A new survey of over 800 marketers found that 57% of those surveyed now believe that managing the online reputation of a business, i.e. how they communicate with new and existing customers to grow their revenue, is more important than paying for advertising.

So, actively managing reviews, referrals and other indicators of online reputation is now a vital ingredient in the marketing mix for e-commerce brands and entrepreneurs.

Advertising alone simply does not drive revenue in the same way it used to, and so committing more time and effort to build a strong online reputation is now more important than ever.

How do you build an online reputation?

Having the ability from the start to get continuous feedback from customers is essential, and responding to them in a timely manner is imperative to build credibility and trust with your audience. 

Brands that offer convenience combined with simplicity and a fast response time to either a question or a problem are more attractive to consumers - now, more than ever.

And the preferred method for communication - messaging!

Not only does this build strong relationships with customers but it also goes a very long way to delivering a good online reputation as 58% of new customers are coming to brands through SEO and reviews (responsible for 34% of new acquisitions), and referrals (24%).

Right now, online sentiment, customer referrals and word  of mouth are the major the influencing factors on the purchase process.

What this actually means is that your customers are the lifeblood of your business and they also have the ability to easily impact search results and online reputation for your brand.

The key message - it's good to talk! 

Make sure that your e-commerce brand delivers a great customer experience all the way through the purchase journey and especially, beyond it.