Like every year, U.S. retail sales are predicted to spike as we enter the fourth quarter. Over the last five calendar years, sales in the 4th quarter have gone up an average of 5.9% compared to Q3. Last year that was to the tune of 1.25 trillion dollars.
As usual, marketing and advertising budgets are ramping up as brands lead into the busy selling season. Brands will spend thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions convincing shoppers to make a purchase. The media makeup may include banner ads, targeted social media campaigns, even paying influencers to talk about your products. None of this is anything new.
But what is new is the metric brands are using to measure success.
The Missing Metric: Product Reviews
The fact of the matter is, it really doesn’t matter how many touch points shoppers have with your brand during their decision-making process. That’s because 90% of them are going to look at an average of 4 product reviews before making a final decision. There’s no getting around the fact that online product reviews affect people’s likelihood to buy something.
That means all of that advertising could be for naught if the reviews about that product are scathing.
So while you can measure all the sales data in the world and even trace some back to clicks from a specific campaign, if you aren’t measuring product reviews, you are missing a key influential metric.
The real voice of the consumer and the true trusted online conversation is happening in product reviews. They are a key driver of both online and offline sales. In fact, reviews are named a top 3 decision-making factor ahead of advice from family, friends and store employees.
Yet only 20% of brands are monitoring product reviews.
What Can You Do?
Big brands are actively moving to analyzing product reviews. These companies are leading the way in gaining a competitive advantage by looking for critical insights from their customers. With Channel Signal, this data metric can now be aggregated and measured, helping you get to the “why” behind your sales data.
We have seen companies change entire product lines based on consumer feedback. They are using review data as backup to hold O.E.M manufacturers accountable for the quality (or lack thereof) of their product. Here are just some of the ways our customers have made product reviews an integral, actionable metric for their business:
- Mine bad reviews to find trends and make better products.
- Analyze competitor product reviews and play up on consumer generated strengths and weaknesses.
- Understand the voice of the consumer and apply that to your own messaging.
- Supplement and validate results found in initial product reliability testing.
- Get a more unbiased measurement of user experience and distribute the findings internally.
Learn more about how you can get results by measuring product reviews with Channel Signal.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau News, U.S. Department of Commerce, Estimated Quarterly U.S. Retail Sales, August 16, 2016