Online Reviews Importance for Businesses
Online reviews are playing an increasingly important role in digital marketing and sales for businesses. Both potential and existing customers are constantly reading online customer reviews to decide whether they should hire a company, buy a product, eat at a restaurant, or travel to a destination. Over the years, the popularity of online customer reviews has been increasing, and statistics alone attest to their importance and the boom in consumer spending in marketplaces for all kinds of online businesses.
Online Review’s Global Statistics
If we look at the US, a study in 2019 showed that 61% of online shoppers in the US said that the number of reviews was important to them. BrightLocal’s 2020 study showed that 87% of customers read online reviews of local businesses. The BrightLocal study also found that 48% of consumers leave a review if they have a positive experience, while 56% leave a review after a negative experience. Trust in online customer reviews is crucial for consumers.
In 2021, 93% of customers went through online customer reviews before buying a product, and 94% of all purchases were made on products with an average rating of 4 stars or above. You may like this trend more or less, but it is becoming a key component of the online reputation of a business in the eyes of the public.
The Benefits of Online Reviews for Businesses
Online reviews can help provide an accurate profile of the company or organization to potential customers, resulting in increased public confidence in the business. These are some of the clear benefits that we can extract:
- Enhanced Reputation
- Positive reviews can enhance a business’s reputation and build trust among potential customers. Reviews serve as social proof, demonstrating that others have had positive experiences with the business.
- Increased Trust and Credibility
- Positive online customer reviews can establish a business as a credible and reliable choice within its industry. They validate the quality of the products or services offered and help differentiate the business from competitors.
- Customer Engagement and Feedback
- Online reviews provide a platform for customers to engage with the business, share their experiences, and provide valuable feedback. This feedback can help the business understand customer preferences, identify areas for improvement, and make necessary adjustments.
- Improved Search Engine Visibility
- Online customer reviews, particularly on platforms like Google My Business, can improve a business’s visibility in search engine results. Positive reviews and high ratings can influence search algorithms and help the business appear higher in search rankings.
- Marketing and Conversion Tool
- Positive reviews can serve as powerful marketing tools, as they can be showcased on the business’s website, social media channels, and marketing materials. They can influence potential customers’ purchasing decisions and increase conversion rates.
- Competitive Advantage
- Businesses with a strong collection of positive reviews can gain a competitive edge. Customers are more likely to choose a business with positive reviews over competitors with fewer or negative reviews.
- Opportunities for Improvement
- Negative reviews, while challenging, provide valuable insights for businesses. They highlight areas that need improvement, allowing the business to address issues and enhance the overall customer experience.
- Free Marketing
- Positive reviews serve as word-of-mouth marketing, attracting new customers and boosting sales.
It is important for businesses to actively monitor and respond to online reviews, engage with customers, and use the feedback constructively to maintain a positive online reputation and improve their products or services.