Analysis of 4.7 Million Consumer Reviews Reveals Chains with Higher Reputation Scores Have 3.9 Percent Higher Annual Store Sales Growth
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — NOVEMBER 21, 2018 — Reputation.com, the first and only complete cloud-based enterprise reputation management platform, today unveiled its 2018 Retail Reputation Report, which details consumer sentiment about in-store experiences with different retail brands. The findings cover nine key customer experience categories, from value to service to wait times and more.
The data shows a direct correlation between Reputation Score and store sales. The Reputation Score is a comprehensive index of a company’s digital presence and on-site customer experience. Chains with high Reputation Scores saw same store sales increase 2.8 percent. Chains with low Reputation Scores suffered a 1.1 percent decline in same store sales, making for a total difference of 3.9 percent.
Reputation.com applied artificial intelligence, machine learning and sentiment analysis to text from 4.7 million online consumer reviews that have been posted on Google and Facebook. The reviews detailed in-store shopping experiences at nearly 30,000 locations owned by 88 retail chains. This year’s report included reviews on big-box discounters, high-end boutiques, sports retailers, cosmetics stores, hardware merchants and a range of others.
Based on these reviews, social media sentiment, business listings accuracy and other factors that reflect consumers’ spontaneous opinions about their search and in-store experience, each chain was given a Reputation Score. The industry-average Reputation Score for retailers in 2018 was 538 on a scale of 1,000.
The revealing consumer sentiment data underlying these scores reveals granular operating insights that stores can use to improve customer experience and drive better store sales performance.
Star Ratings: Early Indicators of Reputation Score
With nearly 80 percent of local shoppers starting their search for a business on Google and Google Maps, star ratings emerge as an important factor driving consumer choices. Where retailers fall on the star-rating scale are early indicators of customer experience and sales as the holiday shopping season approaches.
According to the report’s findings, several stores consistently ranked high in a number of categories this year. Some brands showed gains or losses in individual categories as compared with last year’s report. Zara, for example, showed major gains in service, jumping from 1.9 stars in 2017 to 3.1 stars this year. Aeropostale and Michael Kors also each gained one star this year in service.
Address Operating Issues in Advance of Holiday Season
Online reviews, when systematically monitored and analyzed, present a powerful tool for retailers to improve their operations. Creating the best shopping experience only occurs when a retailer can find out where it is lacking, and then deliberately manage every point along the consumer journey to improve it.
Dr. Brad Null, chief scientist for Reputation.com, said, “The best way to fully understand on-site customer experience is to apply AI, natural language processing and machine learning to the vast cloud of unprompted, unstructured data on the social web. That generates a massive competitive advantage.”
Retailers should review regularly and manage their online consumer reviews to address emerging issues and problems ahead of and during the holiday shopping season.
The complete “2018 Retail Reputation Report,” can be downloaded here.
Reputation.com delivers the only integrated SaaS platform that helps location-based enterprises improve their reputation with consumers online and onsite, across the entire customer journey – from finding a location on search, to conversion, to operational improvements that deliver a better customer experience.
Reputation.com technology has managed tens of millions of consumer reviews, surveys and social media interactions across hundreds of thousands of online points of presence for global companies spanning 77 industry verticals, including healthcare, retail, automotive, restaurants and others. Reputation.com is a World Economic Forum Global Growth Company and is funded by the same top-tier venture capital firms that backed Google, Facebook, Cisco and Microsoft. To learn more, visit www.reputation.com.