SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Chatmeter, the leader in local search marketing and review management, today releases the third annual Local Brand Report on Reputation’s Role in Retail. This latest iteration sheds light on the parts of customer experience and online reputation that retailers must prioritize to achieve positive customer acquisition, retention and experience.
In the wake of Millennials’ shakeup of the offline to online retail divide, 2020 brings Gen Z’s penchant for personal experiences and immediate results, proving online reputation and review management more important than ever. With Gen Z accounting for 40% of this year’s US consumer base and steadily increasing its $143 billion annual purchasing power, Chatmeter questioned how retailers are faring at reaching customers where and how it matters most, and what makes for an industry leader.
Chatmeter analyzed real customer reviews and Local Brand Visibility (LBV) to understand the online and offline consumer experiences in retail stores in the lead up to and duration of Black Friday, when retailers often face the most customer pressures. Results show that even in times of paramount importance, the majority of retailers are dropping the ball when it comes to managing the feedback of their customers and the reputation of their brand.
The report includes ten head-to-head competitive battles including: Target and Walmart; Nordstrom and Macy’s; Ulta Beauty and Sephora; Williams-Sonoma and Crate & Barrel; Gap and Old Navy; LEGO Store and Disney Store; Abercrombie and American Eagle; Ross Stores and T.J. Maxx; Lululemon and Athleta; Forever 21 and H&M.
- Industry-leaders deliver on the store experiences shoppers expect – LEGO Store and Disney Store were two industry leaders due to their ability to deliver positive store experiences. They saw some of the highest distribution of positive review sentiments (88% and 82%, respectively).
- Customer opinions are going unanswered, putting loyalty, visibility and SEO at risk – The average review response rate for these retailers was an abysmal 1.1%, much to the dismay of customers who often expect 100% engagement. Failing to respond lowers SEO value and creates the impression that the brand is not interested in or learning from customer experiences.
- Retailers fail to reach purchase-ready customers in their moment of need – With the exception of LEGO Store and Williams-Sonoma, retailers struggled most with online search rankings, which are critical for reaching nearby shoppers driven by immediate need rather than brand loyalty. Unbranded keywords (‘toy’ versus ‘Lego,’ or ‘cast-iron skillet’ versus ‘Williams-Sonoma’) support page-1 search rankings and strongly increase the likelihood a brand is found in a voice search.
- Happy customers are abundant but underutilized – Even during the craze of Black Friday, customer review sentiments were largely positive. But failing to respond to reviews, regardless of sentiment, misses the opportunity to create a seamless customer experience and demonstrate that the brand is listening and improving. This approach is paramount to Gen Z buyers, who will have mass purchase power in the 2020’s.
“The retail industry is historically a strong indicator of what customers want from their experiences and brand engagements,” said Collin Holmes, Founder and CEO of Chatmeter. “Our latest analysis suggests big changes are still needed to accurately capture nearby customers, regardless of what or how they are searching or if competitors are also in the area. In the years ahead, we can expect younger shoppers to force retail’s hand at paying attention to how offline experiences reflect in online searching, and vice-versa.”
Chatmeter analyzed a sample size of 50 locations for each evaluated retailer using real consumer data and Chatmeter’s proprietary Local Brand Visibility (LBV) score measuring reviews, listings, rankings and competitors. To find your brand’s LBV score and learn how to improve it to increase SEO, Voice Engine Optimization (VEO), customer experience and competitive advantage visit: www.chatmeter.com/get-started.
Consumers have high expectations for brands to deliver accurate information with convenience. Chatmeter (www.chatmeter.com) gives multi-location brands the tools to manage the online to offline customer journey by focusing on improving online reputation, business listings and local SEO rankings.
Established in 2009, Chatmeter now analyzes billions of customer reviews, social media mentions and sentiments from hundreds of sources to help businesses keep a pulse on all of their locations. Fortune 5000 companies rely on Chatmeter’s expertise in multi-location brand management to make confident business decisions that provide a competitive advantage at every location. From search rankings to business listings, store pages and more, Chatmeter is the trusted solution for driving traffic and revenue to local businesses in over 40 industries including retail, healthcare, financial services, real estate, food services, and automotive.
Chatmeter is the recipient of top accolades including the Inc. 5000, Entrepreneur 360 and Street Fight Local Visionary Awards, as well as local San Diego recognition as a Top Workplace by the Union-Tribune.