By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Anaheim, Calif. – BrandSource, the 4,500-member buying group, has launched an online service that encourages consumers to post positive dealer reviews.
The effort can help boost retailers’ online reputations and drive traffic to their stores, BrandSource said.
The program, which was trialed this spring, allows dealers to send an email to customers after leaving the store that invites them to review their showroom experience. Customers can answer a short survey on their shopping, service and/or delivery experiences and post their comments online at up to three review platforms including Yelp and Google.
According to BrandSource digital marketing VP Bob Donaldson, retailers can realize a revenue increase of 5-9 percent for every gold star increase in rating reviews, while also offsetting any negative comments.
“No matter what industry you’re in, positive testimonials from your customers can dramatically improve online visibility,” Donaldson noted. He cited a recent study by the Pepperdine University School of Business showing that 86 percent of consumers use online ratings and 72 percent trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
“There’s been an explosion in the number of consumers doing online research before they shop, especially for appliances, consumer electronics and home furnishings,” Donaldson continued. “We want our members to be at the customer’s fingertips as soon as they begin searching.”
The Pepperdine study also revealed that only 3 percent of new customers are likely to try a business rated with zero to two stars, while 80 percent would try a business rated with four stars and 84 percent indicated they would try a five-star rated business.
“The importance of positive reviews is extremely impactful to a dealer’s bottom line,” he said.
BrandSource will formally introduce the online review program to members next month at the group’s bi-annual National Convention and Buying Fair in Las Vegas. The price of the service is less than $100 a month, or about a third of the cost of comparable programs, the group said.
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