We don't usually link to our competitors' marketing collateral; they don't usually link to ours. But when we saw PowerReviews' latest case study of their "Social Answers" product running on Skechers.com, we thought it would be interesting to check out just how "Social" it really is. We figured: if this is the site they are featuring in their newest case study, it has got to be their newest product and a best-practice implementation.
So we did a simple test. We asked a normal shopper question on each of 8 products on Skechers.com through the PowerReviews tool and we asked the identical question about the identical product on Shoes.com, which also sells Skechers shoes and uses TurnTo for Social Q&A. Like usual, we kept track of when answers were posted, and if the answers were emailed before they were posted we counted the earlier email time. Half the questions were asked on both sites at around 9:00am eastern, and half were asked at around 1:00pm.
The bottom line: TurnTo generated >3X more answers total, >90% were truly "Social" (from actual past customers), most arrived in 1/3 the time, with 1/4 the staff workload vs PowerReviews.
Just one hour after the questions were submitted, the 8 questions asked through the TurnTo system had generated 7 social answers. There were no answers to the questions asked through the PowerReviews system.
At 8 hours, the TurnTo system had delivered 16 social answers and 2 staff answers. Still none through PowerReviews.
At 24 hours, TurnTo was up to 20 social and 2 staff answers. PowerReviews delivered 8 staff answers - one to each question - but no social answers. In fact, even after 2 weeks, PowerReviews never produced a social answer.
At 24 hours, 7 of the 8 questions asked through TurnTo had received at least 2 answers total, including at least one social answer. One of the TurnTo questions was unanswered. The 8 questions asked through PowerReviews received one staff answer each.
Skechers says they've seen a 30% increase in sales when Q&A is installed on their product pages.
We believe it, and we congratulate them! Social Q&A is a powerful way to increase conversion and to create the sort of user-generated content that search engines increasingly favor.
But we also wonder: imagine how much better their results would have been if their Social Q&A system delivered 3X more answers with most answers coming from actual past customers in under 8 hours (many in under 1 hour), the way TurnTo's does?
Appendix: here are the specific questions asked on each shoe type.