Sales & Marketing

How retailers can use reviews to bounce back from the summer slump

4 min read

16 September 2015

After a dreary summer of retail sales, how can retailers use reviews to bounce back from the summer slump? Here are four tips.

An extraordinarily poor performance throughout the summer has left retailers in the UK clamouring to get back in the black, rolling out their holiday promotions earlier than ever before. With a little help from an authentic consumer voice, a boost in sales could be within easy reach.

Retail sales in the UK have slumped this summer and reports show that many retailers are dealing with tight budgetary conditions as a result. Supermarket chain, Morrison’s, reported a 47 per cent drop in half-year pre-tax profits and will make up to 900 job cuts as a result of its poor takings.

There’s evidence to show that woes at the top of the retail chain are also affecting small and medium sized businesses, and the cut-back trend is being employed by retailers big and small. SMEs are kick-starting autumn with promotions and incentives, but endless promos aren’t good for the bottom line or brand image.

As Black Friday looms, retailers need a strategy that claws profit back in the last quarter of the year, and avoids starting the pre-Christmas sales countdown months and months before the end of the year.

Here are four tips about how to use online reviews to drive more sales as we approach the peak holiday season.

1. Make sure your website and apps are mobile ready

According to our test research, 90 per cent of shoppers use their mobile devices to browse retailer’s websites to hunt down real reviews while shopping in-store. Shoppers are essentially using them as an in-store purchasing aid. 

Capitalise on this by making sure your website and app reveals review content quickly and clearly, to aid in-store sales in real-time.

2. Encourage reviews from in-store shoppers ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday 

When footfall is at its peak over the holidays, don’t miss out on an opportunity to generate a high volume of reviews from shoppers visiting your stores. 

It’s likely that you’ll also receive a higher volume of traffic to your website as shoppers do pre-shop research looking for helpful and authentic reviews, to make their shopping experience a breeze. 

In-store, consider installing a pop-up review station, implement free Wi-Fi or offer an incentive to encourage on the spot reviews to show the in-store visitors you care, and build reviews for the future.

3. Compile review data into holiday shopping guides 

Help shoppers find the perfect gifts for everyone on the “nice” list by analysing review data and highlighting top-rated items in accessible gift guides.

Reveal the Top Products, Most Loved Gifts and Holiday Favourites on your homepage, categories and across your holiday brand messaging.

Read more about using reviews to boost your business:

4. Implement a post-purchase email program to get more reviews 

Up to 70 per cent of consumer reviews are created when brands follow up their sales with emails, so implementing a post-purchase email program is the single most effective way to keep shoppers in your business’ ecosystem. 

Keep your emails short and simple, with a clear call to action, and avoid including other marketing or sales calls to action that may distract your customers.

Anne-Marie Olsen is VP of EMEA for PowerReviews.