It’s funny what priorities we can have as consumers and shoppers.
We’ll happily upgrade our perfectly working phones to the latest model, but we’ll let some items that desperately need an upgrade fall to the wayside.
Yes, we’re talking holey socks.
So in 2015, Stand4 Socks decided enough was enough. It was time for socks to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Their idea was simple — make great socks that served a great cause.
And the idea took off. For every pair of socks they sell, Stand4 Socks donates another hard-wearing, antibacterial pair to a person impacted by homelessness. With dozens of different designs and materials and support from Stephen Fry and Louis Theoroux, it’s no wonder they’ve been able to donate over 250,000 pairs of socks so far.
But getting the public excited about their brand (and socks, in general) wasn’t a small task.
We spoke with Stand4 Socks’ founder, Josh Turner, who explained how his personal experience with Trustpilot proved to him that we were the right partner to help spread Stand4 Socks’ story.
There were a few key reasons that Stand4 Socks chose to use Trustpilot as a partner for cultivating reviews and customer feedback.
Firstly, operating in a competitive market with other established brands meant that proving trustworthiness, transparency and great customer feedback would be the keys to differentiation. And a recognised name like Trustpilot provided additional third-party validation that Stand4 Socks was a reputable, loved brand.
Secondly, social proof was crucial for boosting the reputation of a relatively ‘ignored’ product like socks. We’ve all been guilty of wearing socks long past their heyday, so Stand4 Socks needed a way to ensure that customers would start to see the whole category a bit differently. The easiest way to do so? Show them real, excited feedback from previous customers that emphasised why they were a product worth buying.
Making the most of customer feedback
So, with clear goals and a partnership with Trustpilot up and running, it was time to get down to brass tacks.
The first port of call was for Stand4 Socks to populate their website with Trustpilot star ratings and reviews, getting real customer experiences up on their homepage and beyond.
This rollout was carefully structured, with the use of review widgets being strategically placed throughout the site. So if customers were at the checkout stage — they’d see reviews that would highlight excellent delivery service. And reviews concerning their donations to those impacted by homelessness were featured early in the purchase pathway on the site, reinforcing their brand ethics and trustworthiness.
Social media ads and organic posts also featured Trustpilot customer reviews and star ratings. With an emphasis on social proof powering their push for brand awareness, their ads saw a general uptick of ~15% in click-throughs to the site.
But, as explained in their own words, repeat customers is an enormous target market focus for Stand4 Socks. Socks are a classic ‘repeat purchase item’ — everyone needs new ones eventually! And so email outreach to previous purchasers featured reviews that focused on important repeat business themes such as quality, customer service, delivery times and reliability.
Boosting business goals
Stand4 Socks also made it clear that they didn’t want to limit their customer feedback and reviews to just use within marketing and PR teams – as important as that is.
Instead, our information and customer feedback took on many different forms throughout the business.
For service teams, bottlenecks, best practice and common issues could be identified and sorted.
For product teams, recurring feedback (good or bad) on the socks themselves was carefully looked at so tweaks and design changes could be made accordingly.
And for the wider business, there was the important reminder of the emotional impact of the work. Josh told us that there was little more motivating than hearing about someone getting the ideal gift, or the impact that their sock donations had on those who need them most.
Growth challenges and adapting tactics
It’s not always plain sailing though when a business becomes a fast success like Stand4 Socks. In fact, some of their early Trustpilot-aided tactics just simply can't be carried out anymore. Activities like personally replying to every single review that is posted on their page – something that once was a point of pride, has now become unfeasible with thousands of customers buying from them.
However, Stand4 Socks, while not being able to reply to as many reviews as before, is grateful to have somewhere that allows them to keep their ‘finger on the pulse’ and make sure customers remain front and center.
And on a more vulnerable note, Stand4 Socks expressed the reverberations of a bad review within the team, with a single one often outweighing dozens of positive messages in the team’s mind (being honest, we quite like this: it’s a sign of a company that cares.) Despite these sometimes hitting a little hard, Stand4 Socks describes the ‘powerful two-way connection’ that Trustpilot opens up with customers, and how important it is.
Taking stock outside the company
The final piece of the Stand4 Socks / Trustpilot puzzle was the sock experts using our data to look beyond their own company’s feedback.
A cornerstone of our approach is transparency; reviews and ratings can be seen by one and all. And that includes businesses that operate in the same field.
Alongside benchmarking and analysis, Stand4 Socks also find it interesting and insightful to take a look at competitor pages, noting their weaknesses and strengths via customer feedback. Overall, learning from customer reviews has allowed Stand4 Socks to stay ahead of the curve and keep innovating regularly.
Trustpilot in the wild
As we mentioned earlier, Josh knew from personal experience with Trustpilot that we were the right partner for them.This quote speaks for itself:
We think that's a pretty lovely summation to end this piece on.
We wish Stand4 Socks good luck as they continue to right the wrongs of bad socks and give back to their community along the way.
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