Why reviews matters

The internet has revolutionized the way that people shop today for nearly everything.

It’s very rare for a person to make a blind purchase without looking through online reviews like this. In 2016, 90% shoppers read at least one review online before making a purchase decision.

94% online shoppers reported that they have been disappointed by a review and decided to stay away from a business.

This means that regardless of your industry, having an online presence can give you many key benefits, which is why it’s becoming such a crucial part branding.

To optimize customer experience and create positive online footprints, you must understand why online reviews are necessary. These seven reasons are crucial to ensure that your customers have positive experiences with your brand.

1. Purchases based on Social Proof

If others around us, even total strangers, agree that it is a good purchase, we are more likely to make it. Online reviews are today’s biggest source of social evidence and have a direct impact on sales.

Seriously Silly socks, for example, has been able drive 60% higher average order values than other sales channels. It’s also likely that the 3000 5-star reviews populating the various product pages on the ecommerce website have contributed greatly.”We encourage reviews by emailing customers following purchase and offering a coupon in return for completed reviews,” Andrew Gill, owner of the company, stated recently to BigCommerce during a case study interview.

“This has made a significant difference since the beginning of our journey to sell directly from our store. It has also reduced our dependence on online shopping. Customers’ feedback is a way to build trust and encourage others to visit our store to purchase.

2. They make you more visible

A successful brand means that you are visible.

When shopping for something to buy, most shoppers will use search engines such as Google or Bing. Each website has its own way of indexing and surfacing content. However, they all value original content and customer reviews. This will help keep your brand in the algorithm’s favor.

Customer reviews provide a steady stream of (hopefully) positive content search engines love when choosing which results they return.

People and algorithms alike will see your website higher in search results, which leads to greater exposure.

3. They make you look trustworthy

Positive reviews can help build trust and credibility for your brand.

Recent research has shown that reviews can be very powerful in building your company’s online image.

Businesses with ratings below (or even higher) than four stars are often distrusted by shoppers. There is a margin of error, but businesses with higher average ratings are more likely for views to be converted to traffic.

It’s just as important to know how customers talk about you as much as what they say about your name. A positive impression will ultimately help you increase sales.

4. They expand the conversation about you

Reviews that are positive or negative can quickly spread.

Encourage customers to review your company to increase brand awareness.

People who have positive reviews are more likely to share them on other sites like FourSquare and Yelp.

These hubs are crucial to your online presence as Google collects data on these sites for its results ranking. Positive reviews can boost your reputation on an individual basis – and here she is, a great reputation.

The Search Influence agency teamed up recently with GetFiveStars in order to reach patients of Houston-based ortho surgeon Dr. K. Mathew Warnock. This resulted in his first 100 5-star reviews within five months.

Warnock’s website saw these reviews published, which not only increased his organic search traffic by 23%, but also snowballed to encourage more reviews on sites such as Google+, Facebook and Healthgrades. The latter being particularly important for his vertical.

While reviews on your website can be useful, happy customers will likely share their opinions on as many places and increase your multi-channel reach.

5. They are becoming more important in decision making

An actively cultivated brand is one that improves your online visibility. Today, this means encouraging people to talk about you in many ways. While social media is an excellent tool, it is not the only way to increase your online visibility. Customers also need to be able to share their thoughts about you via other channels.

Nearly two-thirds of shoppers believe that online customer reviews are a crucial part of their decision-making process. They are more likely to use Google, Yelp and TripAdvisor to find the best places to visit than to newspapers or their friends when they need to make a decision.

Your brand will be more visible to customers when they make their next purchase decision if you focus on creating reviews.

6. They have a clear impact on sales

Sometimes theory and case studies can be misleading. Reality is not always consistent with a theory and there are always exceptions. However, there is growing evidence that reviews can lead to higher revenue.

The Harvard Business School has found that online reviews can have a positive impact on your bottom line. Positive reviews are more likely to be viewed by brands. However, even a higher star rating can make a difference in sales.

The study found that a 1-star Yelp.com rating can lead to a 5% to 9% increase in sales over the short-term. Even a modest improvement can make a big difference.

Revoo’s 2016 study found that online customer reviews drove an average 18% sales increase. This was in addition to other benefits such as increased conversion rates, larger order sizes, and repeat orders. A landmark Berkeley study in 2011 showed that a half-star restaurant improvement made it 30%-49% more likely fill up during peak hours. Readers will show their appreciation for what they see with their wallets if they like it.

7. They give you an open line to consumers

Consumers expect more than just posting reviews. They also expect companies to respond.

You can also use these reviews to communicate with customers and encourage positive reviews by thanking them or promoting. They also allow you to quickly correct a bad review and show you care.

MedQuest, a medical company, was able, for example, to improve its volume and review ratings by increasing the speed at which it responded both to negative and positive feedback. The company’s reviews volume on Facebook increased by 163%, and it received 23% more reviews from Google.

MedQuest’s Dave Hidding told Reputation.com that “Our new focus is on patient experience and monitoring as well as responding to online comments — especially negative ones” in a recent case study.

These reviews are quick and personal, giving your brand a face. Your brand can benefit from a friendly and open-to-feedback image.

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