More and more customers these days are looking towards online reviews before they purchase a product or service. As marketers, it is vital to understand just how important reviews are and the impact they are continuously having on online marketing and consumer buying behavior all over the world.
With many online shopping experiences comes the option to add a review. Whether this comes in the form of a simple star rating on a product or service, or a detailed description – it impacts is becoming increasingly powerful. Research conducted in 2015 found that 92% of consumers read online reviews, compared to 88% the previous year, while 40% of consumers were noted to form an opinion after reading 1-3 reviews.
Customer Reviews are very diverse and because they can have a very powerful effect on the performance of a brand – it is crucial that brands use them to their advantage. Consumers want to know as much as they can about products, so this is the perfect opportunity for businesses to engage with them and give them all of the information that they need to make a sale.
There are many websites and social media platforms out there that enable consumers to review businesses, such as Facebook and of course, Yelp. Though some businesses have a love-hate relationship with Yelp, their impact on sales is outstanding. Research conducted shows that a 5%-9% increase can be seen in businesses revenue following a 1-star increase in a positive review on Yelp. Noticeably, more and more businesses are displaying Yelp graphics and promoting offers to encourage more consumers to ‘Check-In’ and leave a review.
Though the positive reviews are something to boast about, they don’t come without some negative reviews also, and businesses should be equipped to deal with these appropriately, by responding promptly and apologetically with an added explanation of how such an incident will not happen again in the future.
Bottom line, as a business owner, if you’re not taking your online reviews into account – you should be! Consider making your business really stand out a priority for 2016 – its impact on sales is not likely to fade away anytime soon!