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 learn more about retail reputation management? We’ll teach you all the tips and secrets you need to succeed in this blog.

What is reputation management for retail?

Retail reputation management means actively performing online reputation management tasks for your retail business. You must actively take 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. 

Want to understand the influence of online reviews on retail businesses? Download our Impact of online reviews on multi-location businesses guide. 
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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 — monitoring what people say online about your brand

Retail reputation management also requires:

  • Proactively looking for opportunities to expand reach
  • Improving online image instead of simply waiting for customer feedback or complaints

5 reputation management strategies for retail companies

Not sure where to get started? Below, we’ve outlined 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.

Birdeye’s AI-powered business listing management makes it easy to create, update, and manage business listings for all locations. This helps your business show up where your customers search, even when it’s on customer review sites

Being accessible to your customers involves creating, claiming, and regularly updating your local business listings to give customers accurate information to get in touch and finalize a sale.

Keep in mind that having an active presence on listing sites isn’t enough. You must ensure you are consistent across all platforms. Your name, address, contact information, and other details, must be the same everywhere they appear. If they aren’t, your target audience will be confused and they may doubt your credibility.

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

This reputation management retail strategy requires you to take the first step and ask for reviews before your customers exit the customer journey so that you can collect and analyze the reviews in real time.

Read our guide to responding to reviews to show you’re serious about delighting every customer.

Getting reviews is the first step. 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. This boosts your credibility and helps you maximize the return on your 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. In fact, Birdeye data shows that friends and family are the main resource people use when searching for a business. The more people talk about your business within their inner circles, the more likely your business will organically grow through word-of-mouth referrals.

This can be a lot to keep track of manually, but fortunately, with Birdeye, your business can track and multiply your referrals with ease. 

5. Turn customer feedback into actionable to-dos

A retail reputation management tactic that is 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. 

Implement These Retail Reputation Management Tips to Stay Ahead, Online & Offline

Want to see the impact of Birdeye on your business? Watch the Free Demo Now.

Why does reputation management in retail matter?

Retail reputation management matters because the stronger your reputation, the more likely the customer will purchase your product. Below, we’ll explore three more reasons reputation management in retail is crucial.

#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. Influences supply chain

A strong reputation can influence supply chain relationships. For example, 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. Aids global expansion

Reputation management facilitates global expansion. For example, 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?

A negative reputation can do significant damage to your business’s profitability. A single negative review can deter prospects, particularly if that one review is left unaddressed or unremedied.

Here are some potential repercussions: 

1. Loss of trust

A negative reputation erodes trust, 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 it hard to win the hearts of their target customers. 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.

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.

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 being happy about negative reviews or feedback, but it does mean quickly and professionally addressing those reviews.

What are the benefits of a positive online reputation?

Maintaining a strong online reputation will help your business avoid the above scenario and ensure you enjoy a lasting relationship with your customers. A few benefits include:  

  • 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 direct messages and comments, and so on.

What are the phases of reputation management?

So, what does the reputation management process look like from start to finish? While there is no one-size-fits-all way to manage your reputation, in general, the process can be broken down into three phases.

The first phase is monitoring and assessment. This involves keeping a close eye on the online and offline conversations surrounding the entity, gathering data and feedback from various sources, and analyzing the current state of the reputation. It involves identifying potential threats, areas of concern, and opportunities for improvement. This phase lays the foundation for developing an effective reputation management strategy.

The second phase is strategy development and implementation. Based on the insights gathered during the monitoring and assessment phase, a comprehensive strategy is developed to address any reputation concerns, mitigate risks, and enhance the positive perception of the entity. This may involve crafting compelling narratives, engaging with stakeholders, leveraging various communication channels, and executing targeted campaigns. Consistency and authenticity are crucial in this phase to build trust and credibility.

The third phase is ongoing management and adaptation. Reputation management is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring, evaluation, and adjustment. As the landscape evolves, new challenges may emerge, or new opportunities may present themselves. This phase involves consistently tracking the effectiveness of the implemented strategies, making necessary adjustments, and adapting to changing circumstances. Regular communication, transparency, and responsiveness are essential to maintain a positive reputation over time.

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 you get more done in less time.

With Birdeye’s reputation and review management software, you’ll 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

How do you manage the reputation of the retail industry?

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.

What is a good reputation management strategy for the retail industry?

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.

What are the best practices for responding to negative reviews?

The best practice for responding to negative reviews is to respond promptly, dispel any incorrect or misleading information, and remedy the purchaser’s concern.

Can you share success stories of retail businesses improving their reputation?

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 your business to be perfect. In fact, some studies suggest that consumers are likely to be skeptical of companies whose reviews and ratings are flawless. A retail reputation management strategy simply allows you to control the narrative around your business. You get to amplify the good and resolve the bad, and that helps customers perceive you in a positive light. It shows them that you care.

To learn more about how Birdeye’s all-in-one platform can help propel your retail reputation management strategy, click the link below.

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