There is little doubt that the Internet has changed the way we shop. Today, the vast majority of people looking for a product or service turn first to the web. This is in stark contrast to just a few decades ago when our first instinct was to ask friends and family for recommendations. If you are a business owner, you should know that reviews are crucial to your brand success. Here are seven reasons why:
1. Social proof encourages others to purchase.
According to Steve Wyer of Nashville’s The Review SolutionTM, social proof – showing that others have purchased a product – is an excellent way to garner additional sales. We’ve become accustomed to only buying things once we know that others have walked that path before.
2. Online reviews perpetuate brand visibility.
Think about the last time you wanted to shop online. Chances are, you headed straight to Google to search for information about your target product. How did you choose which to research even further? It’s likely that you investigated the products with the most positive reviews first. Reviews capture the attention of your customers, but they serve a more important purpose. Each time your business is reviewed, it tells the search engines that you are active. This strengthens your position in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This can further drive sales and make your SEO campaigns that much easier.
3. Reviews make your brand more trustworthy.
Positive – and even neutral – reviews tell potential consumers that yours is a brand worth trusting.
4. Reviews create more conversation about your brand.
You’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “spreading like wildfire.” Reviews can do just that, whether they are positive or negative. When a customer posts a review, it encourages others to engage. And if you are willing to also participate in online conversations about your brand, you will create more interaction and, thus, even more trust. And again, for your SEO, the more your business is mentioned and the more active you are, the higher your position in a Google search.
5. People rely more and more on reviews to make decisions with each passing year.
The Internet is integrated into every aspect of our lives. Because of this, it makes sense that consumers are becoming increasingly conditioned to rely on reviews for buying decisions. Statistics reveal that more than two-thirds of people shopping online heavily weigh existing reviews when making a purchasing decision.
6. Positive ratings boost sales.
Thinking back to your own online shopping scenario, it is likely that you looked at star ratings before you actually read feedback and comments. As a general rule, online buyers skip past companies with less than three stars; four and higher means you are in a better position to capture your market share.
7. Interacting with your customers is a great way to improve your business.
When a customer posts a review, you are in a unique position to respond. Businesses that are interactive have an excellent opportunity to listen to what their customers really want. For instance, if you regularly get three and four-star reviews but would like to hit the coveted five-star mark, you can look for a pattern. For example, you own a restaurant. Customers love your food but claim that service is too slow. By talking with them on this open public forum, you can make a decision to add additional waitstaff, which can improve overall customer satisfaction.
The bottom line is that your brand is going to be scrutinized. Use your online reviews to your advantage, and never underestimate the importance of public feedback.
Latest posts by Steven Wyer ( More about this Author )
- Marketing Through TripAdvisor? Don’t Offer Review Incentives April 16, 2020
- 7 Reasons Online Reviews Matter March 2, 2020
- Why Aren’t 4 Stars Enough? February 16, 2020
- Who’s Listening to Your Private Conversations? February 5, 2020
- Flip the Script: How to Combat Negative Reviews January 31, 2020
- Be the Star of Your Own Reviews December 18, 2019
- What Are Fake Reviews, and Why Should I Be Concerned? July 3, 2019
- FTC Strikes Blow to Fake Reviews, Amazon Shoppers (and Sellers) Will Benefit June 6, 2019
- FTC Targets Paid Reviews; Calls Out False Product Claims May 23, 2019
- Replies Made Easy Via Google Maps May 7, 2019