As a little bit of background, Bella Bodies has been in business since the early 2000’s. Working out of Sydney, it’s a small team of women passionate about what they do - inspiring confidence in other women with their inclusive range of functional, yet comfortable, underwear and lingerie.
Quality products, personal service, and a focus on sustainability helped the brand become a household name on home turf, and now the team has carried that same ethos overseas with a new warehouse and dedicated website for the UK market.
They haven’t made the journey alone though. Already a client of REVIEWS.io in Australia, they’ve been able to bring the customer voice with them, and use review content from their established audience to connect with a new one.
There are countless hurdles to cross when you enter a new market, and as Ruth Hawkins the Ecommerce & Social Media Manager at Bella Bodies explains, a lot of these centre around customer acquisition. In Australia, Bella Bodies is a known entity with a healthy customer base, but before the expansion, it was a different story in the UK.
The team were essentially starting from scratch, battling with minimal brand awareness, the rising cost of search and social campaigns, and competition from established brands that had amassed loyal fans and followers.
One strategy they used to overcome these barriers was to earn that all important buyer trust by sharing authentic reviews of their products and service - of which they already had around 2,500 from their Australian customer base.
“The fact that we could connect our Reviews.io account to our UK website allowed us to instantly share customer feedback with a new and tentative audience. With the high cost of getting customers to the website it’s been crucial that they can see honest customer reviews that give them confidence to purchase.”
Though yet to carry out any controlled testing, Ruth is convinced that the positive sentiment found in this review content has had a huge impact on conversion rates, giving browsers the confidence they need to try a new product - from a relatively unknown brand - for the first time.
As well as adding that trusted source of information to product pages, review content has proved valuable in driving engagement and awareness, bringing persuasive social proof to the brand’s marketing.
“We use our 4.7 star review average for headlines in social campaigns and include reviews in many of our social posts and ads. It’s an incredible asset to have so many reviews already present on a new Ecommerce site.”
One of the things we pride ourselves on at REVIEWS.io is meeting the needs of our clients, wherever they’re located, and whatever their growth plans are. A big part of that is providing a user friendly solution, effective onboarding and continued support, so it’s great to hear that this is something Ruth values about our partnership.
“The customer service at Reviews.io has been excellent and was one of the key points of difference that tipped the scale in their favour over other platforms. Being able to talk to someone instantly in real-time has meant we are always on top of any changes or tweaks we need to make.”
Ruth added that one of the things the team love about our solution is that no one had to become an expert to get it up and running, and their local account manager is always on hand to help with any issues. But both businesses have grown since Bella Bodies teamed up with REVIEWS.io. And what we’re really proud of is how our platform has evolved to give Ruth and the team more of the functionality they need to make their international expansion a success.
“There are so many great features like being able to share our reviews on both the UK and AU site, collating the reviews across multiple SKUs, adding Instagram feeds in multiple locations, and social sharing of reviews. Every step of the way there’s been new customisations and features that have added to the impact of our reviews onsite.”
Other features Bella Bodies makes use of are Review Attributes. Adding these to review requests brings greater depth to customer feedback, and helps anyone considering a purchase to make a more informed decision.
In this use case for example, asking the customer to select their body shape and rate how true to size the item was results in a far more insightful review than a mere “Lovely product”. After all, what Bella Bodies is trying to sell is more than underwear - it’s comfort, performance and the perfect fit. What Review Attributes do is allow the customer to highlight these qualities, which is a far more persuasive sell.
“Attributes look great in the reviews, and show a deeper level of information to the customer which builds trust. Displaying this information to prospective customers inspires confidence in our brand through offering transparency and actively encouraging customers to give their feedback on our accuracy of style description and sizing.”
This level of detail isn’t just beneficial to the customer either. It gives brands an end user perspective of where their products might be falling short, and that’s incredibly powerful stuff to feed back to the development team.
So what’s next for the Bella Bodies team, and how do they plan to continue their growth? Last year brought major challenges on a global scale, with tighter privacy regulations, increased competition and the subsequent rise in acquisition costs. Despite that, the team managed to actually improve ROAS in the Australian market, though that’s been harder to achieve in the UK.
Ruth explains how the brand exists in a marketplace saturated with great quality underwear, and faces challenges such as price point and low recognition, but we’re sure by adopting the same strategy here as they did on home soil, they’ll continue to gain profitable traction.
“We navigated the 2021 change in privacy across Facebook / Apple by testing creative to determine the most effective ads, including reviews where possible, and tailoring our audiences to target the most engaged and high value prospects.”
Ruth is also a believer in retention through loyalty, running initiatives like special offers, and reward programmes for VIPs. We’ve always encouraged this ourselves and see rewards and reviews as great partners, both helping to improve the customer experience and generate brand advocacy. That’s why we’re currently beta testing our own loyalty solution - Influence.io.
We’re also on the verge of launching a proprietary analytics platform to help brands better understand conversion attribution. Keep your eyes peeled for more information on FullPicture.io and the actionable data it adds to your eCommerce growth strategy.