With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, there was a surge of CBD brands entering the U.S. market. Demand for CBD products skyrocketed, and brands in the space grew quickly - Sunsoil included. Sunsoil creates premium-grade CBD products that are certified organic and completely homegrown on their farms in Vermont. They see a future where CBD oil sits on the shelf next to a bottle of Advil at your local pharmacy. Bharat Ayyar, CEO of Sunsoil, shared how their mission is to reduce CBD's price by 80% while creating high-quality CBD products.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, Sunsoil’s growth was stifled when many of their primary customers, independent grocers, and co-ops, went out of business. Then came 2021 – the buzz for CBD had worn off, and the FDA’s reluctance to provide regulatory clarity on CBD made it much more costly for Sunsoil to run their business. Bharat decided that in order to bounce back, they needed to focus on ecommerce to reach more customers and keep their prices low.
Bharat knew that reviews would be a huge part of their ecommerce strategy. They’re how they highlight customers’ stories and communicate product benefits that are commonly misunderstood by people new to CBD. With so much skepticism around what CBD actually does, social proof would be a massive piece of the puzzle when it comes to earning the trust of new customers.
Sunsoil previously used Reviews.io as their review provider and wasn’t happy with how things worked. Bharat described the platform as “fragile” and hard to use, making completing the most basic review-related tasks challenging. The widgets on-site were lackluster and didn’t fit in with their minimalistic design that caters to their older customer base. Worst of all, customers weren’t leaving as many reviews as he felt they should.
Bharat knew there had to be a better option out there. That’s when he learned about Junip. He had heard good things on Twitter and decided to reach out for a demo.
After the demo, he knew that Junip was miles ahead of what he was currently using. The admin experience was lightning-fast and intuitive; the widgets had a more sophisticated look and feel. And the icing on the cake was how much easier the review-submission experience was on Junip’s mobile-first review forms.
Overall, Junip packed more of a punch, which is precisely what he needed if they were going to continue scaling things up.
Migration & Set-up
Junip’s self-serve nature made the migration process super simple. Bharat quickly brought over all of his reviews from Reviews.io and got the displays up and running in no time. Sunsoil uses Klaviyo for their marketing communications, so Junip’s integration with Klaviyo lets them segment review requests based on whether a customer is new or returning. Bharat knows that first-time customers take longer to see results, so he waits a bit longer to ask for their review to get more detailed feedback.
To showcase all the different ways their products can be used, Bharat set up three Custom Questions; the reason a customer uses the product, how much they take, and how often. Each review then displays this data alongside it, and customers can use the filters at the top of the review section to quickly find the reviews that speak to their specific needs.
Custom Questions worked wonders for Sunsoil in earning the trust of skeptical customers. Now, browsing shoppers can get a clear idea of the results they can expect, making it easier to choose the right product and check out with confidence. The Custom Questions also act as a “rolling customer survey,” Bharat said, giving the team more data to understand how customers use their products.
Switching to Junip's mobile-first review forms solved the problem of Sunsoil's low review submission rate when they used Review.io's long forms that displayed all steps on one screen. With progressive and animated forms that let customers focus on one step at a time, Sunsoil’s review submission rate increased by 113%. A seamless submission experience coupled with flows in Klaviyo that reached customers when they’re most likely to leave a review – 1 out of every 5 customers was now leaving a review for their purchase.
“We’re seeing way more review submissions, and customers are taking the time to leave detailed reviews about the difference our products have made in their lives.”
- Bharat Ayyar, CEO @ Sunsoil
With a much more powerful review collection strategy and an admin that made replying to reviews a seamless step of his workflow, Bharat could continue working towards building out the rest of Sunsoil’s ecommerce strategy.
Using Reviews to Increase Sales
Bharat shared with us how their higher volume of review submissions has also helped increase sales for one of their best-selling products:
“Our Softgels are our best-selling product, with over 4,800 reviews. These reviews are like a funnel for new customers. First-time buyers tend to trust products with many reviews, and Softgels' popularity makes them an easy choice. Since they’re just a pill you can pop every day, customers easily work them into their daily routine.
This consistent use helps customers see better results, making them more likely to buy again. So reviews have been instrumental in acquiring and retaining first-time customers”
Sunsoil has collected over 9,800 reviews with Junip and achieved an average rating of 4.87 across all products. After focusing on ecommerce for the past two years and significantly upgrading their review strategy, Sunsoil is now the 5th largest CBD and hemp company in the U.S.
While other brands have focused on white-labeling products and raising prices to maintain their shrinking profit margins, Sunsoil has done the opposite. They managed to increase sales volumes to a point where they could lower prices by 40%. Officially marking the halfway point on their path toward reducing the cost of CBD by 80%.
Making the Switch
Junip is focused on one thing - helping brands gather more reviews & use them everywhere that matters. If your current review provider isn't cutting it anymore, try Junip. You can get in touch with us here & we’ll help you plan out your move!