Why online reputation management is crucial for your Black Friday sales
With Black Friday quickly approaching, your preparations should be in full-swing — but have you thought about how the online perception of your brand could impact your sales performance over the lucrative weekend?
In 2016, £1.23bn was spent online on Black Friday alone, up 12.2% on 2015. Experts predict that this spend will grow again this year, so businesses need to do all they can to secure their market share — including minimising the impact of negative online reviews.
How negative reviews can damage your Black Friday performance
On Black Friday, competition between retailers ramps up, so you need to remain competitive on more than just price. Users want reassurance that they are buying from a reputable brand and if your online reputation says otherwise, chances are they’ll be willing to go elsewhere, even if it means paying a little extra.
90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, so if you want to capture a new market on Black Friday through your reduced prices, you need to make sure that your reviews are good. After all, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 86% of shoppers will hesitate to purchase from a store that has negative reviews.
It’s good news for retailers with “excellent” reviews, as customers are likely to spend 31% more, meaning more sales and potentially new regular consumers who will shop with you after Black Friday ends.
92% of online users will only use local businesses if it has a minimum of a 4-star rating. Don’t be afraid to ask your loyal customers to leave you a review; it could lead to new business, as 72% of consumers will take action after reading a positive review.
Responding to negative reviews and improving your online reputation
So how can you improve your brand’s online reputation and minimise the impact negative reviews can have? Consider the following:
- Encouraging positive reviews—users are more likely to post a review after a negative experience. Actively encourage loyal customers to review products and experiences to increase the number of positive reviews your business has.
- Sharing positive content—dilute the impact of review sites by sharing positive content around your brand to improve your brands overall online perception.
- Respond promptly to negative reviews—try to resolve issues quickly and efficiently taking the conversation offline or to private messaging. Speak to your customers as a person and not as a corporation.
An interesting fact to be aware of is that when it comes to the user review website Yelp, a one-star increase can lead to a 5-9% increase in a company’s revenue, while one negative review can cost you 30 customers.
Concentrating on online reputation management both now and in the future will help drive your sales long after Black Friday is over.