Author | Chatmeter TeamDate Posted | January 8, 2020

The local brand report: reputation’s role in retail

In our latest edition of our Local Brand Report, Chatmeter takes a look at how the largest retail brands are performing during one of the largest shopping events of the year, Black Friday. Retailers must be sure they’re providing the best online and offline consumer experience at brick-and-mortar retail stores during Black Friday and throughout the rest of the year. In this report, we placed 20 of America’s largest retailers in a head-to-head battle with one of their biggest competitors to see who won the race to provide the best customer experience.

Chatmeter wrote this report to analyze both the online and offline consumer experience at brick-and-mortar retail stores leading up to and during Black Friday. Using a sample size of 50 locations from each brand, we analyzed both the online visibility and the in-store experience at every location using real customer data.

In the past few years, Black Friday has transformed from a single-day event taking place the day after Thanksgiving to a week-long, deep-discount, shopping extravaganza starting the week of Thanksgiving and ending the Monday after. According to Google, mobile searches for “Black Friday deals” have grown 200% in the past two years. This suggests that retail brands are serving more on-the-go shoppers than ever before. Since 48% of consumers are open to buying from new retailers during the holiday, the competition during the holiday season is at its peak.

Our Process

This report first takes a look at the online visibility of 20 retail brands leading up to Black Friday by assigning each brand a Local Brand Visibility Score. Secondly, we looked at whether or not the brands were able to deliver an exceptional in-store experience by analyzing the reviews earned by each of the brands during and after the week of Black Friday. Lastly, we put every brand head-to-head with one of their biggest retailers to assign a Black Friday reputation winner.

This report shares our findings and gives insight into how prepared the retail industry is to attract and retain customers during the holiday season and all year long.

Key Findings in Retail

  • The retail industry is present and accurate on all business directories.
  • The retail industry is failing to rank on page-1 for unbranded keyword searches. Using a tool like Chatmeter’s Pulse can help brands identify keywords with the most positive customer sentiment associated with them.
  • The average review response rate is 1.1%. Review signals account for 15% of how Google ranks as a local business. Given that rankings are the lowest category in this report, implementing a review response strategy is a great way to improve rankings.
  • The average star rating is 4.2.

Our Methodology

In this report, we took a look at a small sample of 20 of America’s top retailers to see how prepared they were to attract Black Friday shoppers and provide the in-store experience that they expected.

Local Brand Visibility

To calculate the success of a brand’s Local SEO, Chatmeter takes into consideration the five key areas that go into a Local SEO strategy: listings, reviews, social media, rankings, and competitors. Considering 83% of U.S. shoppers that visit brick-n-mortar stores start their search online, it’s vital that today’s retailers have online local brand visibility.

 Chatmeter scores the online visibility of a brand using our Local Brand Visibility (LBV) scoring system. A brand’s LBV score is an aggregate of the most important metrics tied to reputation, social media activity, and local SEO. Customer activity levels, listing accuracy, rankings, customer ratings, and local competitors all factor into the score.

Recommendations for Retail Brands:

  • Implement A Review Management Strategy
  • Improve Rankings Through Unbranded Keyword Optimization
  • Apply Customer Feedback In-Store To Improve The Customer Experience

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