Reviews online play a crucial role in a customer’s journey. Research shows that 93 percent of consumers today will read online store reviews before making purchases (Dixa, 2022). The same report also states that almost half of shoppers spread the word about their positive experiences with a product or company.
Meanwhile, a whopping majority (95 percent) of people won’t have second thoughts about telling their friends and family about any negative shopping experience. From this and other findings, we can see the importance of online reviews and their impact on a business’s bottom line.
The next step is clear: Get more reviews online. However, review generation is just one part of online reputation marketing. Brand reputation management specialists will tell you to generate reviews that are informative and share-worthy. You also need to use effective digital reputation management strategies to drive the results you want.
But before putting any online reputation monitoring strategies into practice, it’s imperative to understand the importance of online reviews and how they can influence buying decisions. In the discussion below, you’ll find the top five ways online store reviews affect consumers.
How Online Store Reviews Influence Your Customers
Before anything else, it’s important to emphasize that consumers always search for authentic and trustworthy feedback. Therefore, they will look for reputation management reviews that are both positive and negative about products and services they’re interested in. Consequently, it’s okay to shoot for perfect five-star reviews, but getting reviews that aren’t perfectly stellar can also work well for you depending on the online reputation marketing strategies you choose to apply.
With that in mind, here are some review stats that demonstrate the importance of online reviews and how they can influence your customers.
Online Reputation Management Reviews vs. Personal Recommendations
Word-of-mouth advertising is still a powerful way to win your clients’ confidence. This marketing method produces over 13 percent of global sales, generating $6 trillion in worldwide spending. It boosts brand affinity and increases brand awareness. In addition, it generates five times more sales than paid ads (Semrush, 2021).
However, one would ask how word-of-mouth advertising and personal recommendations fare against reviews online. Studies show that 79 percent of consumers today trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (Bright Local, 2022). Several factors contributed to this massive shift in support.
One powerful influence that led to this consumer mindset is global internet access. Since more people can access reviews over the internet, people have come to trust other consumers who share their personal experiences online about different brands and products they’ve tried.
However, we should emphasize an important detail: the quality of the review. If an online review looks like the company paid for it or the text looks spammy, it will have the opposite effect. In short, you should get more reviews that are authentic, credible and as detailed as possible.
One of the ways you can ensure that facet into your review generation process is to generate more verified reviews. A verified review is a comment or testimonial posted by a customer who has purchased a product or service. Shopping portals like Amazon can mark reviews as verified purchases because they have the transactions on record.
Getting better quality reviews should be part of your brand reputation management process. When you generate reviews people trust, you can sway the tide in your favor and increase sales and conversions. If you need help generating quality reviews, it’s best to work with reputation management consultants you can trust.
More on Online Reviews
Quantity Doesn’t Equate to Quality
Back in 2010, the average review length was around 600 characters. To a certain extent, the length of the review reflected its quality, and people trusted those long reviews. Today, the landscape has changed, and the average online review has become 65 percent shorter.
The average high-quality review today is around 200 words only. That’s about the length of a tweet when expanded. This is because people today have become accustomed to reading tweets and posts on social media. Gone are the days when fully structured reviews with rich content gained a lot of views. Today, if you want to generate reviews that consumers will read and influence them to take action, you need to ensure they’re short, sweet and to the point.
You can get more reviews of this type when you communicate the fact to your best customers. You can also suggest a certain structure when you request for reviews. These structural changes affect how reviews are written as well as how people interpret them. In addition, when you ask customers for reputation management reviews, you can suggest one or two topics they can cover and how short you want the review to be.
More Negative Reviews Means Less Credibility, Most of the Time
A bad review will always reflect poorly on your brand. For example, a negative review can describe a customer’s poor experience with your products or services or describe your business as unreliable. Either way, they have a substantial impact on your business’s reputation. In fact, estimates show that 86 percent of consumers hesitate to do business with a company if they read negative reviews about it.
On the other hand, getting only positive reviews could diminish your business credibility as well. Consumers will see the absence of negative reviews on your product pages as a red flag. After all, there is no such thing as a perfectly flawless organization. Studies show that having a few minor negative reviews validates your brand as something authentic – to err is human, after all (Dixa, 2022).
This feature of online reviews means there is room in online reputation marketing for negative reviews. If you find a few naysayers online during the process of review and online reputation monitoring, you should see it as an opportunity to practice your brand reputation management skills.
If you’re having difficulty coping with online reputation monitoring, it’s ideal to collaborate with the best reputation management services providers. These professionals can equip your team with the most effective reputation management tool best suited to your business. In addition, their specialists can help your team respond to negative reviews and swing customer opinion in your favor.
Online Reviews Boost Sales
Here’s an incentive to focus more resources on review generation: Having more reviews on your pages can boost sales by 18 percent (World Financial Review, 2020). In addition, posting reviews on your website, social media pages and product pages increases customer confidence, increasing conversion rates, average order size and visitor return rates.
Statistics also show that the more reviews a consumer reads, the better are your chances of boosting customer trust (Invesp, 2022). For example, you have a 3 percent chance of gaining a customer’s confidence when they read only one review about your brand. However, your chances increase to 24 percent if they continue reading two to three more reviews. By the time they read up to four to six reviews, your chances of converting that consumer rises to 32 percent.
Because of this phenomenon, reputation management consultants usually advise business owners to post more reviews on their web assets. Online reputation management companies can provide you with strategies, best practices and a reputation management tool that works best for your business so you can boost your sales.
Your Responsiveness Counts
Online reviews create avenues for consumers to voice their opinions and be heard by other consumers and the company they’re reviewing. For this reason, your responsiveness to customer opinion can also become a crucial factor in the review generation process.
Statistics show that around half of consumers expect companies to respond to customer reviews. That’s 53 percent of all customers who post reviews on the internet (Reviewtrackers, 2022). Unfortunately, most companies aren’t responding fast enough. The same survey reports that consumers expect companies to respond within three days or less. The best way to cope with this demand is to use reliable review tracking software so you can reach out to customers in time.
Getting the Best Reputation Management Services
You need to formulate an effective digital reputation management strategy to generate more positive reviews, increase conversion and drive more sales. Seasoned online reputation management companies like Rize Reviews can help you achieve that goal.
It’s essential to have reputation management experts who can equip your business with online reputation software and review management strategies to increase conversions and boost returns. At Rize, we have a team of review management veterans who have helped businesses build strong relationships with customers.