Petco’s John Lazarchic On Web Site Improvement
We integrated our review system with our site navigation and search through Endeca, so we’ve been able to give our customers the ability to shop by ratings, which makes us one of the first ones to do that.
Basically, the system now automatically puts items of a four or higher rating into a category called “top rated.” As customers are shopping, if they’re curious about what pet products are best for their pet or what other customers like, they’re able to go in and look at those. We’ve found, surprisingly for us, that the conversion rate for customers who use that category is substantially higher than customers who are shopping elsewhere on the site—somewhere in the mid-40s conversion rate than the rest of the site. And their average order value is more than 50 percent higher than customers who shop through other channels on the Web site.
Normally, customers go from, for example, dog to dog toys, and the Web site only shows dog toys. But when you go to the top-rated products, it’s all a hodgepodge; customers tends to page through page after page, so they see a whole variety of products in different categories that they may have otherwise not looked at; so it’s drastically increasing their spend. Our goal now is [figuring out] how to drive people into that area so they’re seeing all these new products.
Along the same lines, we’ve added ratings to our sort dropdown for our product listing page. Where you traditional look for sort by price, alphabetically, new items, or popularity, we’ve added ratings as one of the sort features. We’ve quickly found that that was the number one sort option that customers were using every time they used the dropdown, so we now use ratings as our default sort. Again, it’s letting the customer set the merchandise strategy.