Bricks and mortar stores in the United States prove more likely to respond to online customer reviews. So U.S. businesses respond better than those in any other market, including their closest competitors in the UK.
These findings appear in a report compiled by the location marketing company, Uberall.
Online Review Reply Rates
According to the Reputation Management Revolution Report, 23% of US businesses reply to their customers online. This tops other markets, such as the UK and France. The report analyses the impact customer reviews have on brands and consumers,
The study, which evaluated 64,000 global, enterprise and SMB Google businesses listing in the US, UK, France and Germany, found that while the average review reply rate in the US is 23%, SBMs have an average reply rate to customer reviews of 19%.
In terms of the impact reply rates have on conversions, Uberall’s study found that businesses in the US have a 5.6% reply rate conversion, compared to that of the next closest county, the UK, which has a 3.2% conversion rate.
With a staggering 90% of consumers reading online reviews before visiting a business and 88% of consumers trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations, online reviews is something small businesses can’t afford to ignore.
Why Responding is Important
Responding to reviews online and reacting to negative reviews can essentially help brands turn and negative into a positive, showing they have a genuine interest in their customers and are willing to go out of their way to put things right.
Such enthusiasm, professionalism and strong customer support can be vital. It helps small businesses compete, attract and retain customers.
As Norman Rohr, SVP of Marketing at Uberall, said in response to the study:
“The takeaway here is that business locations really need to reply to their reviews online. The US market is competitive and, as such, consumers expect that businesses will engage with them online. SMBs are currently failing to compete with global and enterprise brands locally and that is also reflected when we look at conversion rates by review star rating.”
More About the Study
The study found that when it comes to consumer reviews online there are usually clear winners. Larger global businesses and enterprises, continually outperform small businesses in terms of ratings. Small businesses experience spikes and ratings around the 3.7 and 4.3 marks on review platforms like Yelp, Facebook, Instagram and Google. But larger international businesses regularly reach the 3.7-star mark and above.
Uberall’s study confirms that in order to compete with bigger businesses, small brands need to work hard at using online reviews. They must use reviews to their advantage. For example, respond to reviews. This appeals to consumers who prioritize online reviews when deciding where they shop.
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I guess this means that businesses are now more online engaged which is actually a good thing.
These stores may have offline channels but they function better online by consistently tracking and replying to reviews.