|THE DAILY SCOPE, 12/9/21: The elevation of reviews on social media and apps like Yelp – along with information (and reviews) on, say, a Google Business Profile that pops up as a search result – has transformed the way retailers drive awareness, foot traffic, and ultimately sales to their stores both on- and off-line So valuable is this resource that companies such as Reputation help brands, including retailers, keep track of their social media presence and reputation through “social media listening” and then optimize it. The company’s 2021 Retail Reputation Report, which analyzed more than 3.7 million shopper reviews, reports that the volume of online reviews increased by 12 percent in 2021 versus 2020, though, curiously — considering everyone was home with nothing better to do than write reviews — it was down 22 percent from 2019.|
Meanwhile, clicks to directions to a business from its Google Business Profile was up 15 percent from last year, which suggests that more people are heading to brick-and-mortar stores. The report also found that 90 percent of consumers read at least one review before buying something (with 72 percent reading several reviews). So clearly, reviews of products and stores are where it’s at.
Among the Top 10 retailers in terms of social listening for 2021 were a few that carry appliances and consumer electronics in some way, shape, or form: Ace Hardware, Bass Pro, Costco, Guitar Center, Nordstrom, and Petco.
Inflation continues to make the headlines, with Adobe reporting that online prices in November rose by 3.5 percent compared to one year ago. The prices for some categories rose by larger percentages, with electronics rising 8.6 percent, appliances rising 6.6 percent, computers rising 3.6 percent, and toys rising 2.6 percent. To be fair, this was after several years of pre-pandemic price declines, but inflation is never a good look. (For what it’s worth, new jobless claims plunged to their lowest level since 1969, as the Labor Department announced today.)
In product news, Petra announced that it has started distributing car audio company DS18’s line of automotive amplifiers, speakers, tweeters, subwoofers, and midranges. Headphone and speaker maker Cleer Audio has just won two 2022 CES Innovations Honoree Awards for its flagship ALPHA intelligent Adaptive Active Noise Canceling Bluetooth Headphone and the GOAL II Active True Wireless Earbuds. With CES 2022 coming up in less than a month, more new product announcements will likely trickle out every day. Keep watching this space.
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Tom is the Editor in Chief of Dealerscope.