Your business’s online reputation could be the difference between online marketing success and defeat, as a single negative review could damage your reputation beyond repair.
This may sound like a strong statement; however, the truth remains that 72% of customers won’t take action and purchase until they read reviews first.
Unlike some industries where reputation revolves around corporate practices or policies, in retail reputation management, the quality, availability, and customer experience related to specific products play a significant role in shaping reputation.
Want to know more about retail reputation management? Read our ultimate guide in this blog.
Table of contents
- What is reputation management for retail?
- 5 Strategies to implement reputation management for retail companies
- Why does reputation management in retail matter?
- What are the consequences of a negative reputation?
- What are the phases of reputation management?
- What are the benefits of a positive online reputation?
- How does AI help in retail reputation management?
- Are there any tools to automate reputation management retail?
- Frequently asked questions about retail reputation management
- Make retail reputation management stress-free with Birdeye
What is reputation management for retail?
Retail reputation management means actively performing online reputation management of your business. Your retail business actively takes steps to influence what people online see, think, and experience when communicating with your brand.
Various studies have shown that consumers’ exposure to online reviews will influence their online retail shopping behavior.
To understand the influence of online reviews on retail businesses, click to download our impact of online reviews on multi-location businesses.
What is a good reputation management strategy?
Good retail reputation management involves:
- Responding to negative comments or reviews
- Setting the record straight whenever information is incorrect or misleading
- Regular review management about what people say online about your brand
Retail reputation management also requires the business to:
- Proactively look for opportunities to expand its reach
- Improve its online image instead of simply waiting for customer feedback or complaints.
5 Strategies to implement reputation management for retail companies
Below, we set out the top 5 strategies for successful reputation management for retail companies.
1. Update your business listings on all platforms
You want to be accessible to your customers. Failure to be accessible when they need you could result in the customer looking elsewhere to purchase a similar product, particularly if time was deemed essential to the customer.
Birdeye’s AI-powered business listing management makes it easy to create, update, and manage business listings for all locations. All these are to make your business show up where your customers search, even when it’s on customer review sites.
A key part of being accessible to the customer involves creating, claiming, and regularly updating your local business listings to give customers accurate information to get in touch and finalize a sale.
Complying with this strategy also requires you to ensure you are consistent across all platforms, including opening times and contact details.
Taking the time to follow these steps will save you time and stress in the long run and allow your business to work efficiently across all platforms, including your Google business profile, social media profiles, and other online listings.
2. Respond, manage, and market your reviews smartly
The first component of this reputation management retail strategy is to take the first step and ask for reviews before your customers leave or exit the customer journey so that you can collect and analyze the reviews in real time.
A great response can be the difference between an angry customer who tells family and friends to steer clear of your business and a loyal customer.
Read our guide to responding to reviews to show you’re serious about delighting every customer.
Getting the reviews upfront can help you control the narrative, as you show you’re taking the lead in looking for improvement areas.
However, once you have the reviews, you want to train your staff well to respond to both good and bad reviews and act as quickly as possible to address negative feedback.
Remember that over half of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week, and one-third expect a reply within three days or less.
3. Supercharge your ad performance with Google Seller Ratings
Google Seller Ratings is another reputation management retail tool that can catapult your online reputation by offering increased customer conversion, increased advert quality score, and lower cost per click on your business adverts.
For those who don’t know, Google Seller Ratings is an ad extension that allows you to display your customer reviews directly to your Google ads.
4. Get the best word-of-mouth marketing with referrals
Word-of-mouth marketing remains a crucial marketing strategy, even in our increasingly digital world. 92% of consumers trust testimonials from the people they know, meaning the more people talking about your business within their inner circles, the more likely your business will organically grow through word-of-mouth referrals.
Naturally, this will have an impact on your retail reputation management. Fortunately, with Birdeye, your business can track and multiply your referrals.
5. Turn customer feedback into actionable to-dos
A retail reputation management strategy often overlooked is actively turning customer feedback into actionable insights.
There are two main ways of achieving this: directly and indirectly:
- The direct approach is when the customers share their experiences and comments with you via support channels, surveys, online polls, and any other medium where you’ve directly requested it.
- The indirect approach is when customers share their feedback elsewhere, and it’s your job to locate that feedback and action it as necessary.
Why does reputation management in retail matter?
Retail reputation management matters because the stronger the reputation, the more likely the customer will purchase your product. Here are 3 reasons explaining why reputation management in retail matters:
#1. Shows the brand’s resilience
Reputation management enhances a brand’s resilience during challenges. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Target’s proactive safety measures and transparent communication helped it maintain a positive reputation and customer trust.
#2. Influence on supply chain
A strong reputation can influence supply chain relationships.
Walmart’s commitment to sustainable sourcing boosted its reputation and attracted eco-conscious suppliers, ensuring a consistent supply of eco-friendly products.
Did you know: Pricing is crucial in retail reputation management as it directly impacts customer perception, satisfaction, and trust, ultimately shaping the business's reputation?
