Reviews have transformed the way consumers make purchase decisions. But they are even more than a way for shoppers to gather information. They are also a powerful form of consumer engagement. As so many customers depend on reviews today when searching for products or services, positive reviews can have a great influence on sales.
According to a BrightLocal survey, 85% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision.
In a study conducted by Harris Interactive, it was found that 42% of adults searched businesses on the internet before doing business with them and 45% changed their minds about doing business with a company due to something they discovered about a business online.
Less than 10% of consumers don’t read online reviews and 40% of people make a decision about a business after reading one to three reviews. When it comes down to it, people want to hear from other people like them and they trust what they read.
The most impactful reviews
The degree of impact a review has depends upon a number of different factors. The source of a review, its content, star ratings and more can affect consumer response to a review.
What an online review says matters. Customers don’t just give online reviews a cursory glance. They want to read a detailed account of what a customer experienced. A satisfied customer who gives big thumbs up to what they experienced can do a great deal to make other consumers want to experience the same.
Many consumers don’t just care about price and are willing to pay more for quality and a positive buying experience. They will also look at star rating and are unlikely to deal with a company with a low star rating.
How to get reviews
Many businesses miss a great opportunity when they don’t get customers to write reviews for them. They need to think about how to collect, manage and promote online reviews of their products and services.
Consumers don’t just read reviews but are happy to write them too. Just because they are willing, however, doesn’t mean that they will and if businesses want them to follow through, they need to make the process as easy as possible. This is why it’s recommended to use reputation management software. Using this type of software can help businesses to collect customer reviews and testimonials.
Today customers rely on their smartphones to research businesses and write reviews. 59% of them use a smartphone or a tablet to research a business. This means a business can’t afford not to be optimized for mobile search.
What to do about negative reviews?
Getting positive reviews can help to insulate your reputation from those inevitable customers who are impossible to please.
Don’t delete negative reviews. They may even help sales if there are only a few of them and they are not impolitely worded. Obviously, if a company has tons of negative reviews, consumers will look elsewhere.
Previous positive experiences matter
People continue to buy from brands and service providers they’ve used before. They’ve tried the products or services and found they worked.
They don’t want to spend too much time researching alternatives and don’t want to risk making a bad purchase. They’d rather go with the tried and true. That is why it’s so important for marketers to get a customer to decide on that all-important first purchase.
When it comes to making purchase decisions, consumers often make emotional decisions. They can easily be convinced by positive online reviews to make their first purchase from a brand. When they’ve had a positive experience, it’s much easier to convince them to make repeat purchases.