online reviewsIn today’s world of the internet and mobile devices, everyone is an information junkie. And when it comes to gaining new customers for your business, a lack of online information in the form of reviews can seriously hinder your success. In fact, no customer feedback at all can be worse than having some negative reviews among the bunch.

Consumers no longer trust a product or service’s official description and traditional advertising mediums like TV commercials are also having less influence. People want to know who you are and that real people have already experienced your business.

Indeed, according to a new infographic compiled by Website Builder customers trust user reviews almost 12 times more than what the manufacturers have to say. Among the highly coveted millennial demographic 68% say they trust online reviews, while only 34% said they still trusted television advertising.

It’s therefore clear that fostering online reviews is a key element of building brand trust. What’s more, that trust directly translates to clicks, conversions, and sales.

User-Generated Reviews

For reviews to be most effective it has to be clear that they were generated by real consumers, not clichéd ‘testimonials’ or overbearing fake reviews purchased in bulk that all sound the same.

Customers who view user-generated content convert at a rate 133% higher than those that don’t!

If feasible you should open your website’s product or service pages to the public to leave their reviews. You should also ensure you have a presence on applicable review sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, Glassdoor, and Google Business. Facebook also allows business pages to receive reviews and these may be trusted more because the reviewer is using their real public Facebook profile.

Concrete Conversions

Obviously, the more reviews and the more positive reviews your business gets the better. Having more than 50 reviews for any given product or service can increase conversions by 4.6%. Google reports that businesses listed with 3 stars or more receive 41 web clicks out of 47.

However negative reviews appearing in Google search can cost you up to 70% of potential customers, and 86% of people surveyed said they would be hesitant to purchase a product from a company with negative online reviews.

The Bottom Line

Want to know the number one reason why you should open your business up to online reviews?

You will almost always see a direct increase in sales.

According to the data, for every star a business is rated online it could see an increase in revenue of between 5% and 9%. On average, having a set of mostly positive reviews could produce an 18% increase in sales!

Whether you represent a small or large business, online or local – online reviews are now a core factor in determining your brand image and success.

Published 06/26/17 by Doug Sumner