Rainbow Appliance Reveals 17% Conversion Rate with IMshopping’s Merchant Answers Service
SANTA CLARA, Calif (October 15, 2009) - Today, IMshopping, a human-assisted shopping assistance platform, is announcing improved conversion results for Rainbow Appliance, http://www.rainbowappliance.com), one of the largest retail suppliers of household appliances in the US.
Prior to working with IMshopping, Rainbow Appliance relied on phone support exclusively for customer service. In practice, they found certain types of questions were difficult to answer over the phone, and customer service representatives found themselves answering the same questions again and again.
Rainbow Appliance added IMshopping’s Merchant Answers to their site, enabling customers to ask shopping questions on any webpage through an easy-to-use hosted widget. The company also hired a number of IMshopping community shopping guides to answer questions on their behalf. Each customer who asked a question received a personal response from an experienced shopping guide as well as clickable product recommendations embedded in the answer.
As a result of using IMshopping as a virtual salesforce, Rainbow Appliance reports over 17% of customers who asked questions on their site converted into sales. This is a significant increase from their typical 1.0 to 1.2% conversion rate before partnering with IMshopping. In addition to the spike in conversions, Rainbow Appliance saw an increase in organic traffic since all questions and answers are hosted in a heavily search-engine indexed micro-site. In fact, many questions that typically used to tie up customer service phone representatives now hold high Google PageRank positions.
Rainbow Appliance is just one of the 26 retailers who first signed up for IMshopping’s Merchant Answers program last month. The new program allows any online retailer to add IMshopping’s product recommendation service to their site easily at http://merchants.imshopping.com. From here, customers ask shopping questions directly on e-tailers’ sites or via Twitter. Each question is then routed to shopping guides for an answer. Guides can be employees of the e-tailer or recruited from IMshopping’s own community of shopping guides. Next, customers quickly receive real answers to their questions with embedded product recommendations. IMshopping’s back-end tools make it easy to integrate merchant product catalogs and attach relevant products that fit customers’ needs. Customers benefit from a personalized shopping experience and e-tailers are able to convert more customers into buyers. Additionally, the question and answer format creates valuable user-generated content that drives additional organic traffic beyond the initial customer inquiry.
“After integrating IMshopping on our site, we immediately saw a spike in conversions to purchases,” said Jacob Maslow, VP of Marketing for Rainbow Appliance (http://www.rainbowappliance.com), one of the largest retail suppliers of household appliance in the US. “This summer season was a critical one for us, and IMshopping helped us compete with the big guys - Amazon and New Egg. We’ve had our best summer season yet and better than expected Q3 sales, thanks to IMshopping.”
“The Rainbow Appliance sales data is proof that shopping assistance is a critical component of online retailing. It has been a pleasure working with Rainbow Appliance and seeing the tangible results of the Merchant Answers program, “ said Kevin Wray, VP of Sales and Marketing for IMshopping. “Not only did we help them meet their summer sales goals, we helped them save money by providing a virtual sales team and driving more organic traffic to their site.”
Retailers can take a quick look at what the IMshopping widget would look like on their site by visiting the IMshopping demo at: http://www.imshopping.com/widgetdemo.action?url=Enter Your Site URL here
IMshopping is a shopping assistance community and communications platform for online retailers. The company’s Merchant Answers service helps online retailers convert shoppers into buyers, drive additional organic traffic, recruit shopping experts for pre-sales assistance, and connect with their customers through social media like Twitter. IMshopping was named of the top 50 shopping sites in the October 2009 issue of Consumer Reports’ ShopSmart Magazine. The company is based Santa Clara, California and is backed by SK Telecom.
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