Major Retailers, Restaurants Not Ready For Voice Search

Consumers are trending toward using their voice to search for products and conduct purchases, but findings from a recent study show few brands have incorporated a voice optimization strategy into their marketing plans. None, per the study, are ready to take on the challenge.

A Chatmeter Local Brand Report looked at how a dozen of the largest retail and restaurant brands are preparing for voice search in 2019 to determine their level of readiness. Most failed miserably, according to the findings.

The analysis relies on a variety of metrics — review rating, review response rate, listing accuracy, and their Local Brand Visibility (LBV) score — to evaluate each of the 12 brands analyzed.

A brand’s LBV score is an aggregate of the most important metrics tied to reputation, social-media activity and local SEO. Customer activity levels, listing accuracy, rankings, and customer ratings all factor into the score.

An overall score above 70 reflects an industry leader. A score between 50 and 70 is average. A score below 50 is poor.

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Target tops the list with an overall LBV score of 64, but its search score came in at 40. The score that pushed the retail giant to the top of the list points to its listings, which topped out at 88. The review score came in at 53 and its social sore faltered to 28.

Ross, TJ Maxx, Best Buy and Walmart also ranked in the top five, with overall LBV scores of 63, 63, 61, and 69, respectively. Their search scores came in at 43, 57, 44 and 39, respectively.

Best Buy had the highest average listings score across all brands at 78, and the lowest being A&W Restaurants at 60. The high listing is important because it shows the accuracy, presence and optimization in local search rankings.

The average rankings score across all 12 brands came in at 39, the highest rankings score is 57 for TJ Maxx; the lowest, Starbucks at score of 25. Again, a good rankings score is 70. These companies are not visible on unbranded local searches relevant to each brand.

Low rankings across the board show that none of these brands are optimized for voice.

While online reputation means a lot to a brand, the numbers in its overall tally for reputation management scoring don’t reflect the importance. The average review score across all 12 brands came in at 48, the highest being TJ Maxx with 54 and the lowest is Starbucks with a 34. Based on Chatmeter’s grading system, these scores are poor.

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