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Customer reviews key to online identity, claims finance boss

Karl Werner, MotoNovo Finance

Customer reviews are becoming a key component when giving a dealership stand-out online identity, MotoNovo Finance’s head of sales and marketing claims.

Extracting the value from online reviews offers a key opportunity for dealers to differentiate their proposition to focus upon quality, increase customer confidence and enhance their SEO activity, according to Karl Werner.

Werner said: “According to digital optimisation consultants Invesp, 90% of consumers read online reviews.

“Given the changes in the way consumers approach car buying today, all dealers should consider themselves to be multi-channel retailers who serve the customer initially online and subsequently (although not exclusively) in the showroom. Creating a stand-out digital presence in a crowded marketplace means reviews matter.”

The primary benefit of positive online reviews is to increase sales conversions, Werner said.

He claimed that his was especially true as the volume of reviews grows, creating a highly credible picture for the customer browsing a site.

Among the wealth of impressive data MotoNovo gathered to support this was:

  • 88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (Invesp 2015).
  • According to Reevoo, 50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates. 
  • 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site, which has user reviews (iPerceptions, 2011).
  • An 18% increase in sales is the average produced by positive online reviews (Reevo).
  • Site visitors who interact with both reviews and customer questions and answers are 105% more likely to purchase while visiting and spend 11% more than visitors who don’t interact with User Generated Content (Bazaarvoice, Conversation Index, Q2 2011).

Werner said: “In an increasingly online environment, dealers need to encourage reviews by their customers. They should also seek to work with customer-facing suppliers who can support their dealers with their own strong online performance data.

“Our 9.3 rating with Trust Pilot is something we are very keen to ensure helps our supporting dealers’ credibility.”

He added: “A strong collection of reviews, such as those we have amassed to date, including less favourable assessments (providing they are not fake reviews) add a high level of authenticity to a dealer’s F&I offering and vicariously to the dealer’s own credibility.

“If dealers are looking for an edge in 2016, developing their review profile should be a key candidate for investigation.”



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