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“We’ve identified the feedback of satisfied customers as a new form of online currency” – interview with Remo Fyda (ProvenExpert)

We’re excited to present our interview with Remo Fyda, a CEO at ProvenExpert. Read on to learn about the important role of social proof in the e-commerce industry.

You are a CEO and Co-Founder of ProvenExpert. Can you tell us more about the idea and beginnings of the company?

I’ve been advising companies across a wide range of sectors on online strategy for over 20 years. When I sold my agency Neoscope some years ago, I was not permitted to set up a new one right away. So I was looking around for exciting projects on the market when I discovered MAGIX, the company that’s now the parent company of Firma Expert Systems AG and our product, ProvenExpert.com. One particular question has always been on my mind: What can I do to win the trust of consumers? ProvenExpert provides the answer: that genuine feedback from satisfied customers is a winning formula for attracting new customers. I’ve been CEO here since 2013. Back then, there wasn’t really any platform on the market that rated individuals/services. The original concept of creating a rating platform for trainers and coaches then grew into a cross-sector platform, ProvenExpert.com.

What are your main responsibilities on a daily basis? How big is your team?

The most important thing for me in the morning is to have my daily espresso. Then, there’s all the normal checking in on emails, current figures and KPIs. Discussions with our investors form part of my workday as well as developing new collaborations and ideas. The great thing about the job is that our product lets us work with many exciting customers from a whole range of industries. We have diverse customers with diverse needs, so there are always new projects in the pipeline. From 2018 to 2019, our client base has almost doubled. We’re delighted to say that the number of ProvenExpert users is approaching the 100,000 marks. And alongside the number of clients, we’re growing too. ProvenExpert now has around 50 employees, including four in our office in Krakow, Poland. So it’s an upward trend.

What is the role of social proof in the e-commerce industry?

When it comes to purchasing, what –or who –should you choose? The manufacturer says their product is good. But as end consumers, who should we believe? It’s either the person who has provided you with advice, or people who have already had an experience of the product or service. If the brand has a good reputation, you trust it. In fact, you’ll even take a leap of faith. And if things don’t run smoothly, you’re more likely to give it the benefit of the doubt. 85% of all Internet users say they trust online reviews just as much as they do personal recommendations. Social proof leads to faster purchases because trust engenders trust.

What do you think brands can do for increasing CLV / AOV?

We know that when a brand is tangible, it’s more trustworthy. Customer reviews and feedback lead to others placing their confidence in your business, so you can reach potential customers before they even need to purchase your product or use your service. Also, 9 out of 10 consumers check personal recommendations against online reviews. So the best way to get noticed and stay noticed by potential customers is to enable your existing customers to express their satisfaction with your service: Let them do the talking for you. A rating seal for your business is a great way to engender trust. This can be placed in locations relevant to conversion, for instance, next to your CTA button e.g “Order today” or “Buy now”. Here’s where feedback from satisfied customers will really attract new customers. The result is more clicks, more orders.

During the upcoming E-commerce Berlin Expo, you are going to talk about valuable currency online. What do you mean by that?

We’re all worried about making the wrong decision when it comes to unfamiliar territory. 91% of 18-34-year-olds trust online reviews just as much as they do personal recommendations.* When a consumer is searching for something, it’s usually the first impression that counts –something that takes just 3 seconds. This short amount of time is what you have to work with to win them over, so the faster you can gain the trust of an Internet user, the more clicks you’ll get. That’s why “trust” elements like seals of approval or quality are worth their weight in gold. We’ve identified the feedback of satisfied customers as a new form of online currency since their voices are what wins over new customers. The brand that stands out in the right place at the right time will earn more clicks and thus significantly increase their sales figures.

What challenges is ProvenExpert going to face in 2020?

We’ve turned the structure and appearance of ProvenExpert upside down. It now offers a new design, a more user-friendly interface and exciting new features. So there are lots to look forward to. We’re coming up on 100,000 ProvenExpert users and the interest in our platform is growing worldwide. A rollout is also planned for additional languages.

How do you think the e-commerce industry will change in the next few years?

E-commerce will not only grow in importance in the future: it will continue to adapt to consumer habits. The marketplace of today is online, and thanks to artificial intelligence, we’re learning more and more about the net every day. We need orientation right now so that we can find our way in a maze of products that are expanding by the day. So customer reviews and feedback will not lose their value in future –in fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Thanks for your insights, Remo! 

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