Online reputation is important, but it’s also relative
90% of customers say buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. Especially for large purchases like a car, consumers today are spending more and more time doing online research prior to a purchase. Online reviews matter, and Friendemic has the tools to help you get more reviews and higher scores.
Online reputation is also relative. What really matters is how you stack up against your competitors and how your online reviews are perceived. To that end, Friendemic tracks the online reputations of nearly every franchise dealership in the United States, and analyzes trends by brand, region, and by review site.
Changes in the Online Review Landscape
For some time now, we’ve seen a rapidly increasing number of reviews for most automotive dealerships on several sites, particularly on Google. Google appears to be putting more weight on online reviews, including several recent enhancements to Google My Business. In 2016, Google also added a ‘Reviews from the Web’ feature, making review data from other platforms more easily visible to consumers directly on Google SERPs.
Perhaps as a result, our data shows some platforms experiencing slowing or even declining rates of online review collection. Edmunds.com in particular has not been getting the traction it once did with dealership reviews. During a three week period in January 2018, our data reveals that Edmunds.com dealership listings received less than 0.5% of the total dealership reviews left across Google, Facebook, DealerRater, Yelp, Cargurus, Cars.com, and Edmunds.
Edmunds Shifts Away From Online Reviews
It would appear that Edmunds.com also took notice. They recently announced that they would stop supporting their public API for dealership review data on February 15th, 2018. We are excited to see them shift their focus to their strong body of vehicle reviews and excellent advertising platform. On the same date, Friendemic correspondingly will stop supporting the online reputation monitoring, review notifications, and benchmarking data collection for Edmunds. Friendemic’s dealer clients may of course still use our Reputation Accelerator to encourage customers to leave feedback on Edmunds.com if desired. Please contact your Client Success Manager if you have additional questions! Given the review volumes and relative insignificance of Edmunds.com in this space, we believe this change will correctly help dealers spend more of their reputation efforts on sites with greater online reputation impact.
Friendemic will of course continue to monitor the dealership online reputation world; stay tuned for future updates.