1607, 2015

Online Reviews – By the Numbers

By |July 16th, 2015|online reputation, online reviews, reputation management|

“A good reputation is more valuable than money.” – Publilius Syrus, First century B.C.

It is well established that online reviews are becoming increasingly important in affecting a business’s reputation and generating sales. Two recent studies detail consumers’ trust in and engagement with online reviews. The Nielsen Global Survey of Trust in Advertising, conducted in February and March of 2013 in 58 countries, asked consumers about the extent to which they trusted various forms of advertising. Sixty-eight percent of consumers reported trusting “consumer opinions posted online.” Consumers’ trust in online reviews was on par with their trust in branded websites (69%) and ranked higher than their trust in TV ads (62%), newspaper ads (61%) magazine ads (60%), radio ads (57%), and even ranked just above their trust in editorial content such as newspaper articles (67%). Global consumers rated only one source of advertising – personal recommendations from people they know – (84%) as meaningfully more trustworthy than online reviews.

 

The BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey 2014, conducted in May and June of 2014 with a panel of respondents from the U.S. and Canada, explored how consumers read and use online reviews.

Searching for Local Businesses

How frequently do consumers go online to locate local […]

604, 2015

Leveraging Rewards Program Data in Reputation Management Campaigns

By |April 6th, 2015|Uncategorized|

Implementing a rewards program into your business, designed to reward customers who frequent your business and make large purchases (or spend a lot over time), can positively reinforce customer interaction with your business and motivate customers to return. By encouraging and rewarding customers to frequent your business, a reward program can encourage customers to spend more, cultivate brand loyalty and give a business owner multiple opportunities to interact with the same customers. If treated right, these customers are likely to become word-of-mouth brand ambassadors telling their friends and family about their preference for your products or services over those of your competitors.

In addition to simply driving more customer visits, a well-managed rewards program can increase spend per visit, give a business an additional channel to market and promote through, prompt additional purchases, yield valuable customer insights, facilitate communication between the business and customers and more. Businesses can get very creative in how they interact with customers enrolled in their rewards program and in how they use the data they collect. Supermarkets, for example, use aggregate purchasing habits to better utilize highly competitive shelf-space by modeling habits across demographics. Data isn’t only useful at a macro level, but often is also […]

2111, 2014

The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful

By |November 21st, 2014|Uncategorized|

Customers vote with their wallets – if you did not meet or exceed their expectations, they won’t be back. What’s more?  If their experience was negative, they are likely to be vocal about it. Before the Internet, that meant they would tell ten friends who would tell ten friends and so on, creating poor “word of mouth” advertising. Now the Internet provides many forums for negative publicity to go viral at the speed of light.

In a survey conducted by analysts at BrightLocal, about 85% of consumers reported reading online reviews and 67% said they read only 6 reviews or less before forming their opinion.  According to another survey by Dimensional Research, 90% of respondents claimed that positive online reviews influenced their buying decision, and 86 percent said their buying decisions were influenced by negative reviews.

What’s a business owner to do? Be proactive and take control by generating more good reviews. By initiating more positive reviews, you show potential customers a healthy balance of feedback.

Also, you’ll boost your online visibility. Major search engines zero in on fresh, current content. A steady stream of quality online reviews increases your business ranking with Google, Yahoo and Bing.

SmartRep is the beautifully simple and cost-effective […]

2710, 2014

Groupon is Bad For Business & Your Reputation

By |October 27th, 2014|Uncategorized|

The pitch to business owners from Groupon is a simple one and it’s a pitch that makes a lot of sense, in theory. Groupon offers businesses the opportunity to gain massive exposure on their website by posting a coupon that, more often than not, offers a deal that would never be available elsewhere. For example, a retail store might sell a Groupon for $20 that entitles the customer to $40 in merchandise, a savings of 50%. The $20 the customer pays for the Groupon goes directly to Groupon and they split the proceeds, upfront, with the business owner.

When it is all said and done, that local retail store will end up selling $40 worth of merchandise for $10. For most businesses, this represents a loss since the $40 in merchandise cost them more than $10. But despite this, and as Groupon’s pitch would have you believe, that loss is well worth it. And in many cases they force new partners to take less than half of the Groupon’s selling price. To continue the above example, instead of $10 the store may only be receiving $8 or $5 for $40 in merchandise.

Groupon’s pitch is undeniably brilliant. It convinces businesses they’re making […]