A couple weeks ago, I went to a conference called the Bazaarvoice Social Summit, and most of the talk was around the ratings & reviews that retailers and brands get on their products, and how important those data points are for their businesses. A lot of the talk was how these gigantic companies (think Clinique & Macy’s) can work together—and have to work together—to get the right products in the hands of the consumers who want them.
While I was there, hearing all this talk about how the two radically different style of companies (meaning retailers versus brands) and how they need to collaborate in order to compete with companies such as Amazon, (yeah, they see Amazon as a huge competitor,) I could only think about you guys. Most of you, whether you ship a lot of products or only a few, are both brand *and* retailer. There is no gap between the two concepts, and as such, you have to think as both entities.
The most important thing, more than likely, to you as a brand-retailer combination, is your customer base and your engagement with them. That’s why some of you are so active on social media—Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. are all fantastic and easy ways for you to send and receive love to and from your customer base. It’s an efficient way for you to develop who you are as a brand and tout yourself as a retailer. It’s also an incredibly open way for potential customers to see who you are and find you via word of mouth.
What also ties in with this is the idea of ratings & reviews. All the content you get is ripe to turn into reviews for your business. If you haven’t already, you should be allowing reviews on your individual products. From the “small” sample Bazaarvoice showed us (20 million reviews, by the way, is small for them) people who leave reviews are 130% more valuable in the number of orders they make and the value of those orders, and have at least a 200% higher retention rate. This wasn’t just for 5-star reviews either. People who left even 1-star reviews followed this trend (see the graph above). Main takeaway: If you don’t have a way for reviews to be posted about you & your products, start now.
In the interest of keeping this under the realm of a blog post, and not an essay, I’ll leave it off here. I’m interested to see what you all think about how important this is to your business. How active are you on social media; has it helped? Have you done metrics to differentiate your reviewers vs. non-reviewers; are they different? Let me know in the comments!