Sports management is a particular sphere, which, however, mostly adheres to the general rules of business. As modern views dictate, customers’ impressions have been receiving increased attention in the majority of areas. Sports facilities serve many people at once, and it is challenging to provide each individual with equally quality services.
Nevertheless, even small amounts of negative reviews can have a detrimental effect on the business. According to Varga and Albuquerque (2019), the discovery of a single negative review can entail a purchase probability decrease of about 50%. At the same time, Felbermayr and Nanopulos (2016) argue that joy and trust play a decisive role in consumers’ final decisions. Li’s (2019) research suggests that potential customers deem positive reviews more useful in the case of high-involvement products.
Sports venues and services fit the aforementioned category, which is why studying the degree to which positive commentaries affect such business, as compared to negative ones, presents an area of interest. The proposed case study will examine the issue based on the Donington Park racing track in order to determine the possible influence of customer reviews.
Background Information on Donington Park
Donington Park is situated around Castle Donington in Leicestershire, England. The venue engages in the Motorsport circuit business under the ownership of Jonathan Palmer’s Motorsport Vision Company. Initially, some parts of Donington hall were developed between the first and second world wars as a racing circuit, in particular, when German Silver Arrows were competing to be the European champions.
During the second world war, the Park was used for storing vehicles. In the 1970s, Tom Wheatcroft renovated the Park and led to the hosting of the Formula One race (Cole, 2020). However, it became a favorite abode for the British round in MotoGP racing competitions.
Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd leased the Park in 2007 with high hopes that Formula One racing would bring the Park to glory. Nonetheless, the 2008 international financial crisis hit the Park hard, leading to its bankruptcy. The poor financial state to the re-ownership of the Park by Tom Wheatcroft’s family in December 2009. Wheatcroft performed essential works on the Park, restoring its track and its use in autumn 2010. Since 2010, various vital investments have been made, mainly in the infrastructure. The Donington Park circuit is now a venue for top-class motor racing (Cole, 2020).
Moreover, MotorSport Vision brought the circuit enterprise alongside the long-term lease of the estate. Since then, significant investments have propelled the Park to modern standards with facilities such as toilet blocks, a new restaurant, new offices, and a robust grandstand (Cole, 2020). The new recreational and sports activities have raised the number of guests that come to the Park tremendously, therefore raising the clients’ reviews.
Objectives of the Research
The primary objective of this paper is to carry out research concerning the influence of consumer reviews on an enterprise, particularly Donington Park. Another aim is to provide significant information on how businesses can use the information gathered and analyzed during research on enhancing their operations based on customer reviews. Besides, the findings of the previous studies will be investigated to determine their correlation with the current research. Similarly, the study will provide recommendations that can be adopted in businesses regarding customer review influences.
In the current business atmosphere, the operations have shifted to be customer focussed. It is because many businesses have to a recognition that consumers are the heart and the drive behind any successful business. Stiff competition in the business ecosystem has made organizations focus on satisfying the customers, which will lead to an upgrading of other operations in the company, such as maximizing profits and becoming a market leader in a specific industry.
The use of technology has enabled the easier generation of customer reviews on the organizations’ websites and social media pages. According to Tatge and McKeever (2016), customer reviews have an influence and impact on the trust and purchasing behaviors most prevalent to online consumers. For example, a new client who wants to purchase a product online from a particular company will peruse the company website and go through the reviews by other consumers (Kuster, Vila and Canales, 2016).
The higher are the positive reviews, the better are the chances of the new consumer purchasing and consuming products from the company. Products that have consumer reviews help buyers in developing their trust in the products than the items that lack feedback (Tatge and McKeever, 2016). Moreover, clients have confidence towards their fellow purchasers; hence positive comment implies good performance or high quality of the services and the products offered in the business.
Sharing consumer experiences during shopping activities has become very rich in consumer information. Organizations have managed to gather client reviews and feedback on their products through online platforms (Küster, Vila and Canales, 2016). Businesses are in a better position of interacting with the clients and finding better ways of marketing their products, and improving the product characteristics to ensure the purchaser’s requirements are met, hence satisfying the needs.
