It's the season of cheer, and people are suddenly more giving, more willing to do something for others. As a retail store owner you certainly hope that people will shop at your store for their gift giving purchase, but at the same time, other than money, there's a gift you could ask of each customer.
Reviews and recommendations.
Ask every customer if they would be willing to write an online review for you. They wouldn't do it in the store; instead they would have to do it on their smartphone or on their desktop computer at home. They might not know how to do this without coaxing, so you will have to give them some directions.
Here's my current list of the 7 important review sites that appear in my tracking. These are in order of importance:
1. Google+ Local
Ever since Google acquired Zagat, it's a little tricky to leave a review on Google+ Local. Ask your customers to search for you on Google Maps on their desktop computer to leave a review.
It's amazing that this the second most popular referral for sites with reviews. To leave a review here you have to ask your customers to visit yellowpages.com and look up your store name.
Your customer can visit your store's page on their smartphone or on their desktop to leave a "recommendation." Ask the customer to Like your page if they haven't already, and then to leave a recommendation. Don't confuse your customers by asking for a "review" on Facebook. This system calls it a "recommendation."
Customers with the Yelp app on their phone can start the review process while standing in your store, but Yelp requires that the review be finalized on yelp.com from a desktop computer. Ask the customer to look up your name on Yelp and leave a review.
5. Super Pages
Like the Yellow Pages website, this is another system that you don't hear many online marketing guys talking about. Ask your customers to visit superpages.com and look up your store name to leave a review.
6. Yellow Book
You might think this is another surprising one to find in the list. Ask your customers to go to yellowbook.com and look up your store name to leave a review.
7. Yahoo Local
Even if Yahoo search is practically dead, as long as there are users of Yahoo Mail, there will be users of Yahoo Local. Ask your customers to go to local.yahoo.com to look you up and leave a review.
You might be wondering why I stopped my list at 7 and not 10. It's because I didn't have enough data to support further reporting for retail jewelry stores. This list of review sites ONLY applies to the retail jewelry industry.
I expected to find these sites in my tracking, but didn't. Perhaps these other sites are still good to use for other industries, such as contractors or specialists:
Remember, never write fake reviews for yourself, instead you should ask all your happy customer to leave a review through one of the above systems. They don't have to be glowing reviews either, just ask the customer to be honest as they write it. All A's on a report card looks suspicious; don't panic if you get a few B's or C's.