retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post this morning reports on a new study from the Harvard Business School suggesting that good reviews on Yelp.com can increase a restaurant’s revenue by 5.9 percent ... but that chain restaurants largely are unaffected by such reviews because people already have entrenched opinions about them.

What this means, the study says, is that independent restaurants - which often can find themselves swamped by the bigger advertising budgets enjoyed by chains - may actually find that the new world order allows them to be more competitive. As “online consumer reviews substitute for more traditional forms of reputation,” the study says, restaurants that focus on real differential advantages - like the food - actually can enjoy some benefit.
KC's View:
How great is this. The internet as a field-leveler.