Research conducted by Elwalda, Kevin, and Maged (2016) indicates that purchasers’ trust and buying intentions are influenced by the ease of using the customer review, its usefulness, and how enjoyable it is to use an online buyer’s review. The derived attributes of online reviews have an effect on the intention of the consumer to buy a product online and creating trust in the e-commerce companies (Elwalda, Lü and Ali, 2016). Notably, negative online reviews indicate, according to most potential customers, a lack of effective services and poor-quality products from the organization.
Although currently, it is easier to mine for the customer reviews on the company websites and other digital platforms, it also true that some of the reviews might be fake. Vyas and Liu (2020) investigated identifying and separating the fake reviews from credible ones. It is emerging that some people give negative counterfeit reviews on products even without having purchased and used the products.
They aim at discrediting and painting a poor public image of a particular company and its products. It may be done by organizations’ competitors or just people with malicious intentions. The research was able to provide some of the methods of detecting fake reviews and eliminating, assessing the content of the reviews manually to avoid negative impacts as the reviews are significant in informing the purchasers’ future decision of buying (Vyas and Liu, 2020). However, the research was carried on Amazon company, and the results might not apply to all the e-commerce and international organizations.
Some researchers studied the correlation between customer reviews and customer satisfaction. For example, Xu (2020) found out that customer reviews do not always reflect customer satisfaction. What a consumer can emphasize in the review might not determine his/her level of satisfaction.
The clients’ emotional mechanisms in providing reviews are different from their satisfaction generation (Xu, 2020). The previous studies have made tremendous milestones that have built a concrete source of information on the influence of customer reviews on the purchasing intentions and building of trust in the e-commerce businesses. For instance, Lin and Xu (2017) found that review valence (negative or positive) had a significant impact on purchase intentions and brand attitude.
The studies have further discovered how the derived characteristics of online customer reviews have an influence on the purchasers’ intentions and creation of the trust (Elwalda, Lü and Ali, 2016). Traditionally, the price was the king of thriving businesses, but it has now shifted to the trades. Technology has given a chance for companies to mine information on the expectations and experiences of the customers, unlike in the past, when getting a consumer’s information was difficult, if not impossible.
The research will employ questionnaires to gather information regarding consumer experiences in Donington Park. It will be a primary source of information in this study. The questionnaires will be handed over to the people in the Donington Park facilities prior to obtaining authorization from the Parks’ management. The sample size will be 400 people from different countries. The study will examine the proportion of positive, negative, and neutral reviews. This way, it will be possible to determine the different experiences of the people who visit Donington Park.
Furthermore, the proportions will be weighed against the venue’s business performance in order to discern a potential correlation. Jiang, Kwong, and Yung (2017) refer to online reviews as a source of abundant information, allowing companies to evaluate their products as compared to the customers’ expectations. Therefore, Google is a valuable database containing numerous commentaries from people across the globe.
Consequently, it is expected to provide a sufficient number of reviews from a diverse audience, allowing for the correct representation of Donington Park visitors. Google Reviews is an international platform, meaning that it will be possible to include multiple nations in the research. A similar approach was used in the study conducted by Lee and Yu (2018), bringing positive results. At the same time, the platform offers an integrated translation mechanism, which would eliminate the language barrier.
Data scraping services will be another primary instrument used for data collection in the course of the planned study. Saurkar, Pathare, and Gode (2018) assert that this method allows researchers to create a well-organized database of originally unstructured information. Such tools are widely applied in the sphere of data analysis, as they considerably accelerate the process.
Instead of going through numerous reviews one-by-one, it will be possible to download large amounts of data in a convenient form. During the following stage, appropriate software will be used in order to arrange the reviews according to the required parameters.
