Deloitte state that 81% of people read reviews and check ratings. Consumers have more information available to them than ever before with specialist apps and directories. So it is an inevitable shift that many people now prefer to ‘pull’ information, rather than have brands ‘push’ information to them.
To overcome this, brands have been engaging with consumers directly via social media. An attempt to pull consumers toward their products. But when it comes to trust, many people prefer to turn to their peers rather than engage directly with brands. This presents a SWOT threat for brands because they don’t have control over the sentiment being expressed online which will then be used by consumers to make purchasing decisions.
When consumers compare experiences and promote their opinion, we see a demonstration of the power of the crowd. Enabled by technology and information overload, consumers can decide how engaged they want to be across the different points on their path to purchase.
This has altered the traditional customer journey and helped to create a cycle, where one consumer’s experience feeds into another consumer’s decision process whether to buy a product or a service.
In the same way, at the end of the customer journey, consumers have access to social media networks and communication tools to share their experience with others who themselves might use their comments to select a product or service.
This is the power of the online review and why every brand needs a review strategy. YouDirectories manage business directory advertising (think Yelp) and this is heavily reviews focused. It is no longer acceptable to push brand messaging to consumers nor can brands try to pull sales in by controlled social media engagement. The age of the 5 gold stars is here.
Follow the YouCom Media news posts to see the next developments.
Deloitte, London, ‘Deloitte Consumer review’
YouCom Media News, Oct 2015, London, ‘Push Vs Pull – Online reviews.’