Barcamp Talk: Growing A Business With Online Reviews

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An introduction to using online reviews, presented at the Barcamp tech conference in Sydney, late 2008.

Transcript of Barcamp Talk: Growing A Business With Online Reviews

  • 1. Growing A Business With Online Reviews
  • 2. Filling In The Gaps
      • Online reviews
      • ???
      • Profit
    What this presentation covers
  • 3. Number of years each channel took to reach a market audience of 50 million? Radio: 38 Television: 13 Internet: 4 Souce:
  • 4. 87% of Australians have purchased something over the Internet. 53% of Australians made a purchase in the last month Source:ACNielsen Global Online Shopping Habits Study
  • 5. Source: Consumer survey, JC Williams Group, 2006 91% of survey respondents cited consumer content as the #1 aid to a buying decision
  • 6. The crowd is building a new channel to drive their buying decisions
  • 7. Customers can get advice from each other directly
  • 8. For many businesses, your actions speak louder than your advertising department
  • 9. What Determines Reviews?
      • Audience
      • Market
      • Product
  • 10. Audience Factors
      • Education level (Selling to experts or businesses)
      • Enthusiasm (Customer word-of-mouth)
  • 11. Market Factors
      • Long tail or emerging markets (Limited exposure from traditional media)
      • Commoditisation (Ease of comparison)
      • Low barriers to entry
      • Customer lock-in
      • Market maturity (Ability to innovate)
      • Lack of incumbents (Brand experience)
  • 12. Product Factors
      • Product is sold in volume / Service is repeatable (Reviews are reliable)
      • Expense
      • Upfront pricing
      • Ongoing expenses
      • Complementary products
      • Information assymetry (Buyers know more than sellers)
  • 13. Hints For Small Business
  • 14. Most Word Of Mouth Is Positive
    • 80% of product ratings on the Bazaarvoice review site are 4 or 5 stars out of 5.
    Source: J Curve, Bazaarvoice and Keller Fay
  • 15.
    • Small businesses usually don't have economies of scale, or well-established brands.
    • Differentiated on service? Good word of mouth is a cheap way to grow.
  • 16.
    • Online reviews magnify word of mouth... 10x, 100x, even 1000x
  • 17. How Do You EncourageReviews? Got a store? Add a point of sale reminder Track how your customers find you: Referrer logs Customer surveys
  • 18. Take Direct Action
      • Contribute to an independent wiki page
      • Add customer testimonials and case studies to your site
      • Track blog mentions and embed them as an RSS feed
      • Start you own company blog
  • 19. How Do Reviews Fit Into Existing Channels? Channel Independent Expert Comes To You Based On Customer Experience Direct Advertising Indirect Advertising Professional Reviews Amateur Reviews
  • 20. Crowdsourcing Is Powerful
    • Reviews from fellow consumers have greater influence than those by professionals.
    • Source: comScore/The Kelsey Group, October 2007
  • 21. What Makes A Good Customer Reference?
    • Customers who are the most similar to you
    • Case studies from impressive customers are not as valuable as case studies from happy, but typical customers
  • 22. The internet lets your customers unionise against you But they don't strike, they just go your competitors.
  • 23. Future Of Review Sites?
      • Hybrid of professional reviews and moderation atop amateur content?
      • May not be entirely advertising supported. Can use referral fees or negotiate pooled funding from businesses
      • Niche review sites run by enthusiasts will always have a place
  • 24.
    • Existing media voices and brands may extend their websites to provide online reviews of their own products, eg David Jones, Vogue or Microsoft
  • 25. Example Australian Review Sites Review Space Site General Reviews Yabble Restaurants Eatability Teachers Rate My Teacher ISPs Whirlpool Web Hosting Hosting Jury Wikis Wiki Matrix Employers Revyr
  • 26. Discussion Time Presented in Sydney, AU on 15 Nov 08 by David Soul Originally posted on