SuperPages Adds Social Networks To Search

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SuperPages.com wants local business reviewers and is willing to pay any amount of vanity for them. The online directory unveiled its “Reviewer of the Week” program, an effort to meld local search and social networks.

Remember, the critic was the only character killed in Lady in the Water.

SuperPages is tapping local fare aficionados for their expert opinion on what’s worth checking out and what’s not. To make up for not paying people, the company is offering top billing on its homepage as the featured Reviewer of the Week.

The more restaurants, hotels, garages, and shops they review, the higher the likelihood of being featured on the homepage. Consumers who submit the most reviews will also be highlighted when visitors search for their ZIP code. Before the new program launched, the company had 324,000 reviews.

“Local search is hot and so is social networking, so it makes sense that we combine the two,” said Robyn Rose, vice president of marketing for SuperPages.com.

“Whether you’re talking about finding the best Italian restaurant or a reliable plumber, SuperPages.com provides robust local search capabilities, along with ratings and user reviews, to connect circles of trusted individuals.”

They must be reading the same studies we’re reading. According to research firm ForeSee Results, sites offering customer product reviews have a competitive advantage over sites that don’t.

Their findings:

1. Almost half (49%) of online holiday shoppers that bought a product recalled seeing online customer product reviews

2. Customer product reviews drive satisfaction and loyalty and provide a competitive advantage for sites that offer them

3. Customer product reviews are a powerful influencer of the purchase decision for the critical group of first-time buyers

4. Customers on sites with reviews are 5% more satisfied with the retailer as a whole (not only the web experience) and their image of the retailer is 5% higher than customers on sites without customer product reviews.

5. Shoppers that visited sites with customer product reviews are 6% more likely to recommend the site than shoppers that went to sites without this feature.

6. Of holiday shoppers that bought from sites with reviews, 39% cited the customer product review as the primary factor that influenced the purchase.

7. This group’s satisfaction score is 21% above the average score of all survey respondents (score of 91 vs. 75). Higher satisfaction leads to loyalty, and purchasers citing reviews as the primary purchase influencer are significantly more likely to purchase from the retailer the next time they buy similar merchandise (score of 92 vs. 74).

8. Nearly half (42%) of first-time buyers on sites with customer product reviews cited the review as the primary factor influencing the buying decision

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