Reasons Online Reviews are Important for your Business

by Bistriti Poddar |

Having easy access to online reviews has radically changed the way customers purchase online. No matter which industry you are in, it’s pivotal to have a positive online presence and it’s also a key part of branding. Customers are constantly reading online reviews to evaluate whether they want to buy a product or not. According to a 2016 report, 90% of shoppers read a minimum one review before doing business with a brand. Also, almost 94% of customers have reported that a negative review has negatively influenced their purchase decision.

Here are some more stats that prove that online reviews are fast becoming a key component of your business’ overall success and reputation:

  • In a 2019 study, 61% of U.S. online shoppers said the quantity of reviews was important to them.
  • According to a BrightLocal study last year, 87% of customers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020.
  • Now in 2021, 93% of customers read online reviews before buying a product and 94% of all purchases are made for products with an average rating of 4 stars and above. 

Online reviews can help bolster your brand, attract new customers, and drive more revenue therefore strengthening the bottom line. Reviews not only influence customer decision making but also enhance a company’s credibility and gain their trust. According to Speigel Research Center, products with reviews are 270% more likely to be preferred and bought than one without. On the other hand, negative reviews can have a detrimental impact on the brand’s reputation. Collecting, monitoring and managing customer reviews should be an important part of your digital marketing strategy. Positive online feedback establishes stronger relationships with your existing and potential customers and in most cases customers are willing to pay a premium price for products with good reviews. A single review makes an opinion, but several of them talking about the same thing make a consensus. The more positive reviews, the better. 

Here are some reasons why online reviews are important for your business: 

  • Positive online reviews bring in new customers and help them make their purchasing decisions, show customer validation and build trust. Did you know that a product with less than 4 star rating can repel 57% of customers reading online reviews? When your potential customers see other customers leaving positive feedback for your brand, they will be encouraged to try your brand products and services. According to a study conducted by Harvard Business School, a one star improvement to a Yelp score indicates a 5 to 9% increase in revenue.
  • Traditionally, small businesses had to rely on ineffective push methods to attract potential customers, convince them to buy from you and create an urgency in doing so. Now times have changed. A wealth of positive feedback can have a measurable impact on your business and sales, driving purchases and social proof. Social proof is a powerful force. When customers read positive reviews by others, it makes them confident about your brand and they go ahead and make that purchase. Psychologically, people want proof from others that the product they are checking out is liked and is reliable as well and is not a biased advertisement. It also helps you stay ahead of the competition. For example, Seriously Silly Socks could drive 60% higher AOV on their website, and the 3000 five-star reviews that populate their product pages have been a major factor.
  • Positive reviews make you more visible on search engines as well. Search engines value original user generated content and content reviews indeed help you drive your appearance on search listings. Reviews are great for SEO. Reviews help create a steady supply of keyword content that help your online business have a more prominent online presence. It helps improve your website ranking the more people you have to talk about you. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing consider that extremely important. According to a Moz study, online reviews make up 15.44% of Google ranking factors. The more reviews you have, the more your brand will appear, helping to increase your search engine rankings.
  • Online reviews have the effect of creating active social communities where many can share their experiences they’ve had with a product or service. Customers that leave reviews will usually come and see if others have commented on them or simply read what other customers have had to say about their experience  with the product or service. This form of social engagement allows customers to form a bond with the online business.
  • First time buyers are influenced by reading through customer reviews before making their purchase on your site. These days, reviews allow buyers to upload photos along with their reviews to give a true idea of the product. Verified buyer badges supplement online reviews in inducing purchases. Online reviews also confirm authority and expertise.

Online reviews are the online version of word of mouth marketing and it’s crucial to understand its importance. It’s a great way to get ahead in the competitive landscape. Remind your customer to leave a review through an email, mention it at the end of the receipt, through a social media message or on blogs.

For more than 10 years, Annex Cloud has been the worldwide leader in technology and service solutions that transform customer loyalty experiences for organizations, extending valued customer engagement, and collecting valuable customer information for enabling data-led strategies. Powered by the comprehensive and scalable Loyalty Experience Platform™, Annex Cloud customers capture and use zero- and first-party data to seamlessly deliver hyper-personalized experiences across the entire customer journey – from awareness to purchase to retention, loyalty, and advocacy. Brands partner with us to take advantage of our robust platform capabilities as well as get industry expert recommendations that help ensure utmost engagement with the sweepstakes. The company is recognized by industry respected organizations like Gartner and Forrester and integrates with 100+ market-leading technologies. Get in touch with us today!

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