Having easy access to the web has radically changed the way people shop for almost everything today.
From mobile phones to dentist services, it’s rare to blindly make a purchase decision without reading through several online reviews. In 2016, 90% of shoppers read at least one online review before deciding to visiting a business.
More importantly, 94% of online shoppers reported that a negative review has convinced them to avoid visiting a business.
This means that whatever your industry, having a positive online presence gives you several key advantages, which is why it’s becoming a key part of branding.
Understanding why you need online reviews will help you optimize your customer experience to help create a positive online footprint. Let’s review these seven reasons why your consumers’ published experiences with your brand are vital.
1. Social Proof Drives Purchases
We’re more likely to make a purchase if others around us—even total strangers—agree that it is a good decision. Today, online reviews are the biggest source of social proof, and they have a clear impact on sales.
For example, Seriously Silly Socks has been able to drive 60% higher average order value on the company’s website than its other sales channels, and it’s likely that the 3000 five-star reviews that populate the ecommerce site’s various product pages have helped a great deal.
“We encourage reviews by emailing customers after purchase and offering a discount coupon in return for a completed review,” Andrew Gill, the owner of the company, recently told BigCommerce in an interview for a case study.
“This has been a major difference from the start of our journey to selling directly from our store and has reduced our reliance on shopping channels. Customer feedback creates that ‘social-proof’ trust that encourages other visitors to our store to buy.”
2. They Make You More Visible
Being a successful brand also means you’re a visible one.
Most shoppers will look on search engines like Google and Bing, or even on Facebook, when deciding what to buy. These websites all have their own unique ways of indexing and surfacing content, but they all value original and fresh content, and customer reviews can definitely help feed the content machine, keeping your brand favored by algorithms.
Online customer reviews give you a steady pipeline of(hopefully) positive content that search engines value highly when choosing which results to return.
When you’re ranked higher, algorithms and people alike tend to see your website as an authority in your industry, which also leads to more exposure.
3. They Make You Look Trustworthy
Your brand can build significant trust and credibility from a steady stream of positive reviews.
One of the more interesting findings of recent research is just how powerful reviews are at building your company’s online identity.
Many shoppers distrust businesses that have ratings below(or even above) four stars. This leaves a small margin of error at the top, but companies with better average ratings are significantly more likely to see views converted to traffic and sales.
The way customers are talking about you is just as important as the fact that they’re saying your name. Having a highly positive footprint will eventually help you drive more sales. – Read more