For Rockler, the woodworking retailer beloved by hobbyists, it’s all about the project. It’s the project that brings their customers to their store. And it’s the project that those customers want to show off and share. So as Rockler designed their customer content strategy, they wanted an approach that emphasized the project, not the equipment and supplies.
That’s when the Rockler marketing team realized that an approach focused on customer visuals - pictures and videos - was the way to go. Visuals would enable their customers to show off their creations, which would inspire far more customers to share. And those visuals would be much more powerful than text to inspire new shoppers to pursue their own projects.
“Rockler sells a lot of furniture hardware, components and tools that don’t look particularly interesting until you see them used in a project – like a murphy bed bookcase or custom cabinets,” explains Scott Ekman, Rockler’s VP of Marketing. “Visuals from real customers of the things they’ve built bring those projects to life with an authenticity beyond anything we could create ourselves. Not to mention that it would cost us too much to create props to photograph all our products in-use, so there’s a cost advantage as well.”
Scott felt the big, untapped opportunity to collect customer visuals lay in simply asking, directly. Rockler already sent out post-purchase emails asking customers to review their purchases; what about adapting that email to also ask for visuals? He already knew that most of these emails were being answered by his customers on their phones. Many customers, Scott reasoned, might prefer to respond using the phone’s camera rather than its keyboard.
To accomplish this, Rockler enlisted Pixlee TurnTo. The company was already using the Pixlee TurnTo platform for collecting product reviews and for enabling Q&A between shoppers and past customers. Pixlee TurnTo’s Visual Reviews® product provided an easy-to-implement way to extend that platform to capture visuals as well. But what really proved attractive was Pixlee TurnTo’s unique approach to image collection: rather than just enabling customers to attach images to their reviews, Pixlee TurnTo provided an image first collection flow that promised to acquire dramatically more images, including from customers who didn’t choose to write text reviews at all. Plus, Pixlee TurnTo’s built-in utilities for displaying images on product pages and its independent system for managing and moderating visuals were exactly what he needed to make the most of this new type of content.
As soon as it was turned on, Rockler saw success. Within weeks, visuals accounted for over 15% of all the content collected from Rockler customers on mobile devices. “Our community has totally embraced this new visual content on our product pages. Past customers are submitting lots of great visuals of their projects, and shoppers on the site are spending more time viewing these images and getting inspiration. It’s been a very valuable addition to our site.” In fact, even with an active fan community on Instagram, Rockler receives almost as many visuals through their new direct-submission flow. And all these images come in with permission to use and the associated SKUs already attached -a big advantage.
Rockler realized another big and unexpected benefit from this new approach to content collection: the number of text reviews they gathered surged by 56%! It turned out customers were more motivated to leave traditional product reviews when told up front they would have the option to submit photos as part of their reviews.