Customer reviews have always been essential to the success of a business. Even in the pre-internet years, when brick-and-mortar stores ruled the high street and online shopping was still far into the future, word of mouth could significantly impact how a business was perceived.
Today, thanks to the Internet, social media sharing and online review sites, feedback can be made – and read – at a much faster rate. This means both good and bad news travel faster and further than ever before. What’s more, changes in consumer thinking and behavior have given customer reviews even more power in influencing purchase decisions and brand perception.
Research from 2022 firmly supports these conclusions. In 2023, we look back at last year’s insights and determine how to use this information to guide our review management strategies moving forward. This blog will focus on:
Four Key Insights From 2022
1. About 88% of All Reviews Come From Only Four Review Sites
There are many online review sites, ranging from general feedback hubs for businesses like Better Business Bureau to those dedicated to specific industries or products, like Capterra for software and Angi for home improvement. However, a whopping 88% of all feedback online can be found on just four review websites:
- Google (73%)
- Yelp (6%)
- Facebook (3%)
- TripAdvisor (3%)
Does this mean that these are the best review sites to focus on for review generation?
What This Means for Brands in 2023
This insight implies that brands should primarily focus their review generation and monitoring efforts on these four websites. Rize Reviews’ Senior Reputation Manager, Tim Clarke, agreed, with a caveat about Yelp.
“Yelp doesn’t count a large percentage of reviews in its score, so it’s too frustrating and inefficient to focus review management on that site. The other three sites are all better candidates for review generation,” Clarke said.
Clarke also advised focusing on generating reviews for industry-specific review websites.
“Niche sites for most industries matter almost as much as Google, Facebook and Yelp,” he said. “TripAdvisor is big for the hospitality industry, Trustpilot and other sites matter a lot for software and products, Apartmentratings.com and Apartments.com are vital for property management companies, etc.”
If you have limited resources, maximize them by focusing on major review websites and feedback sites relevant to your industry. Request Google reviews, ask for feedback on Facebook and direct customers to industry-specific websites in your review request emails or text messages.
Rize Reviews integrates with more than 150 of the best review sites, which allows our clients to generate reviews from whichever websites their target customers use the most. These include the four preferred by consumers as shown by ReviewTrackers’ research, as well as niche and industry-specific ones like:
Rize Reviews has a unique approach to helping businesses generate reviews that help boost their brand visibility and improve their reputation. We ask for ratings via email, then automatically send a request for reviews to those who send high ratings. Meanwhile, low ratings will result in a direct message to the business instead of a public review.
2. Reviews Are the Top Purchase Consideration for Online Shoppers
Research from 2021 found that ratings and reviews carry the most weight with shoppers considering an online purchase, surpassing price, free shipping and brand names. Surprisingly, reviews from online strangers surpass recommendations from friends and family as a factor impacting purchase decisions.
- Ratings and Reviews (94%)
- Price of the Product (91^)
- Free Shipping (78%)
- Brand of the Product (65%)
- Recommendation From Friends/Family (60%)
What’s more, about 86% of the individuals surveyed will not make an online purchase without reading reviews first. Meanwhile, 51% won’t buy products from brick-and-mortar shops without looking up feedback online.
Unsurprisingly, about 44% of consumers won’t purchase a product with no reviews or ratings.
What This Means for Brands in 2023
Sporadically sending a request for reviews will no longer do. The importance of reviews in influencing purchase decisions means brands must make online review generation a priority, not an afterthought. Online review generation helps ensure you get the reviews and ratings you need to help encourage potential customers to purchase your product or pay for your service.
Reputation management consultants can help you by creating a strategy designed to help you get more reviews from your past customers. They can do this through various channels, ideally, the ones your customers frequent the most: email, social media, your website or even SMS.
Rize Reviews’ done-for-you approach is convenient and hassle-free compared to other reputation management consultants. You don’t have to request Google reviews yourself or fiddle with our reputation management tool to send an automated request for reviews.
Your customer list is all we need to kickstart your online review generation strategy. If your business doesn’t do emails, we can set up review kiosks in your physical store for your customers to stop by and leave a quick review.
We have over 150 review website integrations, which allow us to bring all your feedback together in one place. This makes it easy for your customers to review your business.
3. About 89% of Consumers Are More Likely To Patronize a Business That Responds to Its Reviews
A survey from BrightLocal found that nearly 90% of consumers are highly or fairly likely to use a business that replies to all of its online reviews. On the flip side, more than half say they are unlikely to patronize a business that does not respond to its reviews at all.
