9 ways to increase sales with online reviews
July 31, 2015
Believe it or not, 61% of Generation X (ages 35 -50) and a whopping 82% of Millennials (ages 20 to 34) say the advice of others is extremely influential in their buying decisions. Whether these generations are referring to comments from family or friends, or what they read on online reviews, the bottom line is they want to know what’s being said about you. Do you know? Many people have pre-conceived ideas about resale that aren’t positive. Make sure you’re found in as many places as possible and take charge of your online reviews.
Online reviews can make or break you. Take charge.
Yelp! is a social networking, user review and local search web site. With 142 million monthly unique visitors and 2.1 million local claimed businesses, Yelp! is the definitive source for local online reviews. Add the location of your business along with a 5-point rating and reviews, plus key business details such as hours, accessibility and parking.
Google + Brands
With the use of a Google + local page for your business, you can easily build your brand’s (shop’s) image. Google offers a variety of ways you can be found. Add Google maps, Google My Business and Google ads to give you more exposure. You can even tie Google + to videos on You Tube to give a store tour, highlight merchandise or even store personnel.
CitySearch is an online city guide that lists businesses around cities throughout the United States. They have user-generated online reviews and a 5-star rating system.
Yahoo Local Listings
Yahoo! Local has lots of potential customers every day. Add details about your business along with reviews and a map. Although not quite as popular as others, it still gets a large share of traffic for local communities.
MerchantCircle lets shoppers view merchants and their deals by cities. List your shop under Retail Shopping or find a more specialized category such as Home Decor. Gain online reviews, add your phone number and get listed on the city map. It’s especially good for reaching those resale shoppers visiting from another city or state.
Better Business Bureau (BBB)
The Better Business Bureau is a trusted organization that collects and provides free business reliability reviews. The BBB has a set of standards that businesses are compared to. Each business receives a rating based on that comparison.
It goes without saying, your website must have testimonials from your shoppers. Whenever possible, include a photo and a personal experience that gives the referral a friendly touch.
LinkedIn has company pages where you receive customer recommendations. Your shoppers endorse your store and build your business credibility. LinkedIn is especially popular with males and upper income shoppers.
Facebook is the perfect site for shoppers to leave comments or ask questions. The more engaged you are with your Facebook friends, the better. Make sure you set up a Facebook page for business to gain all of the insights and feedback you can from visitors.
You can never be listed in too many locations. Take time to regularly check your reviews and respond to the comments. If you receive a negative review, don’t delete it. Answer and try to resolve the situation quickly. Experts agree that when a business has a few negative reviews that are properly handled, shoppers tend to have greater trust in that business.
I have been a writer for various forms of marketing for over 40 years. I've written my share of radio and TV scripts, magazine and newspaper ads as well as direct mail brochures and newsletters. Currently, as the Marketing Coordinator for Traxia, home of SimpleConsign software, I've moved into blog posts, eBooks and website text. It's been an ever changing and ever challenging journey but I've loved it all along the way.
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