Digital Dash: Customer review insights & more

1. Guess how many reviews it takes for customers to trust you?

Every business knows the power of online reviews. A mountain of five-star feedback can work wonders for your bottom line. Hoards of bad reviews are just as effective at punishing it.

But what about the specifics of consumer relationships with reviews; how many does it take to convince someone to buy from you? What star rating will make you an instant no-go?

The new annual Local Consumer Review survey from BrightLocal provides the answers, plus loads more interesting insights.

Here are 6 top findings from the US-based study:

  • Customers read an average of 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a company
  • 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses
  • Consumers are most likely to read reviews for restaurants/cafes
  • 21% of 18-34 year olds visit a business after reading a positive review
  • Negative reviews stop 40% of consumers from visiting a business
  • 91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations

That last point is very timely: another recent study, this time from Fakespot (a company that grades and analyses review content on Amazon), revealed that some product categories could have as many fake reviews as real ones.

Only 37% of Amazon’s beauty product reviews, and 39% of electronics reviews, were judged to be genuine.


2. 72% of millenials more loyal to social-savvy businesses

Moving onto another study now, this time one that delved into the impact of social media on brand experience, focusing specifically on US millenials (18-34 year olds).

The research begins by explaining that by 2020, this demographic will be spending $1.4 trillion per year. That’s 30% of total retail sales. Wow.

Needless to say, brands should make it a top priority to keep these guys sweet.

And when it comes to doing that, social media plays a huge role.

Being able to digitally mingle and strike up one-on-one conversations with consumers has transformed the way brands and shoppers connect.

Nowadays, it’s as easy to chat with a huge global brand as it is to message your best mate. Or at least it should be… anyone needing help with that should drop us a line!

And if you needed any evidence of just how important social media is to the overall customer experience, this study from Telus International provides it.

72% said they are more likely to be loyal to a brand that responds to feedback.

43% said they would consider buying from another brand if there was no social media page to provide feedback on. Only 21% of users aged 45+ felt the same.

But while there’s a price to pay for getting it wrong, the rewards of getting it right are also there for the taking.

62% of millenials would recommend a brand with strong social media presence, even if they were not initially happy with the product/service.

The moral of this story is that if you take customer experience seriously, you need to take social media seriously too. Simple as that.


3. Snapchat launches “Lens Challenges”

In this day and age, slapping the word “challenge” on the end of a hashtag seems to instantly convince otherwise-sane individuals to do whatever they’re told, however crazy.

In a bid to capitalise on our innate desire to compete and complete, Snapchat just launched “Lens Challenges”.

The new feature pits users against each other in a battle to appear in the challenge’s highlights. First up was to lip sync to Gwen Stefani’s version of Jingle Bells.

Photo: Tech Crunch

To take part, you just need to head over to the Lens Explorer section of the app, follow the instructions and send the snap to the challenge story.

New challenges are popping up regularly, and can be created by users too.

If you want to give one of them a go but don’t want the world to potentially see, your entry can be privately shared with friends.


4. Has Facebook been bad (again)? Netflix, Spotify & more given extreme access to personal accounts according to New York Times report

Facebook’s had a practically permanent spot on the naughty step recently, with one scandal after the next hitting the headlines.

After a huge controversy earlier this year (anyone remember Cambridge Analytica?), and more than a few slip-ups since, it’s fair to say Mark Z will be glad to see the back of 2018.

The latest issue relates to a recent New York Times report. According to internal records and interviews NYT believes Facebook set up “special arrangements” for tech giants re. data access – leaving users open to having their private messages read, friends lists examined and more.

It’s accused that Facebook gave big-name companies varying levels of access not entirely disclosed to users.

Facebook disagrees.

In a statement released by The Social Network on Wednesday, the position was clear: no access was granted without users’ permission and no access violated Facebook’s 2012 settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The company claims that “integration partners” such as Apple, Amazon, Blackberry and Yahoo were given special access rights to help users access their Facebook accounts or Facebook-specific features through other devices/platforms.

It says the access also gave the likes of Netflix, NYT, Pandora and Spotify the ability to show users recommendations from their friends.

Through the API some partners were given access to things like private messages to provide “instant personalisation” features.

But it also admitted an API error:

Photo: Facebook

Whatever the case, this isn’t great news for Facebook’s reputation, which has already taken a number of hits this year.

Bring on 2019!


5. Google mixes things up with conversion bidding for banner ads

If you’ve ever indulged in a spot of Google Display advertising, you’ll know that you can pay per thousand impressions (CPM) per click (CPC) or by return on ad spend (ROAS).

Well now a new option has been added to the mix: conversion-based bidding.

This will allow you to pay per conversion on your website or app, which could be anything from a purchase to data submission to an add to cart.

As Google explained in the launch blog, you’ll never pay above your target cost per action (CPA).

Photo: Google

So if your target CPA is £20 and you achieved 10 conversions, you’d be charged exactly £200. You won’t be charged for clicks or impressions.

Your ads will also be optimised to reach people most likely to convert.

To qualify for the new option, you must have had more than 100 conversions in the past 30 days.


Happy holidays, everyone! See you in 2019.