At the same time, there will be substantial theoretical findings aiming at providing a reference framework. Once the practical results will be obtained and compared with the aforementioned findings, conclusions will be drawn regarding the impact of customer reviews on Donington Park. Overall, the planned study appears to be promising within the context of sports business management and analysis.
It is important to determine whether modern consumer-centered tendencies extend their influence to sports businesses as well. Accordingly, a comprehensive analysis of the extensive customer review database will provide a solid reference point for examining the performance of Donington Park, one of the UK’s important venues in current circumstances.
The findings from the research carried out in Donington Park reveal that a high proportion of people gave positive reviews concerning their experiences and the activities that are hosted within the Park. Out of the 400 people who filled the questionnaires, 350 people gave positive reviews, while 30 gave negative reviews and 10 were neutral.
The visitors with positive reviews mentioned having great pleasure, the presence of restaurant and toilet blocks as the necessary facilities any park should have to increase the time people spend in them. Besides, they asserted that sharing their experiences with their friends and neighbors made them decide to visit the Park. At the same time, a small percentage gave negative reviews about the Park. The people who gave negative reviews gave reasons and recommendations on how they expect Donington Park to look like.
It is evident that customer reviews have an influence on purchasing intentions and building the trust of the consumers. It later leads to the high performance of the Park as it receives visitors that are in love with sports, especially motor racing, from all over the world to visit the Park and enjoy the fascinating experiences.
Among the people who participated in the research, 70% percent were men, while 30% were women. The majority of men gave positive reviews because they love sports and the experience they had in the Park. The women, however, gave neutral and negative reviews, maybe because they do not love sports as their counterparts. Most of the women were accompanying their husbands, wives, or brothers. Gender can also influence the type of reviews that people give on different products because of their passion.
Analysis of the previous studies also revealed that there was a correlation between the different consumer reviews and the purchase intentions and trust of the clients purchasing products online. The information provided was also credible. It was found that the reviews consumers give sometimes depend on their moods rather than the experience they had.
Visitors who felt happy gave positive reviews about their experiences. It is also worth noting that visitors who visited the Park when the weather was not favorable gave negative reviews due to the environmental factors. It can be inferred that consumer reviews are affected by some factors, such as environmental factors. Hence, their reviews should be analyzed cautiously to avoid taking steps, which are not ideal.
Conclusions and Recommendations
The business environment has undergone various transformations from being price dictators to consumer-centric. It is beyond doubt that selling products at a lower price or competitive price will guarantee the success of the business. The business will thrive when the customers’ needs are satisfied (Li, 2019). The satisfaction of the customers will eventually lead to positive consumer reviews that build the buyer’s trust in the businesses hence contributing to better business performance and competitiveness. There is a correlation between business performance and consumer reviews of companies.
Organizations should work closely with the consumers and consider the reviews they provide on products to scale up their business operations. Organizations should be able to adopt mechanisms of detecting fake reviews so that they can be able to act on the real customer reviews in improving their product offerings to the consumers (Li, 2019). It is not every review that is found on the website will be an authentic experience of a consumer of the company (Chen, 2020).
Ensuring the credibility of the reviews should be a best practice for any business to ensure organizations act on credible information. Multi-dimensional research should be carried out to study how customer reviews influence various aspects of business such as profits, public image, purchasing decision, trust and loyalty, sales, and credibility of the customer reviews.
Moreover, there are factors that are connected to consumers and can make them give conflicting reviews. For example, a visitor who was in Donington Park during the rainy season and summer can give different reviews. It is then upon the company or the marketers to determine how they will use the data the consumers provide in different circumstances. Customer reviews should be done on a regular basis and analyzed by comparing the reviews given by each of the consumers at different times to ascertain the performance of the business and the efforts required to scale up the organizations to its desired horizons.
Every organization, whether doing business online or physically, should find a way of getting the consumers’ reviews and utilize it, as information is the biggest asset of any company. Listening to the consumers and offering them the best quality products will help in building loyalty and trust hence improving the business performance. It is also important to note that when a consumer gives a positive review, it implies their high-level satisfaction.
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