Many companies view online activities as somehow separate from the rest of their concerns. It was the right attitude when online access was rare and sporadic. But today, almost 80% of the population has continual access to the Internet through their smartphone. That’s a potential customer base of all but 20% of the community as a whole. Most of whom will check a company’s reputation online before deciding to do business with them.
In fact, 92% of consumers will read some online reviews before doing business with a company. It’s clear that companies have an opportunity to work with a worldwide market. However, things aren’t quite as simple as they might appear at first glance.
These numbers can be somewhat misleading if one doesn’t look a little further into them. Likewise, it’s important to remember that a multi-location business has different concerns and opportunities than those with only a single location. The main reason comes down to consumer preferences regarding location.
While 92% of consumers check the world wide web before a purchase, 97% will then look for a local store. And there’s a direct link between the tone of a review and a consumer’s likelihood of making a purchase. People often assume that it’s hard to get people out of their homes and into a store. However, the conversion rate after reading a positive review is about 25%. That’s one in four people who’ll quickly go from reading a review to looking for a local outlet to purchase from.
70% of those shoppers also say that positive online reviews influence their level of trust in local businesses. These statistics show an interesting dichotomy that directly relates to companies with multiple locations; this information is also a good reason to consider hiring resources to oversee your brand’s multi location reputation management.
Customers look for information from a globally oriented perspective. They check for information from people all over the world. But while they’re willing to buy from non-local companies, they’d prefer to keep things as close to home as possible. When people decide to purchase something they typically want it as soon as possible. Which means buying from a local retailer. This might seem like an ideal situation at first. Someone who runs a multi-location business can benefit from all of these buying trends. However, there is one issue that can be either an opportunity or a complication. Multiple locations can create a different consumer experience. And divergent experiences can muddle one’s overall brand perception. Which, in the end, can generate enough difference between expectation and reality to decrease positive online reviews.
At the same time, this potential complication can turn into forwarding momentum. This is mainly down to the proper management of a brand’s perception online. One needs to focus on multi location reputation management. At first glance, this might seem to be somewhat daunting as the number of locations goes up. But once again, the statistics clear up some confusing points. It turns out that only 15% of a customer’s online interactions with a company will take place on the official corporate site. A full 85% of online communication comes instead through social media. And this is where multi-location reputation management comes into the picture. This form of reputation management helps to emphasize the benefits of a multi-location business.
One of the essential points of multi-location management is that it helps emphasize the facets of a company that customers are most interested in. It’s not just about putting an emphasis on a positive image. Reputation management also focuses on keeping the essential points of a company in the public discussion. Even seemingly small elements can influence overall conversion rates between casual interest and active customers.
The growth of one’s business can complicate things. But as one increases the number of locations, the opportunities can increase as well. Maximizing growth will always necessitate making proper use of all available resources, though. And in modern times, that means using reputation management to leverage online opportunities properly.