Did you know that over 90% of shoppers read reviews before visiting a business and put as much weight on them as personal recommendations? Simply put, customers are the best brand advocates and what they think about your business can make or break your brand. Online customer reviews are transforming the way we shop, dine, and perceive a brand while playing an important role in shaping the success of businesses in a digital marketplace. They provide potential customers with important information about a business from its most trusted sources – existing customers.
Modern customers rely on online reviews when deciding whether to make a purchase or not. What can reviews do for your business and why do they matter? We answer your most pressing questions below.
Reviews Provide Social Proof
A term coined in 1984, social proof is a psychological phenomenon where it’s the idea that consumers will adapt their behavior according to what other people are doing. In today’s digital age, people look for reviews and recommendations and ways that others have used a product before deciding. Social proof in marketing takes the form of online reviews. What existing or one-time customers are saying about a product or service has the power to persuade or discourage potential shoppers from doing business with a brand.
Increase Sales and Generate New Leads
Positive reviews influence customers to act. Cultivating and maintaining a positive digital footprint can have a significant impact on a brand’s bottom line. Today’s customers make most purchases online and are more likely to complete an order from a website that has customer reviews than one that doesn’t. A site with positive reviews leads to confident buying decisions, reduces doubts, resulting in a higher conversion rate.
Great feedback about a business sends a strong message to potential customers that its products and services are credible and reliable. A good reputation is an invaluable asset and for a business, this is ideal for building customer trust and with more feedback, potential customers are quick to decide.
Positive Reviews Can Boost SEO
Customer reviews can also help a brand improve its search rankings and are a factor that search engines consider when determining its position. According to a survey by Moz, online reviews make up 10% of how Google and other search engines decide to rank search results. Search engines look into review sites, and if they are positive, it reassures them that a business is meeting customer expectations. Ultimately, this lets users know immediately that a business comes highly recommended. For local businesses, this can be an added advantage because reviews boost their visibility in a localised search.
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But how can a business get and analyse customer reviews? The first step is to invite customers to share their thoughts on a specific product. Reviews can also be solicited as an after-sale process by sending emails, surveys, or open-ended questions.
Secondly, brands can use social listening tools to gain a better understanding of what customers are saying about a product or service on various social media platforms based on selected keywords. Monitoring customer reviews this way helps brands to identify where their strengths and weaknesses lie and use this feedback to redesign the purchasing journey.
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Today’s customer is empowered, has a variety of choices, and holds all the buying power. The rule of thumb to receiving positive customer reviews is to provide experiences that exceed expectations. It’s without a doubt that a speck of negative sentiment can impact a business.
Poor reviews reflect badly on a brand and can foster a shred of doubt in customers, making them more hesitant. Favorable reviews and a rating higher than 4-stars has the potential to sway the opinions of both old and new customers. So, why not offer five-star experiences and let your customers do the talking for you?
Now that you know what the power of online reviews can do, be sure to read: How digitisation has impacted customer buying patterns during covid-19