The pressure is on for retailers to continue getting new online reviews as consumers care less about older reviews and more about newer ones.
Years ago when online business reviews became more prevalent, retailers were told how important it was to get customers to leave reviews and how reviews could affect their business.
That’s still just as important today, but I recently came across two statistics that are going to complicate how online reviews work altogether: 86% of consumers only pay attention to reviews from the last 90 days, and 73% of consumers only pay attention to reviews written in the last month.
That means retailers need to constantly find ways to get customers to write positive reviews so that those who search for the business online can find reviews written within the last few months.
So how can retailers overcome this challenge?
- Just Ask. A few years back I asked retailers how they got customers to leave reviews, and the most common answer was to simply ask. If you offer a great retail experience, most people will be happy to write a kind word or two on Google for you. The worst thing that can happen is that they won’t write the review.
- Incentives. You could also offer incentives, like 10% off the next purchase, to encourage customers to leave reviews. That tactic could get the person back in your store later and land you another fresh review for consumers to see when searching online. There are also things like gift card raffles that could work as well, especially because you want to be fiscally aware of how much you are able to give away.
- Monitor the reviews. Designate someone in your store or have your marketing person monitor the reviews to see what people are saying. This can help you improve the in-store experience or give you insight into what consumers liked or didn’t like about your store. Look for commonalities in reviews—both good and bad—and use that to educate and train salespeople. There could even be ways to prioritize newer reviews so that consumers see those first.
- Social Media. Don’t just let your reviews sit on Google, use Yelp and other review sites that work for your business and share the reviews on social media to help spread the word. Consumers are more likely to buy from places that have more reviews, and if you go beyond those just searching online and actively advertise your store on social media and elsewhere consumers are more likely to see it.
How people react to and use online reviews is constantly changing, but with reviews being a key part of today’s business, retailers need to stay up to date on ways to make the most of consumer reviews.