Top Benefits of Online Reviews for Customers

Online Reviews for Customers

The ease of accessing the internet has changed the way people shop today. It’s very rare to purchase without first reading reviews. In 2016, 90% of shoppers read an online review before visiting a business. Negative online reviews are the most important factor; 94% of online customers have reported that it has led them to avoid a particular business.

Why do people read reviews? Most people want to be sure that their money is being spent wisely, especially when they are parting with it. Online reviews are real-life experiences that give potential customers insight into the reliability, quality, and value of the products or services they’re considering. They are a more relatable form of advertising than traditional ads and can significantly impact purchasing decisions.

It’s important to note that having a strong online presence is beneficial in any industry. This is why it has become a major part of branding. Understanding why businesses need reviews can help you improve your customer’s experience and create a positive digital footprint. Review these seven reasons why the published experiences of your customers with your brand are important.

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Online Reviews for Customers

1. Social Proof Drives Purchases

Even strangers are more likely to buy if they see that others agree the purchase is good. Customer reviews on the internet are today’s biggest source of social proof and have a direct impact on sales.

For example, Seriously Silly Socks has seen its average order value increase by 60% on its website compared to other sales channels. The 3,000 five-star reviews scattered across the site’s product pages likely played a major role in this.

This has made a big difference since they started selling directly through their store. It has also reduced their dependence on online shopping channels. Customer feedback builds “social proof” trust that encourages others to visit the store and buy.

Great online reviews can turn potential customers into actual buyers.

2. Online Reviews Make You More Visible

A successful brand is also one that’s visible. Most shoppers make their purchase decisions using search engines like Google and Bing, and social media platforms like Facebook. These platforms index and show content in unique ways and value fresh and original content. Positive reviews can feed the content machine, keeping your brand in favor of algorithms and improving your search results.

Search engines look for positive reviews from customers when they return results. Algorithms, as well as people, tend to rank your website higher, which leads to increased exposure.

3. Online Reviews Make You Look Trustworthy

Positive reviews can help your brand build trust and credibility. Recent research has shown that reviews can be a powerful tool for building your online brand. Shoppers distrust companies with negative reviews or ratings below (or above) four stars. There is a small margin for error at the top, but businesses with higher average ratings are more likely to convert views into traffic and sales.

It’s just as important to listen to what your customers say about you as it is for them to mention your name. A positive impression will help you drive more sales. Avoid the trap of fake reviews; they are easy to spot and can negatively impact your business.

4. Online Reviews Expand the Conversation About You

Reviews can spread quickly, whether they are good or bad. Encourage consumers to leave reviews on your business’s website. This is a simple way to increase your brand’s exposure. People who have positive things to say are more likely to post their reviews on other sites like Yelp and FourSquare.

These reviews, posted on Warnock’s website, not only increased his organic search traffic by 23%, but also led to more reviews being submitted to sites like Google+, Facebook, and Healthgrades. The latter was especially important for his field.

It is always helpful to have reviews on your website, but you can also encourage happy customers to spread their opinions in as many different places as possible. This will increase your multi-channel presence.

5. Online Reviews Are Increasingly Essential to Decision Making

A brand that is proactively developed will increase your online presence. Today, this means encouraging people to use multiple channels to discuss you. Social media platforms are great, but your brand’s presence is not complete without customers talking about you in other places.

Your brand will be more visible to customers when they make their next purchase decision if you focus on creating positive online reviews. Reviewing products on top review sites will enhance your marketing and help potential customers make their own decisions.

6. Online Reviews Have a Clear Impact on Sales

Case studies and theories can be misleading. There are always exceptions to the rule, and reality doesn’t always follow logic. However, there’s an increasing amount of data that proves positive reviews lead to higher revenue.

A study conducted by the Harvard Business School revealed that online reviews have a significant impact on your bottom line. Positively reviewed brands have higher sales, and even improving your star ratings can boost sales. A one-star increase on Yelp.com can lead to a short-term sales boost of 5% to 9%. Even a minor improvement can have a huge impact.

Revoo conducted a study in 2016 that found online reviews drive an average sales increase of 18%. Benefits include increased conversion rates, larger order sizes, and higher repeat order rates. It’s important to avoid negative reviews. A landmark Berkeley study conducted in 2011 showed that adding a half-star to a restaurant increased its likelihood of being full during peak hours by 30% to 49%. If customers like what they read, they will show it by spending money.

7. Online Reviews Give You an Open Line to Consumers

Consumers today expect more than just posting reviews. They also want companies to respond. You can use online customer feedback to reinforce positive reviews by thanking customers or promoting them. It also allows you to quickly address a bad review and show that you care.

These reviews are immediate and personalized, giving your brand a personality. A friendly and open-to-feedback appearance can do wonders for your company.

Online Reviews for Customers

You’re Under Review

It is important to market your brand, but it’s also beneficial to have people talk about you. Encourage positive conversations about your company to enhance your marketing.

How do you get customer reviews on your website?

  1. Speak Up, Just Ask!: Who says you cannot ask? Send your customers a friendly email or a quick notice after a purchase or service. Even a little push can make a big difference!
  2. Smooth Sailing: Do not send your customers on a merry-go-round. Provide direct links to review pages on your website, in your emails, and on social media.
  3. Show Some Love: Whether the reviews are full of praise or constructive criticism, respond to them all, including negative ones. This shows you appreciate every bit of feedback and encourages others to add their reviews when they see how you manage feedback.
  4. Sweeten The Deal: Offer incentives like discounts on future purchases to encourage customers to share their experiences. This will increase customer satisfaction.
  5. Be Social and Leverage Social Media: Encourage happy customers to share their positive experiences on social media. This will not only increase your online visibility but also encourage more positive customer reviews.

Each business is unique, and what works for one company might not be best for another. It’s important to make the review process as easy as possible and to actively show customers that their feedback is not only welcomed but celebrated.

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