Everyone knows the story of David vs. Goliath but what about the equally exciting (okay, maybe slightly less exciting) tale of Happy Linen Company vs. the entire bedding industry.
If you’re the first player in a market, there are tons of hurdles but there’s also one clear advantage – zero competition. You can spot your gap in the market and leisurely expand as you please.
But what about when you’re not the first, or second, or even hundredth in your market? How do you take on the established big boys? Well, with a fresh angle, a big dollop of optimism, and Trustpilot by your side.
A company not to be slept on
In 2017, The Happy Linen Company set out to focus on awesome bedding and matching room accessories for kids (and fun adults) – but they knew they were in for a fight.
Bedding is a busy, legacy category of products with some monstrously big competition: Argos, Dunelm, John Lewis, Amazon, the major supermarkets, and more. The company’s leadership knew they had to stay on the front foot and stand out. So they settled on a differentiator that would set them apart from the big-box companies – trustworthiness.
Sheets just got real
In the words of The Happy Linen Company themselves, ‘it was hard for us to generate trust from prospective customers as there was no prior experience with our products or services.’ So they looked outwards for help, and found Trustpilot.
In the business’s eyes, Trustpilot felt like the ‘go-to brand’ when it came to reviews, and would be recognised as trustworthy by their customers. Happy Linen’s Phillip Schikora (Head of eCommerce) stated that he felt Trustpilot had a better reputation for making sure reviews were legitimate than other competitors.
Surely enough, Happy Linen set up their Trustpilot account, started collecting reviews, and began to plot how to make the most out of the feedback that was starting to arrive. And that’s when they got creative.
They started with the smart option of spreading their strong review scores and feedback across the site using TrustBoxes – dynamically displaying reviews and giving anyone journeying through the site a taste of the Happy Linen experience (which was pretty unanimously rated as being excellent).
They didn’t stop there though. A permanent banner on the top of the site showed the overall trust rating, alongside the number of total reviews that Happy Linen had received so far. This is a useful tip for anyone displaying a TrustScore: you could have a great rating made up of only five customers. Showing you have a great rating from a large number of reviews is another way to make you trustworthy in a potential customer’s eye.
Individual product pages also had product reviews displayed, giving site visitors another level of insight into how good specific offerings were, on top of the overall company experience.
Reviews have been part of the Happy Linen website experience since its inception in 2017. More recently, Happy Linen has started to use review information in social media advertising, namely Instagram and Facebook. This is specifically for retargeting – getting social proof under the noses of interested parties that haven’t yet pressed ‘buy’. We can’t wait to see the results from this once it's been in place a little longer!
Easy wins go a long way
Now we come onto some even cooler work that Happy Linen has undertaken with its Trustpilot review information. The first being some tweaks to their monthly email newsletter.
They decided to focus on collecting and sending out their very favourite Trustpilot reviews from the previous weeks, and pushing that out as direct social proof.
Now, emails that aren’t promoting products directly tend to have a lower open rate than those that do.
Happy Linen has mucked up that theory: Not only did those perform as well as product-featuring emails, but their open and conversion rates are six per cent better than their average email communication. Collect some reviews, share them with their mailing list, and Happy Linen found themselves with a marketing goldmine.
The second innovative thing that the business did with their Trustpilot information was to physically put Trustpilot branding on its packaging. This had a twofold reason for being displayed there.
On the one hand, it again showed customers another reinforcement of an excellent trust rating. But more specifically, it references the high rating that their customer aftercare receives. In their own words: “When going up against big businesses in an established market, it’s important to show how you don’t just match their service, but exceed it.”
Finally Happy Linen have already created a fair few products or improved existing ones based on feedback from Trustpilot. This is a great way to both crowdsource information and to prove that you are listening to customers.
For example, several enquired about blackout curtains from the business, which at the time didn’t exist. Now, they do.
Trust matters, even off the clock
Of course, as with all of our case studies, we like to ask our customers about their own experiences using Trustpilot in a personal capacity.
And Mr. Schikora gave us both sides of the coin about using reviews in his own life.
On one hand, he has a rule about not engaging with somewhere with a less-than-4.7 star rating on Trustpilot. He broke this rule to get a Christmas present recently, and 3 weeks later is still trying to contact customer care about his missing order. Oops.
But on the other hand, Happy Linen’s eCommerce head has seen some wins through Trustpilot too. It can be hard to wean ourselves off products available on Amazon, but a 4.9 rating convinced him to go directly to the company website for a purchase.
24 hours later, the business got in touch to let him know that he had entered a faulty postcode and to change it. 24 hours again, and his purchase was sitting on his doorstep.
From our work with Happy Linen, it does seem to ring true with review data: you snooze on using it, you lose. Sweet dreams.
To find out how your company can make the most of Trustpilot reviews, just like The Happy Linen Company have, get in touch with us below.