visible to Google; indexed directly on your pages. If your content is in an iFrame, Google cannot index it on your page. We see SEO to pages increase 25 to 49 percent when UGC is indexed directly on the product page vs. being in iFrames.[*][B]Q&A drives conversion.[/B] The Q&A content is evergreen on one's site, giving visitors key information to drive conversion. In addition, when a consumer receives an email after the question she asks has been answered, conversion rates between 10 to 40 percent from that answer notification email are typical. Sierra Trading Post reported a 50 percent increase in conversion and a staggering 300 percent increase in click-through for this email over traditional email marketing campaigns.[*][B]Q&A lowers call center volume.[/B] After going live with Q&A, Skechers noticed a 30 percent reduction in call center volume. Tim Lakin, aka Tim the Shoe Guy and e-commerce merchandising manager at Skechers answers just about every question submitted on the Skechers site and says providing customers with quality answers is invaluable. "One of our newest and most technical shoes, the Pro Resistance SRR, was receiving a high volume of call center questions. By submitting very detailed answers we were able to drop calls for that product down to 0% as well as increase conversions by 25%," said Lakin.[/LIST]


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