The line between retail and e-commerce is blurring, as traditional “bricks and mortar” businesses are establishing an online presence and e-commerce companies, are increasingly seeing the advantages and opportunities of having a physical location.
According to a recent eMarketer survey, the global retail market reached $25 trillion in 2019, but economic uncertainty and a decline in consumer spending are slowing growth. In contrast, global e-commerce is expected to rise to $5 trillion in 2021 — increasing 20% year over year.
There are over 1 million retail establishments across the United States, and retail sales have grown almost 4 percent annually since 2010. However, online sales are catching up quickly. Consumers spent $601 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2019, up 14.9% from the prior year.
The future of retail is increasingly moving online, but traditional retail is still a powerful economic force.
The recent Covid-19 global health crisis exposed many risks of traditional retail and highlight the importance of a comprehensive online business strategy for retail and e-commerce companies that includes online reputation management.
According to a recent study, 92% of Internet users read product reviews, and 89% of people say that reviews influence their purchasing decisions. The first thing most consumers do before making a major purchase is research online.
Google dominates the online search engine marketplace, with a market share between 87-90 percent, with Bing and Yahoo! trailing far behind. 63.6% of consumers say they are likely to check reviews on Google before visiting a business — more than any other review site.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of positioning your website to rank highly in search results, making your website visible to people who are looking for your products and services. Retail and e-Commerce companies understand the importance of SEO, but SEO is not enough.
Retail and e-Commerce companies must also consider what people see when they search for your business online.
Negative reviews, online complaints, news stories, and social media mistakes can destroy your company.
This is why online reputation management must be part of your online marketing strategy.
According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, 86 percent said buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews. Online reviews can turn a potential customer into a real customer or convince a potential customer to go straight to a competitor. 82% of consumers say the content of a review has convinced them to make a purchase.
Most review sites do not remove negative reviews unless the review is a violation of its Terms of Service, or you obtain a court order determining the review is defamatory or you successfully file a DMCA notice for copyright infringement.
Reputation Rhino has helped remove negative reviews from the most popular review and complaint sites online.
However, for most businesses and most reviews, a proactive approach to online reputation management will involve a combination of Monitoring, Reporting, Review Outreach & Response.
Reputation Rhino provides review monitoring and review management solutions for the following popular review and customer complaint sites:
We Monitor all relevant reviews posted for your business on the most relevant business review and complaint sites every day.
We provide monthly Reporting with detailed metrics so you know who is reviewing your company, when they are reviewing, what they are saying and where they are posting their reviews so you can identify and respond to trends and allocate advertising and marketing resources accordingly.
We provide Review Outreach services to your existing clients and customers. We target those individuals who have had a positive experience with your company and direct these customers to leave reviews on the most visible online review sites so they can have maximum impact.
We also provide a Response to all relevant reviews by our team of experienced online reputation management professionals. This personalized service allows us to act as a representative of your Company to acknowledge and recognize positive reviews and escalate and resolve problems posted online in an effort to convert negative customer reviews to positive reviews.
To learn more about how to manage online reviews contact us today or check out our Ultimate Guide to Online Reputation Management.
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media platforms have changed retail and e-commerce forever.
Word of mouth, which used to drive most sales, is now taking place online.
Over 1.66 billion people use Facebook every day. 78 percent of American consumers have discovered retail products to buy via Facebook. Facebook is the largest social media network in the world — bigger than WhatsApp (1.5 billion), Instagram (one billion) and Twitter (261 million). Facebook continues to reign in popularity over other social media channels.
83% of people use Instagram to discover new products or services, and that 81% of them do product research on the platform. After seeing a product or service on Instagram, 46% made a purchase. Instagram is a highly engaged global community with more than one billion active accounts. People come to Instagram for visual inspiration and the simple design allows captivating visuals to take center stage. Advertising on Instagram has the power to move people — inspiring them to see a brand or business differently or take action.
90% of users say Pinterest helps them decide what to purchase, and 66% buy something after seeing a brand’s Pins. Pinterest drives more traffic to shopping sites than Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter. The number of video views on Pinterest in 2019 grew more than 6x compared to 2018. Pinterest is a powerful visual creative platform and drives consumer behavior from discovery to purchase.
Our social media management team are online marketing experts who know, based on “data analytics and experience:”
what to post, when to post, who to target and why and will help develop a consistent, clear, and credible “voice” for you and your brand online.
Reputation management for retail companies includes highly targeted SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to ensure that your company appears on Page 1 for online searches for your key products and services and promotion of positive business reviews across a wide range of review sites, including Google My Business, BBB, TrustPilot, and many more. Daily monitoring of reviews is necessary for maintaining an overall positive reputation. Content marketing, social media, and review responses are also integral to building and maintaining a positive reputation.
PR (Public Relations) is growing in significance, and becoming more essential to retail marketing strategies. That’s because people want the businesses they buy from to have a unique voice that aligns with their own values. PR for retailers involves storytelling that builds credibility and trust. It also relies heavily upon influencers and micro-influencers who vouch for the products and the brand. Content that addresses trends and relevant industry standards, as well as customer reviews that support your retail business’s claims, will go a long way in making PR work for you.
Brick-and-mortar retail locations account for 94% of all retail sales, but their reputations are still largely formed by online reviews. eCommerce is quickly becoming one of the largest industries in the world, and customers are heavily reliant upon online reviews since they cannot personally visit the location. Retailers and eCommerce businesses alike are closely tied to consumers’ personal preferences and expressions. Therefore, a branded voice on social media, a collection of stellar customer reviews, and high visibility with the help of professional SEO all add up to prove the importance of retail and eCommerce reputation management.