Importance of Reputation Management for Retail and E-Commerce
Reputation management is an on-going process that upholds a positive reputation for a business online. No matter what industry a business is in, online reputation management works in improving rank on search engines, making it more likely for new customers to come across a business’s website.
Retail Reputation Management
In a recent online reviews survey, 63.6% of consumers say they are likely to check reviews on Google before visiting a business — more than any other review site.
Retail businesses get the most traffic from Google because of its easy-to-use Shopping tab that makes online purchases convenient. Anyone can make a quick search for “tank tops” or “shoes under 50” and get an immediate look at a comparison of prices across multiple online retailers.
When someone searches for retail items on Google, the item results are ranked just like the way web page addresses are ranked in a regular Google search. You can see star-ratings for each product, and it shows the name of the online retailer that is selling it.
With all this in mind, it shows that SEO plays just as big of part with online retailers as it does with any other website – which means retail reputation management is all the more important.
When a retail website actively maintains a good SEO strategy, it pushes its website link up higher in search results and makes customer reviews more visible. With the right steps, you can make sure that most of those reviews are positive.
Look at this quote – “92% of internet users read product reviews, and 89% of people say that reviews influence their purchasing decisions” – The very first thing someone looks at when shopping online is the reviews.
How to Remove Negative Online Reviews
According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, an overwhelming 90 percent of respondents who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions. In contrast, 86 percent said buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews.
The goal of online reputation management is to lean the reputation of online business from negative to positive. The removal of negative online reviews is one way to do this.
To remove a negative online review, no matter what website it is on, you must have a legitimate reason. Most review sites do not comply with removal requests they receive unless it breaks their community guidelines, or you send them a legal document such as a court order or a DMCA notice, which is for copyright infringement cases. Every website is different, so the likeliness of removal can depend on the policy of an individual site.
One thing you can do as an e-commerce business is to respond to customer complaints online. Locate the site that has most of your customer’s reviews and utilize it to make responses to the reviews, both the negative and positive reviews.
82% of consumers say the content of a review has convinced them to make a purchase.
By responding to negative online reviews, customers will give your company better ratings in the future. Make sure to address and resolve any reviews that are fixable. If a recent customer posted a negative review because they had trouble with shipping or did not receive part of their order, respond publicly, and then contact them directly to resolve the issue.
Other customers will see the public response, and it will help create a better online reputation for your business.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects online intermediaries that host or republish speech. Websites that publish third-party content cannot get penalized for what their users say on their platform. Even if someone leaves a very negative review, the website on which they made the review does not have to remove it per your request.
Technically, a website can choose not to remove any third-party content without a court judge saying they must do so, and most review sites do work that way. Google and other major online platforms are more helpful in these areas.
The Importance of Reputation Management on Social Media
Any website that hosts content and advertisements for retail can play a part in your online reputation as a company. Social media platforms are at the pinnacle of this because of the sheer number of people that use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other platforms daily.
Just look at these facts:
- Over 1.66 billion people use Facebook every day. 78 percent of American consumers have discovered retail products to buy via Facebook.
- 83% of people use Instagram service to discover new products or services, and that 81% of them do product research on the platform. After seeing a product or service on Instagram, 46% made a purchase.
- 90% of users say Pinterest helps them decide what to purchase, and 66% buy something after seeing a brand’s Pins. Pinterest drives more traffic to shopping sites than Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.
You can control ads that social media platforms display for you, but you cannot control what people say about them. There are no filters or strict guidelines on what online users can comment on advertisements compared to the way review forums work. However, you can still reply to comments, and, if necessary, you could report them.
Ecommerce reputation management is easier to handle when you have help. Online reputation management services pretty much do all the hard work for you and will even continue to keep your reputation going in the right direction after the initial process. Reputation management for e-commerce companies is within reach.
There is no possible way to get rid of every negative review you find online, especially not all of the negative comments on social media. Online retail businesses have the hardest time keeping up with this simply because of how many people shop online nowadays.