If you have a retail business, it’s likely that you already pay attention to your online reviews and know how important they are for search. But have you thought about how you could get value from them offline too? We have added a new feature that lets you integrate Google Reviews into your digital signage, so you can now easily show on screens the latest feedback written about your shop by customers on Google. Here we look at why you should use Google Reviews in-store and share tips on how to do it well.
Why to use online reviews in digital signage
If digital signage is inside your shop, the people who see it will already be there. You have done the hard bit of getting them into your shop, so why should you still show them reviews? Well firstly, they might not be quite over the line – one important use is in a window display to encourage people to come in. Or they might be in your shop, but still deciding whether to buy - you could use it next to specific products to close a sale, particularly if they are high value items.
If you have earned positive reviews, you should be getting the most from them, using them wherever people can see them to reinforce the message. Seeing other people’s positive opinions about your shop helps to build trust and confirms to customers that they are in the right place. A BrightLocal study in the US found that 76% of people trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends. Good reviews are reassuring.
Displaying reviews shows customers and potential customers that you value their opinion and you want to have a conversation. It perhaps goes without saying that we trust other consumers opinions more than we trust a company’s opinion of itself. But there’s evidence if you need it: a report from Forrester found that 70 percent of US adults trust online recommendations from each other far more than statements from brands and a separate study found 84 percent of millennials don’t like advertising and don’t trust its messages.
There isn’t a border between online and offline any more in the way that people shop, we use a mix of both, so we should think about blending the two as much as possible. People use smartphones to look online while in-store and they will be using online comparisons to decide where to look at something in real life. Displaying reviews in-store or at a point of collection - if you offer click-and-collect - is a way to remind people to leave reviews online, improving your search ranking and making a virtuous circle.
How to use online reviews in digital signage
To use Google Reviews in your signage you need to make sure that your Google My Business page is perfect. You need to do this anyway to make sure that your business’s local ranking is as good as it can be on Maps and Search, for when people search for businesses and places near their location. This is a free process and Google provides advice about how to do it. In summary, you need to have a Google My Business account, input complete and accurate information, a description, verify your location, add photos, manage and respond to reviews and keep your opening hours accurate. Having a perfect My Business page means that you will get better prominence in search results.
For digital signage you should avoid display your reviews unless they 4+ star reviews only and to select from a recent time period so that they are relevant and up-to-date.
For both search and signage the more reviews you have the better; Google review count and score factor into local search ranking and variety stops your signage from being boring, especially if it’s on a loop. So to make sure that you have new reviews to show, you will want to try acquisition campaigns. You can create a link to send to customers to write reviews through your Google My Business account with a short url that takes them to a review form. You can also use a QR code – both shorten the steps a customer has to take to leave a review. While you can ask customers to review you it’s against Google’s review policy for you to offer anything in return. A review needs to be genuine and freely given – never bought.
Online reviews, and Google Reviews especially, can have a big impact on your business. Good reviews have the power to convert prospects into customers and to turn customers into a community. Don’t let those hard-won positive reviews go to waste, make sure you’re using them in all the ways that you can.
At Cenareo, by adding Google Reviews to the library of content that you can choose from in your signage, we’re helping businesses to shine a light on customer voices and use user feedback for growth. Contact us to find out more.