Wicked Uncle, a hugely successful UK online retailer of top quality toys entered the US market in 2017 and is using Feefo reviews to build trust for its excellent customer experience in what is a brutally competitive market.
Describing itself as “a community of small, pointy-eared elves”, Wicked Uncle stands out through the quality of its hand-picked toys and customer experience.
Established in the UK 14 years ago the online toy retailer has brought a new level of service and reassurance to a market where customer experience is frequently very poor. An online search for “Toys for a nine-year-old boy” on Amazon for example, can deliver 20,000 results with no reliable indication of quality or whether they will surprise and delight.
From Jellyfish lamps to balls that bounce on water, each toy sold by Wicked Uncle, however, is carefully selected and subjected to rigorous fun-testing. Anxious adults know each toy fits the age group and really does put a smile on a young face.
Having succeeded in the UK, Wicked Uncle entered the US market in 2017, intending to establish itself very quickly as a distinctive, major player from a base in Maryland.
It built an excellent US-focused e-commerce site, warehousing and highly-efficient distribution network, but a survey of customers from its first 100,000 gifts revealed that trust in its brand and proposition remained a substantial barrier to expansion. The US operation realised that in such a vast market it needed to take action to establish trust in the minds of consumers and as a result the decision was taken to implement a customer review and feedback system.
Wicked Uncle in the US had complete autonomy in its choice of review system. Although the UK arm of the business has been using Feefo’s verified-only review platform sinced 2014, it was by no means certain the US operation would follow suit, given the many review systems in the US.
However, Feefo’s review system has successfully boosted trust and transparency for Wicked Uncle in the UK. It was enough to convince Joel Poznansky, the president of Wicked Uncle US that he should also use Feefo. “We chose it because it works so well in the UK and because it’s very customer-friendly, independent, authenticated and the customer can see that the retailer doesn’t get to influence the review process. It’s completely transparent. It was exactly what we needed,” said Poznansky.
Integration was straightforward and rapid, which was a great advantage for the small Wicked Uncle US team. Once operational, Wicked Uncle waited 90 days before going live in April this year (2019) by which time it was receiving approximately 40 reviews each month.
The feedback has steadily accumulated since, enabling new customers to read the most convincing evidence there is about the company’s excellence in customer experience. Wicked Uncle considers reviews so important it has put them “above the fold” so they are as prominent as possible. It also has started to put reviews into its social media, posting one or two reviews each week.
4 or 5 star reviews collected
The company has now garnered more than 580 reviews and ratings, of which over 97% are at four or five-star level – providing a powerful new channel of reassurance for new customers. Between five and ten per cent of Wicked Uncle’s customers post reviews.
“Reviews are obviously helping determine what people want to buy and leading to greater customer satisfaction, which is exactly what we want,” said Poznansky. “We were determined to make it as easy as possible for people to find what they wanted and this is helping even more.“
“Reviews tell us an enormous amount,” he said. “Right across Wicked Uncle we take reviews very, very seriously. We thought our customer service and product range were excellent, but until everyone got a chance to say it, we didn’t know for certain.”
As use of Feefo platform by Wicked Uncle customers continues to grow in the US, the company intends to integrate ratings and use review content to boost online search rankings and grow its customer base even further.
“A verified review platform was something we needed as a strategic move and Feefo delivered all the way along. The system is excellent and easy to work with. I would recommend Feefo to anybody,” said Poznansky.
To learn about how customer feedback can start playing a big part in your brand development, get in touch with a member of our friendly team who will be happy to talk to you about how Feefo can help.