Retail

Christian Retailers Discover & Improve Their Online Reputation

How To Improve your Online Presence - The Parable Group

Christian Retailers discover and improve their online brand and reputation with ease using The Parable Group Online Business Claiming service. The service, which launched in 2011 and expanded in 2014, helps stores evaluate, build and monitor their brand health online. Stores receive quarterly reporting, including an overall online brand score, and easy-to-follow recommendations to reach more customers, improve consumer engagement and enhance their brand online.

The scoring model takes into account over 80 data points to create a brand score that not only reflects how strong a brand presence is, but also provides a benchmark for store’s efforts compared to others. The Parable Group evaluates website search results, reviews and social media from various online sources such as Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp, Bing Local, Yahoo! Local, Google Places, Twitter and LinkedIn and other online profiles for retailers, saving them time and allowing them to focus on serving customers.

“As a retailer, it’s tough to know just where to begin and what steps you should and should not take to manage your online reputation. The score provides a gauge of each store’s starting point and measures improvement over time. It’s basically a brand report card,” said Tiffany Davenport, Data Content Coordinator for The Parable Group.

Score strength is measured as high with a score of 650-850, medium with a score of 550-650, and low with a score below 550. Most participating stores saw an increase over the past three months, and the current average brand score of 679 is well within the high score ranking.

“I love that The Parable Group monitors and evaluates my store’s online footprint for me—they save me countless hours of work,” said Danny Vera from Christ Centered Life Store in Fort Myers, Florida. “The reports provide me with our brand score, insights about where we rank on search engines, social media activity and recommendations we can take to raise our score and online engagement. I couldn’t get all of this information about my store on my own.”

Steve Potratz, owner of The Parable Christian Store in San Luis Obispo, CA and President of The Parable Group said, “In 2010 we moved our store from a high traffic downtown location with a lot of tourist traffic to a strip center on the outskirts of town. Months after our move, the internet continued to display the downtown location, so we lost tourist traffic and a lot of local traffic. This caused us to search for a fix. We solved the problem and today our store is prominently listed on all maps and searches online. In fact, if you buy a new car with navigation, you’ll easily find our store in their maps too. We are happy to provide this tremendous solution to help all Christian retailers easily monitor, manage and strengthen their brand presence online.”

 

Christian Retailers Enjoyed December Sales Lift

Christmas Retail Tips

Christian Retailers reported a lift in December sales and traffic, according to The Parable Group. Sales stats by the group show a 3% December sales lift over December 2013, and a 19% increase in sales for the week ending December 27 over the same week in 2013.

“Dozens of our retail partners had a strong month, many in the double-digits, and it really lifted the group number up,” says Erik Ernstrom, Manager of Business Intelligence for The Parable Group. “That week before Christmas was stronger than most of us anticipated.”

Retailers reported that the 12 Days of Christmas daily deals promoted in their catalogs, targeted shared mail (Redplum/Valassis), newspaper inserts, promotional in-store signage, email marketing and Facebook campaigns developed by The Parable Group were effective in driving consumer traffic and increasing sales in their stores.

Deidre Pagni from His Word…A Parable Christian Store in Reno and Sparks, Nevada said, “The 12 Days of Christmas Sale that we promoted in Red Plum seemed to have a bigger impact for our Reno store and drove some traffic. Plus, we did a better job preparing our stock levels for the 12 Days of Christmas Sale traffic as well.”

Matthew Wright of Praises Family Books & Gifts in Chillicothe, Ohio said, “December was a great month for us. We really pushed the 12 Days of Christmas sales hard. We sent an email reminder every day of the sale to our entire email list. We used the aggressive coupon option to generate traffic from our catalogs. Plus, we gave each customer a bounce back coupon at the completion of the sale encouraging them to come back in. Our promotional plan through Parable print catalogs, SnapRetail emails and proper staff training provided us with a great December and an end to a good year! Higher traffic made the difference in our sales.”

Gift cards were projected to be the most popular holiday gift option, with 80% of shoppers saying they planned to buy at least one, according to a National Retail Federation survey. They aren’t counted as part of a retailer’s sales, though, until they are redeemed.

“The post-Christmas period is when that starts and that’s a great way to start the new year,” says Ernstrom.