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The stairs of today's "UP BUS" are paved with STARS...

There has been a lot of talk about how important reviews are to consumers in the past few months, but not a lot of real data to support the anecdotal claims.

I wanted to share a few numbers with you to help reinforce the importance of review collection and marketing in 2013.

DealerRater hasn’t traditionally shared the data we collect, but we feel that it is important to the industry that we do so at this time.

We recently commissioned a blind sampling of 3500 dealers nationwide to look at review counts and penetration of reviews on the most notable third party review sites. This sampling was done after August’s scrub of Google reviews. The data was interesting to say the least. Google, Cars.com, YELP, Edmunds and Yahoo! Local combined for 74k reviews for this sampling of 3500 dealers.  For the same set of dealers DealerRater had 79k indexed reviews. 

Here is the interesting part…

As a baseline, there were 1.14 million cars sold in the month of November 2012. This was a 5 year high for Nov. according to Reuters and a 15% increase over October. During that same period of time there were 1.4 million unique views of DealerRater review content through various distribution channels.

I’m no scholar, but if DealerRater is tracking 286k more uniques than cars sold over a period of time, it seems to me that the odds are very favorable that your prospects are actively reading review content pre-purchase.

With all of the new and exciting social media tools and shiny things on the horizon for 2013, please don’t lose sight of the importance of review collection and review marketing to your business. Customers demand trust before they enter the purchase funnel and more of their purchase decision is made outside of the dealership than ever before. This is what the ZMOT principle is really all about. The stairs of today's “UP BUS” are paved with STARS… if they don't see that they can trust you online, you won't see them in your dealership.

Positive reviews that are marketed well are the gateway to future appointments and sales in 2013.  

More numbers to come…

Views: 234

Tags: Customer Reviews, Dealer Reviews, DealerRater, Management, Reputation, Reputation Management, Reviews

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Comment by Michael Del Priore on January 10, 2013 at 5:16pm

That is great information. I am going to let other people know at my dealership and stress the importance of getting favorable reviews on sites like dealerrater or google

Comment by T. Lavon Lawrence on January 8, 2013 at 12:03pm

Great intro - can't wait to see the rest.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on January 8, 2013 at 9:16am

Ryan, thank you for sharing the compelling data, and perhaps more importantly the analysis you have added to it... Although you state you are no scholar, your instincts around a valid sample size for statistical analysis are right on target.  Your sample size is more than valid enough in size to yield a Standard Deviation of less than 4 percentage points, which makes the insights gained statistically accurate.

Comment by Matthew Smolik on January 8, 2013 at 7:11am

So true Ryan, it's now required for SFE that GM dealers have a reputation management tool in place. Of course Cobalt has a solution and Digital Air Strike and Naked Lime are approved vendors. Great article and Have a great New Year

Comment by Tom Gorham on January 4, 2013 at 6:34pm

Great article Ryan, as always! 

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