You’ve all heard that online reviews influence brand perception and online rankings. Research into online reviews and how consumers respond to them continues to defy our expectations.
We need something more concrete than the knowledge that reviews are playing an increasingly important role in the buyer’s journey to make informed decisions about your review strategy.
From mobile phones to dental services, it’s uncommon to make a purchase decision without first reading several online reviews. In 2020, 90% of shoppers read at least one online review before visiting a business.
More importantly, 94 percent of online shoppers said a negative review convinced them not to visit a business. This means that, regardless of your industry, having a positive online presence provides several key benefits, which is why it’s becoming an important part of branding.
Understanding why you require online reviews will assist you in optimizing your customer experience and establishing a positive online footprint. Let’s look at the seven reasons why your customers’ published experiences with your brand are so important.
More importantly, 94 percent of online shoppers said a negative review convinced them not to visit a business.
Why do online reviews matter for your business?
While handling a product is the best way to judge its quality, reviews can be the next best thing for eCommerce businesses. Reading dozens of reviews that indicate good quality and services help to build an online reputation that customers can rely on. Customers are 63 percent more likely to trust and purchase from a company that has reviews.
It maintains competitive advantage.
There are only so many customers and sales dollars available. You understand that no matter what business you’re in, you must bring in your audience before your competitors. This advantage can be maintained if you collect reviews faster than your competitors or work hard to obtain new reviews on a regular basis.
It creates trust
This is one of the most important reasons online reviews are important if you are a new business or have a new idea or invention. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store, a cutting-edge tech service, or something in between, new businesses can find it difficult to compete with old favorites. Online reviews demonstrate customer satisfaction and demonstrate that your product or service works and works well. You will gain authority, credibility, and approval. This is the launching pad you need to reach the peak of your industry.
It is like a Word-of-mouth promotion
Every good business’s best friend is word of mouth. When you do good work, and customers recommend you to family and friends, it’s like free high-quality advertising. Online reviews are the internet’s equivalent of word-of-mouth advertising. According to research, 78 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. An online review can become a personal recommendation in some cases, such as when customers share their endorsement on Facebook with their friends.
Know the Scope of Search Results
According to Search Engine Land, businesses that appear higher on a Google search engine results page have more reviews. Given that Google’s product is based on providing customers with the best results possible, it stands to reason that they would recommend the locations with the most approval first. On a typical SERP, the first three results get the most clicks. When customers search for a restaurant, entertainment venue, or local hotspot, the businesses that appear first will most likely attract the most visitors.
Important Statistics and Research on Online Reviews
- Even negative reviews can help with conversion rates. Customers who interact with negative reviews spend five times as much time on a site, trust those reviews more, and convert 85 percent more frequently.
- Online reviews influence consumers in 67% of cases.
- According to a BrightLocal study, star ratings in search engine results pages can increase click-through rates by 25%. Because several studies indicate that click-through rates improve search engine rankings, the boost provided by those star ratings may also improve SEO, even for organic search results.
- Despite the importance consumers place on reviews, a study conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder discovered that the correlation between review ratings and objective product quality is surprisingly weak. This correlation, however, was much stronger for products with a large number of reviews.
- According to the Pew Research Center, most Americans do not leave product reviews on websites. A full 38% “never” leave reviews on products and services, and 48% never leave reviews on restaurants. Only about 10% of people “always” or “almost always” leave product and service reviews. This emphasizes asking and encouraging customers to leave reviews on your products to gain the necessary momentum.
- According to a TurnTo study, user-generated content influenced consumer decisions more than any other factor studied. Surprisingly, user-generated content had a greater influence on decisions than search engines.
- Consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation from someone they know.
7 Facts About Online Reviews
- They increase your visibility
Being a successful brand also implies that you are well-known.
When deciding what to buy, most shoppers will use search engines such as Google, Bing, or even Facebook. These websites each have their distinct methods of indexing and surfacing content. Still, they all value original and fresh content, and customer reviews can certainly help feed the content machine, keeping your brand favored by algorithms.
Online customer reviews provide you with a steady stream of positive content, which search engines highly value when deciding which results to return.
- Majority of the purchases are influenced by social proof
We are more likely to purchase if others around us, even strangers, agree it is a good decision. Customer’s online reviews are now the most important source of social proof, and they have a direct impact on sales too.
- They make your store appear trustworthy
A steady stream of positive reviews can help your brand gain significant trust and credibility.
One of the more intriguing findings of recent research is the importance of reviews in establishing your company’s online identity.
Many customers are wary of businesses with ratings less than (or even greater than) four stars. This leaves a small margin of error at the top, but companies with higher average ratings are much more likely to convert views to traffic and sales.
- They are becoming increasingly important in decision making
A proactively cultivated brand increases your online visibility, which means encouraging people to talk about you in various ways. While social media is an excellent tool, the ability for customers to talk about you on other channels is an essential component of your presence.
Almost two-thirds of shoppers believe that online reviews are important in purchasing.
- They broaden the discussion about you
Very positive (or negative) reviews have a way of quickly spreading.
Encouraging customers to leave reviews is a simple way to broaden your brand’s reach. These reviews are critical to your online presence because Google collects data from their websites when constructing its search engine results ranking.
- They Provide You With An Open Line to Customers
Consumers nowadays expect companies to respond to their comments rather than post them.
These reviews also provide you with a forum to be open and honest with customers and reinforce positive reviews with thanks or promotions. More importantly, they allow you to correct a negative review and demonstrate that you care quickly. The speed with which these reviews are posted and the personalized responses they receive help to humanize your brand. A friendly, open-to-feedback demeanor can do wonders for your brand.
- They Have a Significant Impact on Sales
Case studies and theory can both be deceptive. Reality does not always follow a logical pattern, and there will always be outliers. However, a growing body of benchmark data shows that reviews do lead to increased revenue.
It is important to market your brand correctly, but having people talk about you is a great way to enhance your message.
You can quickly improve your marketing efforts by encouraging positive conversations about your brand.