How To Adapt Your Online Review Strategy To Each Generation [A Marketer’s Guide]

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Image Credit: | How To Adapt Your Online Review Strategy To Each Generation [A Marketer’s Guide] | Does your current online review strategy take different generations into account? If not, you could be missing out. 

Different generations not only behave differently in real life, they also behave differently online. Everything from researching to shopping habits depend on the age group your customers belong to – and this includes how they leave reviews. 

How can you leverage this within your online reviews strategy? Well, different generations have different approaches to leaving online reviews. Some need to read more than others before making a purchase, while others prefer leaving reviews on Google over businesses’ websites. 

Understanding these preferences allows you to tailor your reviews strategy to your target audience – and boost engagement while you’re at it. 

Gen Zs and Millennials: What Do They Need?

To adapt your online reviews strategy to Gen Zs and Millennials, you’re going to need to go big to win their trust. These younger generations are the most difficult to please – they don’t have much money, so they’re looking for positive reviews before they buy. And lots of them!

Gen Zs and Millennials want to see the most amount of reviews before making a purchasing decision, so your first step should be to increase the number of reviews on your site. On average they expect to read 181 reviews, so capturing high volumes of feedback is essential. 

The main trouble here is that people are pretty reluctant to share their thoughts – only one in 10 happy customers leave reviews!

To encourage more reviews, try offering small rewards such as discounts, or the chance to be entered into a prize draw. Personalized emails are also a great way of inviting customers to give you feedback – personalized email subject lines are 50% more likely to be opened!

Remember to always make it as quick and easy as possible for customers to complete their review. 

Below is a great example of a personalized email requesting feedback – it explains why the feedback is important to the business, it thanks the customer, and uses language such as “small request”, and “simply” and only starts off with one question. 

These are all perfect tactics to draw in the impatient, time-pressured Millennial!

Gen Xs: What Do They Need? 

Gen Xs are an often overlooked demographic – 54% of Gen X consumers feel left out by brands and marketers – but you could be losing out if you don’t tailor your reviews strategy to include Gen Xs. 

This generation hits a sweet spot between other generations – they’re more trustworthy than Gen Zs and Millennials, and more tech savvy than Boomers. 

Gen Xs aren’t such big spenders as Boomers, nor such frequent buyers as Gen Zs and Millennials, but they certainly have a lot to offer – Gen Xs spend $357 billion annually!

To adapt your online reviews strategy to keep Gen Xs engaged, you’ll need to embrace video – they expect to see four videos on a product page, more than any other generation. This is also effective on social media – Gen Xs favor Facebook, so focus your attention there.

You should also offer coupons and set up loyalty rewards programs – Gen Xers are balancing busy careers with young families, meaning they’re always looking for ways to save that little bit extra. 

Personalized email is one of the best channels to use when marketing to Gen Xs – although don’t discount more traditional methods such as good old fashioned snail mail and television. 

Boomers: What Do They Need?

Boomers may be the least tech savvy generation, but they know enough to place online orders and leave customer reviews – and that’s enough to make them worth considering when putting together your reviews strategy!

The good news is that Boomers are the most trusting generation – they spend the least amount of time reading online reviews before feeling confident enough to make a purchase, meaning you don’t have to work so hard to win them over as you do with younger generations. 

However, you do need to gear your reviews strategy towards gaining a high star rating. 48% of Boomers want a minimum of four stars to feel confident in a business, and this reflects their focus on brand values.

Brand loyalty is more important to Boomers than younger generations – especially when it comes to high value orders. They want well established brands with a good reputation and top notch customer service. 

In short, Boomers are looking for an “in-store” shopping experience online. 

So, what does this mean for your reviews strategy? 

Well, it means you need to invest in high quality customer service – hire human help agents to talk to customers via live chat or over the phone, and always (always) respond to reviews left on your website. 

Replying to reviews – whether they’re positive or negative – in a polite and helpful manner shows other customers that you can be trusted and that you won’t ignore them if they have any problems!

Remember that Boomers aren’t the most tech savvy, so make it easy for them to leave reviews directly on your website – and don’t get carried away with social media shouting or influencer marketing, as it’ll likely fall on deaf ears. 

Three Generations, Endless Opportunities

It can be hard to know where to start when trying to put a reviews strategy together. Do you invest in social media advertising or put everything into email? By studying the online habits and characteristics of each generation, you can steer clear of common pitfalls by targeting the right audience. 

Here’s a quick summary of how you can adapt your strategy for each generation:

Gen Zs and Millennials: social media, influencers, making reviews quick and easy

Gen Xs: personalized emails, coupons, and loyalty programs
Boomers: investment in brand, high star ratings, more traditional marketing methods

It’s even possible to market to multiple generations – each one has its own benefits and challenges, but if you can tailor your strategy to engage your customers, you’ll unlock the rewards each generation has to offer. 

Check out the infographic below for more insights into how each generation behaves, shops, and reviews online:×1024.png

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