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Top 5 Reasons Consumers Choose a Competitor

Whether your multi-location business is one of the best performing in its industry or you have some room to grow, there’s always room for improvement. There will always be potential customers that choose the competition over your business. What makes a consumer decide to do business with competitors? While there are some factors that your business can’t compete with, such as location and offerings at a competitor that your business doesn’t have, there are other factors you can influence. Within this blog, we’ll look at the top five reasons a consumer might choose a competitor and break down what measures your multi-location business needs to take to compete. 


1. Your Online Reputation 


Your business’s online reputation is a significant factor consumers consider when deciding where to shop. The data speaks for itself. Eighty-two percent of consumers overall read online reviews. If your multi-location business’s online reputation falls flat compared to competitors, improving it should be one of your main priorities. Similarly, if any of your local businesses have less than four stars, it’s time to work on improving it. 


So what does it take to improve your multi-location business’s reputation and stand out from the competition?


Here are a few factors to consider: 

  • Volume of reviews: Consumers use reviews to determine whether or not they can trust a business. Afterall, nearly half of consumers say a product must have a minimum of 1-25 reviews for them to feel comfortable purchasing it. If your multi-location business lacks in volume of reviews, consumers might decide to go with a competitor. Find creative ways to gain more reviews without asking for them. 

    • For instance, you can include links to your review sites on your website, making them easily accessible.


  • Recency of reviews: Consumers value and respect recent reviews. If you have a huge volume of reviews, but they’re from three years ago, they may move onto a competitor. After all, 86 percent of consumers feel that review recency is more important when considering a product or brand they haven’t purchased before.


  • Overall star rating: Overall star rating is one of the most influential components of your multi-location business’s online reputation. Over 50 percent of consumers say they won’t consider a business with less than four stars.


  • Review response time: Your multi-location business should respond to reviews in a timely and personalized manner. While responding to 100 percent of reviews received is ideal, responding to as many reviews as possible is essential.


  • Review response rate: As mentioned previously, responding to as many reviews as possible is critical, but if your business does have to pick, negative reviews should be addressed first. Eighty-seven percent of consumers express a willingness to change a negative review depending on how the company responds. When responding to negative reviews, remember to personalize your message, address the consumer’s concerns, and take the rest of the conversation offline. 


It’s essential to understand how your business’s online reputation compares to others in your industry and vicinity. While your business might be happy with its local star ratings, if they are lower than competitors, you could be missing out on potential consumers and sales. For a more detailed look at what it takes to improve your online reputation, check out our Multi-Location Marketer’s Guide to Online Reputation Management




2. Slow Response Times


As expected, slow response times can also cause potential customers to choose a competitor over your business. Whether it’s slow response times through customer satisfaction channels, like email, phone, or messaging communications, a lack of responding to reviews, or low engagement on local social, there are various areas your business might be falling behind. Responding quickly to inquiries your multi-location business gets through email, phone calls, messaging, or on your local social platforms is a must. If a customer has a specific question about a product or service that they want to be answered before making a purchase, a slow response time will deter them from purchasing. If your multi-location business is feeling overwhelmed with the volume of questions it’s receiving, or having difficulties with slow response times, consider a chatbot solution. A chatbot solution will allow users to instantly get answers to their most frequently asked questions while saving your marketing team time and effort. Get more insight into effectively incorporating a chatbot into your marketing strategy with our Localized Chatbot Guide




As mentioned previously, responding to reviews in a timely and personalized manner is also essential. Suppose your company has slow response times when responding to reviews. In that case, consumers might start to think that your business doesn’t care about the content left in reviews, which can hurt their overall impression of your business. For instance, if a potential customer sees a review from someone who had to wait an hour after they ordered to get their food at your restaurant, and the review went unanswered, they will likely avoid your restaurant, so the same thing doesn’t happen to them. Prioritizing timely responses across all communication channels is key to staying ahead of your competition.


