Today’s Insider post will be touching on the importance of gathering, cultivating, and even promoting reviews to benefit your pet store’s marketing aims and business goals. In our experience, most pet store owners understand that positive reviews are good, but perhaps they don’t see the big picture on just how important online reviews and recommendations are within their growing millennial and gen. Z customer bases. That’s where we come in.
Online Reviews are Critical!
More and more pet parents are reading online reviews when searching for a local pet store to shop at, and your reviews need to be recent in order to seem relevant to these pet parents. The same goes for almost any other industry - if you’re apartment hunting and the majority of reviews within the last year are 1 and 2 stars, you’re probably not going to feel confident about living at that apartment right?
71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. (Source: Ambassador)
92% of consumers now read online reviews, up from 88% in 2014. (Source: RevGrow)
Nearly 9 out of 10 consumers read reviews for local businesses before making a purchase. (Source: Bryan Caplan)
When putting together this content piece for our pet store owners, we debated creating an entirely separate Freesource post for Google My Business - it’s that important.
However, due to Facebook’s implementation of recommendations and Google My Business’s trends towards social media behaviors (photo storage, posts, updates, reviews and customer contact, etc.) we thought it could hang with the other social media platforms.
If you aren’t utilizing Google My Business as part of your pet store’s marketing for reputation management, data analysis and tracking, optimizing your online listing, and reaching untapped audiences, we can help! Give us a shout and we’ll see how we can help get all those ducks in a row and take it off your hands.
4 Ways Reviews Grow Your Pet Store
Studies show that customer confidence in online reviews is growing every year. Ratings and reviews have become a necessary aspect of growing a positive reputation and building trust in your brand.
Improve Local Search Rankings
Ensuring that you have plenty of quality online reviews is a crucial first step for getting pet owners and their pets in the door. Pet shops with the most reviews and highest average ratings are going to get more traffic both digitally and physically than those with very few reviews, or a large number of negative reviews compared to positive ones. Online reviews add to your pet store’s local SEO score (very important for showing up when consumers need our products or services) and provide your customers with social proof, as well as showing up first on search engine results among competitors.
Responding to Reviews
Properly responding to reviews is incredibly important. Your response to these reviews not only improves your SEO score (as mentioned above), but also lets prospective customers know that you care about your reputation. Using your online platforms as a means of customer service is one of the best ways to draw in new customers. This goes for positive as well as negative reviews. Your whole audience is watching how you interact with your customers online.
Good Marketing Material
Talking to customers in your local business and promoting online reviews is the fastest (and most efficient) way to get tons of online reviews. 76 percent of all online searches for local business results in foot traffic within 24 hours.
You can share your positive reviews across social media and your website as well - displaying online reviews on your website can increase your conversion rates by 270 percent! (Source: Spiegel Research Center)
Even a negative review can work in your favor, check out our free case study on using a negative review to your pet store’s advantage!
Getting More Online Reviews
Some quick tips, tools, and strategies you can use to improve get more reviews:
Ask for them via social media
Ask for them in store
Ask for them via email
Ask for them via bag stuffers
Ask for them with signage in store
Ask for them at events
Ask for them on business cards
Are you neglecting your online reputation? Hopefully this post spurs pet stores to include review marketing as a serious goal of their overall marketing strategy in the future. If pet parents think it’s important, then pet store owners ought to as well. If your pet store is gaining positive reviews on Google My Business, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Angie's List, TripAdvisor, or any other online review platform, then you are ahead of the game! If your review flow is slow or nonexistent…
We’d be happy to take it off your hands! Hit that contact button and let’s get to growing your pet store.