As businesses have moved online, there has been a radical change in consumer habits. Over the past decade, online reviews have gained significance as an important part of consumers’ decision-making processes, as nine out of 10 consumers worldwide read through them before making a purchase. Statistics reveal nearly four out of five consumers admit to trusting reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Additionally, more than half of online shoppers read at least four product reviews prior to making a purchase. (Bizrate Insights, 2021)
Why are reviews so important? It all comes down to basic human psychology. Customer feedback and online reviews are regarded as social proof. They show us that others around us have already made a decision and let us know if it was good or bad. When social proof leaves a positive online footprint, it can help to drive more traffic and sales.
Negative Reviews Create Opportunities
Online reviews can be positive or negative. While more than half of customers expect responses to their negative comments within a week, they also create an opportunity for businesses to clarify miscommunications, show care and compassion, and be transparent with customers. Friendly responses humanize the brand and strengthen relationships. 97 percent of online buyers not only read reviews, but they also investigate how businesses are responding to and managing their feedback. Research shows 45 percent of online buyers support businesses that invest in managing their negative online reviews.
Statistics tell us that it’s better to use more than one platform for reviews. Typically, we want to focus on platforms that matter to your customers. That’s because most shoppers are seeking reviews on search engines like Google, Yelp, Tripadvisor, Facebook, etc., apart from other social media reviews while shopping online.
Those hubs create a strong online presence that can help boost search engine optimization (SEO) as increased visibility and exposure in search results. That said, don’t solely rely on external review platforms. It’s crucial to incorporate online feedback into your website especially if you’re an ecommerce business with product pages. Statistics show reviews on product pages generate a conversion rate 3.5 times higher than those without.
A positive online presence–which includes addressing negative feedback–has become an essential element of many companies’ branding, and encouraging online reviews is an easy way to gain visibility and reach.
At Dooley PR & Marketing our team can help you effectively plan strategies around using online reviews to improve your online brand presence. We like to walk that extra mile to help our clients manage their online reviews. That covers responding to both positive and negative reviews. Singling out the special ones for usage in advertising is just one aspect of it.
Let’s discuss strategies around how you can include online reviews to grow your brand while fulfilling your business goals.