3. Poor Online Presence 


Your multi-location business’s online visibility can also impact whether or not a consumer does business with you. To start, your business must ensure it has all of its local listings claimed on all local search platforms and local pages across social media. A robust localized presence is non-negotiable. Consumers crave convenience, and your business needs to provide it. For instance, updated and accurate local listings provide consumers with everything they need to know about your business without digging for it. They can see your business’s hours of operation, address, and contact information, along with local pictures of the company, all in one place. The same goes for local social. 


The lines between search and social have been blurred, and consumers now expect to get the same information about your business on social as they would on search. Ensuring that your local social profiles are updated and include the most accurate business information is vital. While building a local presence on both search and social is critical, being active will help further boost your online visibility. When it comes to local social, your multi-location business should post localized content and engage with users who interact with your business. Data found that localized content performs 12x better than content that is not considered localized. For local search, your business can leverage Google Posts to ensure its shares localized content to your target audience regularly. Check out our Localized Social Content Guide for more insight into what it takes to create a winning localized content strategy. 



Green, black, and white download button for SOCi’s Localized Social Content Guide Description: Green, black, and white download button for SOCi’s Localized Social Content Guide



4. Neglecting the Importance of Mobile


We’ll keep this one short and sweet! In 2021, mobile phones generated 54.25 percent of web traffic, while desktops accounted for 42.9 percent of traffic. Similarly, 55 percent of page views in 2021 came from mobile devices. Customers should easily access your website via their mobile devices and view all of the same information as they would from a desktop. It’s also crucial for customers to be able to view products and purchase them from their mobile devices. Think about how many times you’re on your phone and realize you need to buy something. If a customer isn’t able to purchase a product from your business from their phone, they’ll likely choose a competitor or forget they even needed to make a purchase. Increasing mobile optimization is a must. 


5. Quality of Products and Services 


While this might seem like a no-brainer, the quality of your business’s products and services is a big reason consumers will choose to purchase from your company or go with the competition. For instance, if you’re in the fitness industry and your fitness brand offers fewer amenities than your competitors for the same price in a similar location, you can imagine which gym a consumer would likely choose to do business with. 


Social listening is an excellent way for your multi-location business to track what your target audience is saying about your business versus the competition. If you’re not already familiar, social listening allows your multi-location business to monitor your brand’s social media channels for any direct or indirect mentions of your brand, topics related to your industry, and your competitors. Listening to online conversations will help your business better understand what consumers like and dislike about your products and services and provide insight into the competition. Similarly, as mentioned earlier in this blog, paying attention to your ratings and reviews can help give you a pulse on what consumers are liking and where you can level up. 


While it’s great to leverage social listening and review insights to understand how your business can further improve its qualities and services, it doesn’t mean anything unless your company leverages this valuable information. For instance, if you find that the customer service at your retail brand is lacking, what changes will your retail brand make to improve this? Using the insights you find to make optimizations is a great way to lessen your chances that a consumer will choose the competition. 


Improve Your Localized Marketing Efforts and Dominate the Competition


After reading through this blog, we’re sure you have identified a few areas your multi-location business can improve to prevent customers from choosing a competitor. For those of you looking to level up your marketing efforts to beat the competition, SOCi is here to help! We understand that managing your marketing efforts across 100s or 1,000s of locations can be challenging and are excited to share that SOCi is the marketing platform for multi-location brands. We’re one central place for you to scale your marketing efforts across business locations. 





From reviews to local social to chatbot efforts, local listings, and more, SOCi has your business covered every step of the way. To learn more about our solutions and how we can help your multi-location business strengthen its marketing efforts to become an industry leader, request a demo today! 


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Darcy Bickham

As SOCi’s Content Marketing Manager, Darcy Bickham specializes in creating the strategy and developing the content around both localized and digital marketing trends for the SOCi brand. Through her content writing, Darcy has helped to position SOCi as the marketing platform for multi-location brands.