When people think about industries that use reviews, their minds tend to two places first:
But tons of growing industries have started using reviews in innovative, industry-specific ways to attract customers, gain traction, and boost sales. Online businesses in these fast growing markets need to attract customers quickly or risk being left behind. This isn't just for enterprise marketing. We are see small local businesses as well capitalize on this opportunity.
Here’s a spotlight on how savvy brands in 5 emerging industries use reviews to attract new customers to power growth.
1. Drone Brands Use Reviews to Stay Ahead of the Competition
Drones are all the rage in 2016, and they’re not showing signs of slowing down: according to a report by Grand View Research Inc., the drone industry is expected to rise to $2.07 billion by 2022. The majority of the growth in this industry will be happening in the commercial – not military – sector.
And commercially, drones are expected to impact nearly every major vertical.
A Business Insider report says, “The global commercial drone market will take shape around applications in a handful of industries: agriculture, energy, utilities, mining, construction, real estate, news media, and film production. “
In such a highly competitive space with tons of new players entering, customer feedback is vital for helping companies stand out to get new customers. Reviews give drone companies the social proof they need to attract traffic and convince shoppers to choose their products over the competition.
Jonathan Baird, founder of Drones Etc., explains how customer reviews have helped him get an edge on the competition:
“Each happy customer is an extremely valuable ambassador that helps grow the brand. Since adding reviews, we’ve seen around a 10% increase in traffic and revenue across the board.” Jonathan Baird | Founder of Drones Etc.
With more expensive items like drones, product reviews are especially important.
And for expensive items, it’s crucial to have tons of reviews to instill trust in new shoppers nervous about making a big purchase.
“Drones are a popular, high-growth retail category, with broad choices for quality, features, price, as well as hobbyist and professional applications. Authentic customer reviews are a critical tool for helping consumers narrow their choices and drive to a purchasing decision, and a great review can push a sale over the line,” Rick McInnes from Drone Nerds explains.
Additionally, because drones are such a new and quickly evolving technology, drone brands need to be on their top game in understanding customer complaints and working to improve the product as quickly as possible.
“Customer reviews have been vital for receiving feedback on our sales and delivery process in real time. If we get a bad or not stellar review we can immediately huddle as a team and figure out what we did wrong and how to fix it so it doesn’t happen again,” Baird says.
2. Financial Services Stay Relevant with Customer Reviews
Financial services is another growing industry that struggles to get customers because of a lack of trust and engagement.
People approach financial services with stress and uncertainty, and these companies need to transmit reassurance and show they are trustworthy and honest in order to attract customers.
They need reviews to establish credibility in an industry where most people are skeptical.
Many companies in the financial industry offer similar suites of services. Therefore, customer satisfaction is a huge differentiator for them.
Probably the biggest challenge financial services face today is attracting millennial customers.
Millennials are characterized by their lack of trust in institutions, specifically financial ones which they do not trust (they have lived through enough crashes and crises to not trust banks).
However, millennial customers have just now reached the age where they must begin to interact with the financial industry – they are getting married, buying homes, having children, consolidating student loans. Therefore, financial services need to change the way they offer services.
Millennials do not trust them, but they do trust each other. This is why personal experience and word of mouth is crucial for attracting quality traffic and customers who already come in the door with a trusting mind.
Also, when it comes to financial interactions, the tendency of customers is to pick one company and stick with them for life, so it is crucial for the company to be there at the decision making time.
People do write reviews about financial services on third-party websites, and these reviews are usually negative.
A lot of the time the people writing these negative reviews did not actually complete a transaction with the company because they were, for example, refused a loan and they are upset.
So they go on third-party websites like Yelp to rant. Financial service companies are having trouble getting reviews from customers that actually completed a transaction.
But financial service companies that are taking control of their reviews are seeing huge positive benefits.
LendKey allows consumers to refinance their student loans online, through credit unions and community banks. Here is what David Barak, Director of Acquisition Marketing & Analytics at LendKey had to say:
“People are extremely sensitive about sharing financial information online – and due to some bad practices in the early days of the industry, people are also very skeptical of online lending. I knew that social proof was going to be important, but we needed to do it in a way that was genuine and transparent.
Reviews allow financial institutions to increase engagement and trust among visitors.
“Since LendKey started publishing reviews on its product pages, we’ve had an uptick in the time visitors spend on our site, the number of pages they see, and the degree to which they convert,” Barak says.
Sam Casey is the Chief Creative Officer and Managing Partner at Banyan Creative.