6 Ways Staples displays social proof throughout their purchase journey

maandag 13 december 2021
6 Ways Staples displays social proof throughout their purchase journey

Staples is part of a global brand family. Today, Staples is the largest company in the industry, serving customers in five continents. In Europe, Staples has wholly-owned operations across 21 countries and work with Alliance Partners in a further 9 markets.

The Staples brand is a stamp of quality that every business person can rely on. Every Staples associate works hard to help customers get the most out of everyday and achieve their goals - whatever they might be.

Given Staples' size, connecting with customers in a meaningful way and building trust with future customers hasn’t been easy. The challenge to connect individually with each consumer has compounded as the Staples buyer journey has shifted increasingly from in-store to online.

Please note that this case study was first published in 2018. As of 2021, Staples are no longer a Trustpilot customer.

Staples' challenges

  • They needed a simple way to have a genuine dialogue with customers, solve customer issues, and ultimately validate that their brand is one that customers connect with, and trust.

  • To build trust into the consumer’s online purchase journey to continue to dominate the increasingly competitive digital space.

Staples' approach

Staples realized they could collect and leverage customer reviews to solve both of their challenges.

After researching multiple review solutions, Staples determined that in order for reviews to build trust in their brand, people first needed to be able to trust the authenticity of the reviews.

For Staples, that meant collecting reviews via a third-party platform that would ensure all customer reviews were public, not merely the positive ones.
When Staples came across Trustpilot, they quickly decided it would be a good fit, due to the open review community and safeguards to detect fraudulent reviews. Trustpilot’s global presence and customer success team solidified their decision.

"We find reviews very important due to the fact that we see a massive shift in customer behavior. The customer of today has many resources to find information on companies before they decide where to purchase."
Anna Domanskiy
Digital Operations Manager, Staples Europe

The results

1. Empowering customers to represent Staples’ brand

Using Trustpilot’s automated review collection technology, Staples proactively invites both online and in-store customers to leave reviews post-purchase, in a way that fits seamlessly into their customer journey.

This method has helped Staples amass over thousands of reviews across different domains, increasing their average review score across all domains by a couple of points. Staples finds that setting up automatic review collection to be incredibly easy and surprisingly effective as their TrustScore is now a more accurate reflection of their brand.

2. Connecting with customers on a personal level

Across Europe, Staples’ customer service reps log-in daily to the Trustpilot platform to reply to reviews, connecting Staples with customers on a personal level that was previously impossible.

Staples also uses reviews to detect customer issues. They strive to respond to all 1 and 2-star reviews within a few hours. After replying, customer service agents follow-up with each customer complaint offline, to both resolve customer concerns and retain loyal customers.

Staples’ dedication to engaging with customers via reviews not only drives customer loyalty, but helps soothes any concerns potential customers might have. All of Staples’ reviews and responses displayed publically on their Trustpilot page show prospective customers that despite the business’ large size, all customers can expect personal assistance when needed.


3. Providing prospective customers with social proof throughout purchase journey

Staples recognized what a critical role reviews play when customers are trying to decide where to buy office supplies. To maintain its premium position in the online retail space, Staples needed reviews to be readily available to consumers via various channels to keep them moving through the purchase funnel. Here are a few of the different ways Staples does this:

1. Google shopping

Staples was able to leverage their customer reviews in paid search via the Google Seller Ratings ad extension. These gold stars not only make their ads stand out for both branded and non-branded search terms, but also convey trust driving more people to click on their ad.


2. Onsite

As Staples is a household name, prospective customers often come directly to their site to do research before purchasing. Staples displays their third-party verified reviews on their homepage to boost consumer confidence in the brand, whether consumers are buying online or in-store.

3. Organic search

By amassing reviews on Trustpilot, Staples ranks in organic search for keywords like “Staples reviews” or “Staples UK” – terms often searched by prospective customers when considering buying from Staples.


4. Facebook

To boost their social media presence, Staples integrated Trustpilot reviews on their Facebook page, another common channel that prospective customers reference before purchasing.

5. Email marketing

Email is another important marketing channel for Staples, driving traffic to their site and influencing purchases. To optimize their email marketing and show transparency, Staples links to their Trustpilot page in the bottom of all marketing emails with the text “See what our customers are saying”.

6. Print marketing

Store flyers are an integral part of Staples' retail marketing strategy. To promote Staples’ trustworthiness outside of online channels, Staples adds their TrustScore to all flyers.

For more information on how Staples work with Trustpilot, check out the video below. Please note that this video features Trustpilot's old branding, as it was filmed in 2018.


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