Now, more than ever, consumers have grown cautious about where they spend their money. Just as the world overcame the worst of the pandemic, then followed the concern about a global recession. Google recently revealed that search interest for all things financial has significantly increased.
All of the uncertainty has placed products and brands behind them under scrutiny. So much so that Google found 54 percent of holiday shoppers employ multiple channels to learn more about products and brands. Fortunately, even with the rising consumer concerns, brands can remain at the helm of the holiday shopping rush with brand recognition and online product reviews.
But first, what is brand recognition?
What Is Brand Recognition?
Brand recognition is when a consumer can distinguish a particular brand over another based on its characteristics without being exposed to the company’s name. These characteristics can be visual or auditory cues, such as logos, slogans, packaging, colors or jingles.
The Role of Brand Recognition and Reputation in eCommerce Marketing
While recognition and reputation are semantically related, brand reputation refers to the public’s overall perception of your brand. Such perception is influenced by the caliber of your goods and services, customer service, public relations and employer brand.
A successful eCommerce business takes more than having a remarkable product to sell; it requires consistency in your online presence. Ultimately, consistency shapes consumers’ recognition of your brand and its reputation. With the flurry of holiday sales coming from all sides to every consumer, brand recognition is the main objective of ecommerce marketing since it’s the starting line of securing a sale.
Stellar brand recognition and reputation open the door to:
- Brand trust and consumer loyalty
- Increased perceived value of your products
With this, you give your customers a reason to come back even after the holiday shopping rush dwindles.
How To Build Brand Trust for the Holiday Shopping Season
Your brand’s promises, mission and vision may attract customers, but they wouldn’t stand on their own. They must be reinforced with action to build brand trust and, ultimately, the end goal of all marketing initiatives – foster loyalty. Remember that consumers can discern when brands aren’t consistent with their claims.
So, here’s how to build brand trust in a consistent manner that forges relationships with consumers:
#1 Have a Coherent Online Presence
A brand’s online presence refers to its collective presence across channels on the internet, and it is influenced by you, search engines and the public. As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, consumers go through more than five channels to seek inspiration, compare products and shop. Therefore, a consistent online presence communicates trustworthiness to consumers and can set your business apart from your competitors.
Here are some crucial channels to keep in check this season:
Directories – Secure your listings on prominent web directories like Google, Yelp, Bing Places, Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Nextdoor. Ensure you provide accurate business information such as your name, address, phone number (NAP) and operating hours. Directory listings allow you to reinforce your presence with reviews.
Social media – Since social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram are indexable by search engines, securing your listings on these sites contributes to your online presence on search results. You also tap on billions of users, with 71.43 percent of the U.S. internet population engaging on Facebook regularly.
Your website – No matter how a potential customer discovers your brand – through social media, an advertisement, a listing, direct mail, or a friend – their first impulse is to visit your website. So be sure your website is optimized and holiday-ready.
#2 Encourage Online Product Reviews All Year Round
In light of the trends concerning consumer behavior, with many seeking out holiday sales, it’s imperative to have a collection of favorable reviews even before the shopping rush begins. Online product reviews help curious shoppers with their purchasing decisions since they are unbiased feedback from their fellow consumers.
Much is said about the power of online product reviews. For instance, a 2022 study by Statista reveals that eCommerce businesses experience increased conversion rates when displaying ratings and reviews on their website.
- 38 percent increase in conversion for home appliances and electronics.
- 23 percent increase in conversion for clothing stores.
Online product reviews work wonders for niche businesses too, and to make the case: Statista saw the most significant increase in musical instruments. As a result of impressions from online reviews, the niche business’s conversion rates rose over 47 percent. Hence, generating and highlighting reviews is an effective strategy for driving your revenue.
#3 Respond to Online Product Reviews
One of the ways you can reap the benefits of online reviews is by acknowledging valuable customer feedback. Because tractions are much higher during the holiday season, there would naturally also be an influx of customer reviews. Now, some brands might see that as a problem, but others would view it as a golden opportunity to convey what you can offer to improve customer experience further.
Responding to reviews shouldn’t be a discretionary courtesy but fundamental to cultivating brand reputation and trust. Testament to this is a Harvard Business Review survey that revealed businesses, particularly hotels, that respond to reviews consequently gained 12 percent more reviews and increased star ratings. Although the study was conducted a couple of years back, this only means the returns of responding to reviews are much higher today since consumers have become more active and cautious online.
So when you receive online product reviews this holiday — regardless of the sentiment and how busy you are — thank your customers for their time and address them by their names, if possible.
#4 Improve Customer Experience Based on Feedback
To improve customer experience is to demonstrate your commitment to your brand and supporters, appearing as a brand that actually listens. However, if you have little to no review data to work on or if you don’t have the capacity to analyze what you have, an online reputation management (ORM) company like Rize Reviews can help.
Consider the case of Paramount (previously ViacomCBS): The global media powerhouse partnered with Rize Reviews to understand how its products are fairing with its U.K. market. Our ORM specialists extracted data from 20 review websites and evaluated 4,000 product information to devise an intuitive dashboard for Paramount.
With the custom dashboard, Paramount can access organized data by brand, manufacturer, retailer and product. As a result, our client gained constructive insights, enabling its management to discuss potential business opportunities to improve the customer experience for its U.K. market.
#5 Take Advantage of Free Google Shopping Listings
Some eCommerce businesses aren’t aware that you can secure Google Shopping listings of your products for free. This means that Google Search can index your products on the platform and surface them on the results once a consumer enters a relevant product query or goes to the Shopping tab — without extra costs for businesses.
Search query [soy candles] on Google
If you don’t want to process orders from your Google Shopping listings, you’re free to redirect interested consumers to your website to complete the purchase. Moreover, in the image above, online product reviews are also prominently displayed, furthering their importance.
#6 Attract Customers With eCommerce Marketing Holiday Sales
A study by LTK found that 70 percent of holiday shoppers seek more discounts and special offerings this year. When you offer promotional deals to your consumers this season, you also give them a reason to give you a ringing endorsement of your brand when they write a review. So you’ll likely have “Good deals” as a recurring theme in your reviews — a major win!
Here are holiday sales your business can consider:
- Buy one, take one free
- Buy one and get a second item at 40 percent off
- Discount coupons for future purchases
- Free shipping
#7 Foster Brand Trust With Google Seller Ratings
Google seller ratings are an automated asset category at the account level that promotes advertisers with high scores. Such ratings are collated by Google from credible sources that aggregate brands’ online reviews. So, a stellar brand reputation across channels (not only on Google) is especially beneficial for those who advertise on the platform. Your Google seller ratings appear on Shopping ads, text ads and listings.
Remember, your ratings, whether on Google or not, speaks volume about your reputation. And in today’s age, consumers are likely to decide based on a brand reputation, more so than any promotional content. So if you’re servicing clients, you should let customer ratings and reviews speak for your expertise and quality of service.
Fortify Your Brand Reputation in Time for the Holiday Cheer With Rize
In spite of the global uncertainties, the public’s pining for social awareness has remained. Google and Kantar declared 48 percent of people are willing to invest their money and time to patronize brands that try to do good. So if you’re ready to make this holiday shopping rush your most profitable one yet, let Rize arm your brand with dynamic reviews and reputation management services.
If you want to see Rize in action, book a free demo.