According to the vast majority of consumers (93%), online reviews influence their purchasing decisions. To say that online reviews can make or break your company’s success is an understatement. Consider the last time you purchased something from Amazon. One of the first things you probably looked at was the product’s overall star rating. That rating is a result of individual online reviews.
In fact, consumers still trust star ratings despite the fact that 42% of Amazon reviews are thought to be fake. In other words, gathering, monitoring, and managing customer feedback should be an important part of your digital marketing strategy. Continue reading to find out why online reviews are so important, which review sites are the most important, and how you can get more reviews.
Why it’s so important for customers to read reviews
When it comes to customers, reading online testimonials and reviews is all about establishing trust. This is especially true for sales made through e-commerce, where customers cannot ask store associates for information about a product before making a purchase.
The following are a few specific reasons why online reviews are important to potential customers:
Provide social proof
Customers looking for social proof can find it in the form of online reviews, which in turn inspires confidence in both them and your company. Let’s be straightforward here: Clients are unlikely to place their faith in everything you have to say about your company. However, recommendations from friends and family as well as word of mouth are much more influential.
Customers in the market for your brand, products, or services are more likely to buy from you if they read and consider positive reviews.
This is supported by the data. Reviews were cited as being important in up to 84% of consumers’ decision-making processes during the purchasing process. In addition, 68 percent of consumers form an opinion regarding a product or service after reading between one and six reviews about it.
Unfortunately, almost everyone has had negative interactions with businesses, whether they were conducted online or in traditional brick-and-mortar settings. Customer prospects can overcome their reservations and concerns by reading online reviews of local businesses.
Develop consumer confidence in the brand
The audience’s trust in the brand can also be increased through online reviews. When prospective customers learn that other people have had positive experiences with your brand, it increases the likelihood that they will trust that brand themselves. Reviews boost a company’s credibility and make it more likely that potential customers will make a purchase from that company.
Validation of expertise provided by online reviews
Customers who are considering making a purchase from you will consider online reviews to be another form of expertise validation. They are evidence that you have been successful in assisting other individuals in overcoming a particular obstacle or achieving a particular objective (or that your expertise results in high quality products).
Anyone can make assertions about how wonderful their product or service is, but this does not imply that those assertions are accurate. You can demonstrate your expertise and authority by providing evidence of your previous successes in the form of online reviews.
The vast majority of customers place more weight on online reviews written by their peers than they do on claims made by a company. If there is no evidence provided by a third party to support a claim, then consumers are less likely to believe the claim. Providing evidence to back up your claims with positive reviews is a great way to do so.
Why are ratings and comments so important for businesses?
Customers and companies alike place equal value on the information provided by online review sites, but each group does so for distinct reasons. For example, they allow businesses to charge a premium price for their products while simultaneously strengthening relationships with potential customers. According to the findings of one study, customers are willing to pay an additional 22% for certain products if the manufacturer has a strong reputation.
Increase your reach
One of the benefits of online reviews that is often overlooked is the fact that they enable your brand to expand its online presence beyond the confines of your website and the various social media channels you utilise. Customers are able to acquire information regarding your brand from respectable third-party websites such as Google, Angi, and Yelp.
On these sites, you also have the opportunity to interact directly with your audience by responding to reviews, answering questions, and resolving any issues that may arise.In contrast to the majority of marketing channels, this expanded reach does not require any additional investment on your part other than the time spent interacting with customers.You can sway consumers’ choices of purchases by:
The purchasing decisions of your target market are directly impacted by the reviews they read online. One study found that having even just five reviews on a product increased its likelihood of sale by 270% compared to having no reviews at all on the product.