Online reviews hold tremendous power, more than any other mode of marketing. According to BrightLocal, nearly 92 percent of customers often read online reviews. Also, more than 88 percent of customers trust online reviews more than they trust personal recommendations from family and friends.
Consumers are more informed than ever before. They do their research before making a purchase. A single positive or negative review can have an enormous impact on your business. On average, a customer reads four to six reviews before trusting a brand. This means even a single negative review is capable of influencing your customers. With the majority of consumers searching for and trusting online reviews, you must treat every review as an opportunity. Businesses that miscalculate the power of online reviews are damaging their online reputation more than they realize.
Here are 10 important ways online reviews can affect your business:
1. Increased conversions: Usually, a business listing with the maximum number of online reviews gets twice as much traffic as the rest of the listings combined. You will notice an increase in search traffic to your website just by increasing the number of online reviews.
2. Attract new customers: Online reviews, especially positive ones, will help you reach out to a whole new set of target customers. When your current customers are posting reviews, they are conveying your message to a wider range of people, thus creating a new customer base.
3. Reduce order cancellations and product returns: If you are not actively monitoring and improving your online reputation, you might lose the customer that you have already won. Order cancellations and product returns are often a result of your new customers doing online research and finding information that may change their mind about your brand.
4. Better search rankings: Online reviews account for nearly eight percent of what Google looks at when determining your search engine rank. If people are not writing about you online, we have to drive the right conversation through positive online reviews. This may help new customers to find you through search results.
5. Customer engagement: Online reviews give you the chance to develop closer relationships with your customers. When you reply to reviews, it demonstrates that you are interested in what customers have to say. Through your responses, your customers will get to know you as an individual, which may encourage long-term relationships.
6. Influence customers: Consumers are more prone to appreciate and complain if they see other people doing it. It is up to you to set the positive tone for online reviews. People are already talking about your brand online, so you need to make sure your voice is heard the loudest.
7. Help you win over competitors: If all else seems to be equal between you and your competitor, reviews can help you win. While you may have a long list of what sets you apart, your potential customers are likely to make their buying decision based on online reviews.
8. Enhance confidence: Consumers will be willing to spend more and be your brand’s ambassadors if they are convinced with the experiences of other users. Make sure your customers only read good and positive things about your brand, which will make them want to be a part of your customer base.
9. Affect bottom line: According to Harvard Business, online reviews are capable of impacting your bottom line by 5 percent to 9 percent. While positive online reviews may not make customers throw their money at you, they will certainly be encouraged to purchase.
10. Criticism and suggestions: Some online reviews will raise concerns, and some will suggest improvements related to your products and business. This can be an excellent opportunity for you to resolve a customer’s problem and implement required measures to improve business practices.
MyOnlineReputationManager offers reputation management services to help you monitor and improve your online reputation. Contact us today to learn more.