Published September 17, 2019
Last updated November 24, 2020
Rinnai historically has sold its product through 2-step distribution and had little control over eCommerce websites and their subsequent consumer ratings. “In 2017, Rinnai had a couple of hundred reviews per e-tailer and was at a disadvantage compared to other brands and the number of consumer reviews they had on these websites,” according to David Federico, Brand Director at Rinnai America Corporation. “Recent data indicates 88% of consumers are influenced by product ratings online. In addition, numbers matter. The sales conversion is much higher for products with 50 or more reviews than with just a few reviews per sku,” according to Paul Cardis, CEO of Avid Ratings.
Rinnai Solution – AvidCX
Early in 2018, Rinnai partnered with Avid Ratings to tackle their challenges. Avid Ratings completed a satisfaction survey of Rinnai purchasers who submitted warranty registrations from the previous 12 months. This survey yielded 5,000 consumer reviews. Over the next few months Avid began syndicating these reviews to Google and Rinnai’s website. “This was the first time a consumer shopping for a tankless water heater, could see many product reviews online for Rinnai,” according to David Federico.
Reaching Consumers Through E-Commerce
Capturing more consumer reviews was only a partial solution. The additional challenge now was to increase the number of ratings on key do-it-yourself (DIY) eCommerce websites. Beginning in August of 2018, Avid Ratings partnered with Bizaarvoice for full syndication to the top DIY websites such as, Lowes.com, Build.com, Supply.com, and Houzz.com. With the continuation of monthly surveys sent to new product owners, and the syndication of these survey results, Rinnai now has over 33,000 reviews on the largest DIY eCommerce websites.
When comparing the ratings scores syndicated by Avid versus organically generated on the eCommerce website, we found the average score was quite different. The syndicated data average score was much higher at 4.4 vs 4.0, generated from the eCommerce website. According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, online reviews are a dual-edged sword…they tend to over-represent the extreme views.1 “The higher survey response of the Avid data, provides a more accurate consumer sentiment. More reviews and higher scores lead to more favorable positioning on eCommerce websites,” according to Paul Cardis.
With the help of Avid Ratings, Rinnai now has a scalable total solution. Each month, Avid surveys Rinnai customers and syndicates the results immediately to major e-tail partners.“We wouldn’t have been able to scale our online presence so fast without the help of Avid. In addition, the survey has become an invaluable tool for tracking current customer satisfaction of our products,” according to David Federico.
“We wouldn’t have been able to scale our online presence so fast without the help of Avid. In addition, the survey has become an invaluable tool for tracking current customer satisfaction of our products,” David Federico, Brand Director, Rinnai American Corporation.
1 Nadav, Marinescu, Chamberlain, Smart, Online Reviews are Biased. Here’s How to Fix Them, Harvard Business Review, March 6, 2018.
Rinnai America Corporation is a subsidiary of Rinnai Corporation in Nagoya, Japan, and is the number one selling brand of tankless water heaters in the US and Canada.
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