Responding to feedback – both good and bad – gives potential and current customers a good feeling about your brand. Some companies make the mistake of shying away from responding to negative reviews for fear of conflict. However, a helpful, polite response can help counteract a bad review’s damaging effects.
However, it’s also important to reply promptly. About 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week. About one in three of those surveyed expect a response within three days.
This tracks, as modern consumers expect fast responses. Consumers don’t like to wait, whether it’s for their packages to arrive, their food to be served or for a business to respond to their negative review and take action. To ensure a positive customer experience, it’s crucial for brands to meet customer expectations and reply on time.
What This Means for Brands in 2023
While brands may understand the importance of responding to feedback, doing so might not always be realistic for small businesses without the resources to monitor online reviews around the clock. However, failing to do so could result in unsatisfied and unhappy customers (the ones who left the feedback) as well as put off would-be customers reading reviews of the business.
To preserve your brand reputation and help ensure a positive customer experience, consider outsourcing online review monitoring duties to online reputation management companies. A company offering a review response and review monitoring service can help.
A company like this can monitor online reviews and alert you to unfavorable mentions of your business. Apart from performing online review monitoring, they can assist with responding to positive reviews as well as responding to negative reviews.
However, many online reputation management companies use templated responses, chatbots and other tools. While canned responses are efficient, they are not ideal for all situations. For instance, a canned negative review response can be even more infuriating to an already-angry customer.
At Rize Reviews, we understand the importance of crafting authentic, sincere responses to reviews in your brand’s tone of voice. Before we begin responding to positive reviews or posting a negative review response on your behalf, we first evaluate your business’s online presence and craft a custom review management strategy.
All of our responses are written by our in-house team of experts with years of experience working in various industries. We deeply understand consumer sentiment, which empowers us to provide authentic review responses.
Apart from being able to deliver an empathetic and well-crafted negative review response, we can respond to all types of feedback within 24-48 hours. You won’t have to worry about responding to negative reviews during holidays or weekends–We can do that for you, too.
Additionally, we monitor online reviews for mentions of your business to identify negative feelings toward your brand. We can mitigate any reputational damage through vigilant online review monitoring before it worsens.
It’s also important to acknowledge great feedback by responding to positive reviews. At Rize Reviews, we take the time to study your previous responses and style guides. This helps us ensure we are responding to positive reviews in your brand’s tone, preserving your company’s image.
4. Approximately 79% of Consumers Look for Websites With Product Reviews
According to PowerReviews’ survey of 6,500 consumers, shoppers prefer to read reviews not just on the best review sites but also on:
- Amazon (95%)
- Retailer Websites (93%)
- Brand Websites (68%)
- Search Engines (65%)
What This Means for Brands in 2023
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to ensure your Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) listing is up to date and set up to receive reviews. The same goes for your Amazon store if you have one.
Whether your business is business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C), it is particularly vital to feature feedback on your own website and not just generate reviews for third-party online review sites. Reviews function as social proof that demonstrates your brand’s trustworthiness and reliability. And the fact that consumers actively seek out retailer and brand websites that feature reviews is another good reason to incorporate feedback into your website.
Rize Reviews offers a free widget for WordPress and other CMS. This reputation management tool allows businesses to display reviews from Google, the Better Business Bureau and Facebook on their websites. Our Rize Reviews developers update review feeds weekly so both website visitors and search engines regularly have access to fresh content from the best review sites.
Research and insights from 2022 show that online reviews are more important than ever before for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. Brands that want to succeed in 2023 and beyond need to make online review generation and management a priority.
This means making an active effort to generate reviews, showcasing reviews on brand websites, responding to feedback promptly and authentically as well as using a review monitoring service to be informed of negative consumer feelings toward your brand.
A reputable and proven reputation management company can help businesses navigate the challenges of review management by:
- Generating More Reviews
- Monitoring Online Reputation
- Responding to Reviews
By following these tips, businesses can improve their online reputation, attract new customers and boost sales.
Leverage Online Reviews to Drive Your Business Forward
Rize Reviews is a reputation management firm offering a full suite of solutions to help brands generate more reviews and take control of their online reputation. These include:
- Review Monitoring
- Review Generation
- Review Response
- Online Review Analyzer
- Video Testimonial Service
Rize Reviews empowers businesses with the support and services they need to maintain control of their online presence. We aim to help brands build stronger customer relationships, establish a positive brand image and boost their local search rankings.
Contact us today to request a free demo and see how Rize Reviews can help your business.