Tag Archives: ratings

Online retail: how to turn a negative consumer feedback into a positive one

Retailers who are going to open online shops often fear about negative feedbacks from online shoppers. “What if I receive a negative feedback? Should I ignore it or answer?” The most common retail behaviour is to ignore it, hoping it will be ignored by other consumers too. But this is a great misconception.

Retailers have an opportunity to fight back and use social media to turn unhappy customers into brand advocates, says the Retail Consumer Report, commissioned by RightNow and conducted online by Harris Interactive in January 2011 among 1,605 online US adults. The report shows how retailers are using social media to win back customers and drive buying decisions.

  • 68% of consumers who posted a complaint or negative review on a social networking or ratings/reviews site after a negative holiday shopping experience got a response from the retailer. Of those, 18% turned into loyal customers and bought more.

By listening and proactively responding on the social web, says the report, retailers have a chance to turn disgruntled customers into social advocates.
After a positive shopping experience, half of consumers cited great customer service and/or a previous positive experience as influencing their decision to buy from a specific online retailer.

Social advocacy can also help drive sales, the survey found:

  • Nearly a third of consumers researched what customers said on social networking and reviews websites while shopping online.

For those consumers that had a positive holiday shopping experience with an online retailer during the past holiday shopping season:

  • 21% recommended the retailer to friends.
  • 13% posted a positive online review about the retailer.

The survey found that 38% of consumers turned to the retailer’s website for information or support with online shopping. However, one of the top frustrations consumers had when shopping online was a lack of consistent information from retailers. Specifically, 22% of consumers were frustrated by information that was inconsistent between the retailer’s website and customer service agents.

For further research on how customer experiences impact the bottom line, including the fact that 85% of consumers said they would be willing to pay anywhere between 5-25% over the standard price to ensure a superior customer experience, RightNow makes the Customer Experience Impact Report 2010 available to download. (Source: MediaPost)

GoodGuide for Good Products for a more sustainable Retail

Yesterday I was reading a post concerning Levi Strauss & Co as the Top Jeans Brand, scoring a 7.4. The brand Prana was listed as the next highest, with a score of 6.3—followed by H&M (6.1), Banana Republic (6.1), and Old Navy (6.1).

I did not know what GoodGuide is – shame on me – so I checked out their very interesting website, which is said to be the world’s largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental and social impacts of consumer products. And I think it really is, rating over 95000 products, mainly available on the US market only: from food, toys, personal care to apparel, electronics and appliances. What is really striking is the scientific approach they have on their ratings, which are compiled from three sub-scores addressing Health, Environment and Society.


 Each of these sub-scores are based on an analysis of a set of indicators that GoodGuide has determined are the best-available measures of performance in these areas. Their methodology differs from the product belonging to different categories, each and every one having its own scoring methodology. Amazing. Let’s talk about apparel for example.

Quoting the Good Guide site: “Until (apparel) companies do a better job of providing transparency into their supply chain, our ability to accurately score brands based on their relative performance will be subject to significant uncertainties Environment scores are assigned to apparel brands by combining GoodGuide’s standard company indicators of environmental performance (weighted at 50%) with brand-level environmental indicators that address issues that are specific to the apparel sector (weighted at 50%).(….) Social scores are assigned to apparel brands by combining GoodGuide’s standard company indicators of social performance (50%) with brand-level social indicators that address issues that are specific to the apparel sector (weighted at 50%).(…) Health scores are not assigned to apparel brands because this product category does not generally pose health risks to consumers.”

The Good Guide website is also very good at using the Web 2.0 tools to “spread the word” and improve the accuracy of the product information thanks to a “support product info” page which enables visitors to add further details.

It would be also very interesting to test the effect of this kind of structured and scientific information directly at the point-of-sale, to see how the consumer react when discovering that his/her favourite brand of pasta is not that “good”. Because thanks to GoodGuide mobile App this is possible: consumers can scan the product, check the GoodGuide database and then purchase, or decide to choose another brand.

With this detailed level of “scientific” information, producers and retailers have nothing to hide and their achieving a high/low score can have a boomerang effect on brand reputation which must not be ignored and will not be ignored by consumers. Sustainability pays, and it will pay even more in the future.