Founded in 1992, 686 Technical Apparel believes that life should be lived without limits and your choice of technical apparel should reflect this. Each product they create aims to provide more than you expect and push your experiences beyond what you thought was possible.
And although they initially got their start in winter apparel for skiing and snowboarding, they now offer year round outdoors apparel and gear. Expanding into new product categories can mean new audiences and new competitors, so they looked to Trustpilot for help not only cutting through the marketing noise, but painting their products in the best possible light.
Where you collect reviews matters
686 was no stranger to collecting reviews — they’d previously been working with a different review provider — but they needed better SEO and visibility in organic search. The fact that Trustpilot profile pages make for a great acquisition channel and lead to increased discovery was just the icing on the cake.
When they expanded from selling solely winter technical gear to being a year-round brand, they were suddenly facing more competitors, and trying to resonate with more audiences and needed a way to cut through the noise of a crowded market.
Better SEO and strategic use of social proof are some of the best ways growing brands can solidify their position with a new audience who has tons of options to choose from. Doing so allows brands to maximize sales in two different ways — by attracting new customers and by instilling trust throughout the customer journey to boost conversions.
So that’s exactly what 686 set out to do with their customer reviews.
Adding reviews onsite builds trust across the customer journey
When it came to their site, 686 wanted to make sure they leveraged social proof on the pages that made the most sense in terms of building trust with their customers and increasing conversions.
They even created a specific page just for reviews to show that they take their customer feedback seriously, and make it as easy as possible for shoppers to find out about the experiences of those who came before them.
Adding reviews to product pages leads to more conversions and stronger organic SEO
They also include product review widgets on all product pages so that customers can see feedback specific to the product that they’re looking at. This is really important for brands that offer a wide variety of products or specialty products (like sportswear) that can have different features or uses.
Product reviews can be particularly helpful because often even a one or two-star rating on a product page still gives that product a higher conversion rate. Having a mix of ratings can actually make customers see you as a brand who does not censor their reviews, in turn making them trust you even more.
Plus, when shoppers are able to read product reviews and take their own personal needs into account, a lower score isn’t always relevant to them. For example, If they’re seeing complaints about lengthy shipping times and don’t need the product immediately, a lower rating may not deter them.
Not only that, but empowering your customers to leave reviews for specific products provides fresh user-generated content for that particular page, which can help you rank for long tail search queries and increase organic traffic.
Emails are more compelling with social proof
Promotional emails are another way they leverage their reviews. By including reviews in their promotional emails, they let their customers speak for them instead of bragging about their own brand. It’s also a great way to serve more personal content to their customers.
Last but certainly not least — the final way they use Trustpilot reviews isn’t short-term revenue focused, but rather takes the long game approach to make sure they’re engaged with their customers.
Responding to reviews and trying to resolve issues with customers can go a long way. Their social media team has made responding to their customer reviews a big part of how they use Trustpilot and a way to build a community around their brand.
Results from using Trustpilot
January is one of 686’s busiest months of the year and isn’t typically swayed by any types of promotions or sales. The first year they were using Trustpilot they saw a 50% increase in sessions resulting from organic search while they only had a 11% increase in sessions overall. With their sessions from organic search growing significantly higher than sessions overall, they attribute their success on this critical channel to their decision to switch to Trustpilot.
If your business would benefit from better organic search results or stronger trust in your brand across the customer journey, request a free Trustpilot demo below.