#3. Helps in global expansion
Reputation management facilitates global expansion. Amazon’s consistent focus on customer satisfaction and quick problem resolution has played a pivotal role in its global success, as it ventured into new markets while maintaining a solid reputation.
These examples demonstrate how reputation management can profoundly impact a retail brand’s success and growth.
What are the consequences of a negative reputation?
Obtaining a negative reputation can do significant damage to your business’s profitability. Even attracting one negative review can negatively impact future prospects, particularly if that one review is left unaddressed or unremedied.
More and more young people are shopping online and forgoing the traditional modes of shopping.
Here are some reasons outlining the potential repercussions:
1. Loss of trust
A negative reputation erodes trust in the affected entity, whether it’s a person, brand, or institution. People are less likely to believe or engage with those they perceive negatively.
2. Reduced credibility
A poor reputation diminishes credibility, making influencing or persuading others challenging. Rebuilding a damaged reputation is often lengthy and resource-intensive, and some entities may never fully recover.
3. Decline in sales or support
Businesses often experience a drop in sales or financial support when their reputation takes a hit. Consumers are more inclined to choose brands they trust.
4. Strained relationships
Negative reputations can strain customer, partner, employee, and stakeholder relationships, impacting collaboration and cooperation.
5. Legal and regulatory consequences
In some cases, a tarnished reputation can lead to legal issues or regulatory actions, affecting an entity’s operations and finances.
6. Employee morale and recruitment challenges
Negative reputations can demoralize existing employees and make it difficult to attract top talent, as potential hires may be wary of associating with a poorly regarded organization.
7. Limited opportunities
Individuals with negative reputations may find securing new job opportunities, partnerships, or business ventures challenging.
Ultimately, a negative reputation can result in financial losses, impacting revenue, stock prices, and overall financial stability.
Building that trust and dependability doesn’t mean receiving negative reviews or feedback, but it does mean professionally addressing those reviews and doing so on time.
What are the phases of reputation management?
One would do well to remember that developing a negative reputation may not solely be limited to the quality of your product.
The product itself may be excellent. However, in this day and age, what also matters to customers is the overall customer experience.
- If your business takes too long to respond to issues, statistics show that customers will pass that on as a negative experience to their friends and family.
- They, most importantly, will discontinue the purchase and find an alternative business to go to.
What are the benefits of a positive online reputation?
Conversely, maintaining a strong online reputation will help your business avoid the above scenario and ensure you enjoy a lasting relationship with your customers.
- Enhanced trust
- Attracts customers
- Improved search visibility
- Business opportunities
- Employee satisfaction
A strong retail reputation requires you to ensure you are accessible to your customers; your website is user-friendly, your social media is active and responds timely to queries, and so on.
How does AI help in retail reputation management?
AI helps in retail reputation management in the following key ways:
- Gain insights and monitor developments in market trends
- Monitoring of key channels
- Control misleading and inaccurate information
- Reduce operational costs
- Personalized and tailored marketing activities
Are there any tools to automate reputation management retail?
The short answer is yes.
Implementing reputation management for retail stores can seem daunting. Fortunately, Birdeye’s professional team and world-class software can help automate the entire strategy.
With Birdeye’s reputation and review management software, businesses can expect to see the following results:
- Ranking higher on SEO results.
- Automated reviews that are easily manageable and reviewable in real-time.
- Automated replies to reviews and queries.
- Monitoring reviews on over 200 sites, with the ability to turn reviews into social media content.
Similarly, with Birdeye’s state-of-the-art social media management software, businesses can readily achieve the following:
- Create automated social media posts within minutes that are tailored to your customers.
- Publish across a range of social media entities, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube X (formerly known as Twitter) and Google.
- Schedule posts and keep track of them through an intuitive calendar.
- Track your posts’ performance metrics, including reach and engagement.
Frequently asked questions about retail reputation management
Reputation management retail is done by developing a retail reputation management strategy, which involves ensuring your profiles are up-to-date and consistent and that you regularly and promptly respond to feedback.
A good reputation management strategy involves updating your business listings, supercharging your ad performance with Google Seller Ratings, utilizing word-of-mouth marketing, and turning customer feedback into actions.
The best practice for responding to negative reviews is to respond promptly, dispel any incorrect or misleading information, and remedy the purchaser’s concern.
After using Birdeye’s retail reputation management platform, Solomons Flooring MacGregor got 111 new reviews and improved their CX. Within 12 months of using Birdeye’s Review, they generated 111 new reviews, clocked a 175% increase in calls to the business and a 103% increase in website visitors.
Make retail reputation management stress-free with Birdeye
No one expects business to be perfect. Some studies suggest that consumers are likely to be skeptical of companies whose reviews and ratings are flawless.
With this in mind, retail reputation management means actively managing your business’s reputation online and taking steps to manage and control the narrative.
Building your brand as a trustworthy and credible business is crucial to developing a loyal customer base that can continue to grow exponentially.
To learn more about how Birdeye’s all-in-one platform can help propel your retail reputation management strategy, click the link below.