Why Are Online Reviews So Important?

 In Branding and Marketing, Food for Thought

Remember the days when you had to trust that spending your money resulted in what you were looking for. Going to the store and making a big purchase was daunting. How do I truly know this isn’t going to break, fall apart, or just plain not work the way it should? The answer was: you didn’t. However, online reviews have come along and changed this lucky-dip forever.

Consumers these days are much more switched on and in tune to the ploys of advertising and marketing. Online reviews are available to everyone, for everything. A brand’s reputation is now in the hands of consumers. The digital era and its channels for people to write whatever they want can make or break e-commerce sites. A barrage of negative reviews can cause irreparable damage. For instance, 95% of people aged 18-34 peruse online reviews of local business’ before deciding to venture over and make a purchase. This is the influence of online reviews. But why are they so important to consumers?

According to research, 88% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations. Even if you have never met the person who has written a scathing or delightful review of the product or service you’re interested in, you’re much more likely to trust it over an advertisement. The more online reviews, the more likelihood of making that all important sale. Apparently, fifty or more consumer reviews can lead to a 4.6% higher online conversion rate. If the masses have spoken, it will absolutely help sway online shoppers.

However, if say there is one poor review which stands out, don’t fret too much. Interestingly, gaming a set of online reviews to appear absolutely five star quality can be quite detrimental. A positive, but not perfect rating will yield more sales. This is because its more authentic. Plus! Criticism is good. No aspect of a business is the best it can possible be, so take into consideration constructive feedback. Offer an apology, and try to remedy the situation if possible. However, inaccurate information online should be addressed hastily. Quell misconceptions because they are impossible to fix, because these issues doesn’t exist. On top of this, a well-worded FAQ is a brilliant pre-emptive tactic to handle any misunderstandings before they even occur. 

So if you can, you should absolutely try to showcase any positive reviews you’ve received from current, real customers. If you don’t have any, offer incentives for reviews with your products. Those who want more from your business are more than likely happy with the product or service.

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