Samsung Runs User-Generated FAQ Feature at BestBuy.com

Samsung has been testing a branded FAQ feature on BestBuy.com that utilizes user-generated content. Now that a five-month trial was deemed a success, Samsung will continue the initiative.

According to the technology vendor behind the feature, Bazaarvoice, the electronics manufacturer saw that 91 percent of the users’ comments were providing information that was not available in marketing collateral. The answers helped spike Samsung’s product views at BestBuy.com by as much as 96 percent.

Here’s how Samsung has been using the system, which was formally announced yesterday and is dubbed “BrandAnswers.” When visitors click a button on the brand’s products details pages, a pop-up FAQ feature that’s called “Mr. Samsung” appears. Then, visitors can read pages of questions and answers that were previously supplied by other viewers. They can also search the feature to find the content they need or something close to it.

Additionally, users can type in their own questions, which the feature says in a message will be answered within a 16-hour window. The most popular question during the test was, “Can I hang this TV on the wall?”

Sam Decker, CMO, for the Austin, TX-based Bazaarvoice, said a benefit is the system cuts down on calls, e-mails, and chat requests to customer-relationship management centers while moving shoppers more nimbly down the purchase funnel. Decker added that calling the feature “Mr. Samsung” was that brand’s choice.

“It’s a custom buy, so manufacturers or retailers can pick the personality they want,” he said.

The user-generated questions and answers, which are uploaded in real time, are moderated by Bazaarvoice. Decker said pricing is based on a pay-per-content model, meaning the more consumers post content, the higher the product’s cost.

Meanwhile, “BrandAnswers” builds on his company’s releases during the last couple of years, most notably “BrandVoice” and “Ask & Answer.” Each development has represented the software vendor shifting slightly away from its reputation as a ratings-and-reviews brand and moving toward more interactive UGC offerings.

What’s particularly interesting about yesterday’s announcement is a manufacturer being able to have its own branded CRM presence on a major retailer’s site. Decker said that Samsung helped broker the deal with Best Buy to allow the test to take place.

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