Why are online customer reviews essential? Online presence has fundamentally changed the playing field for businesses. Sometimes how a company performs online becomes a make or break for them. This is why online customer reviews are essential when building a reputation on the world wide web. One of the major benefits of online reviews is how these shape your business’s image both online and offline.
Having quick access to the internet has radically changed the way people buy almost everything today. From gadgets, books, and services, it’s now rare to make a sound purchase decision without reading through several online reviews. In 2016, 90% of shoppers read a minimum of one online customer review before deciding to visit a business or make a purchase.
More importantly, 94% of internet buyers who checked online reviews for businesses were convinced to avoid it after a reported negative review. This means that having a positive online presence gives you many key advantages, which is why it’s becoming a crucial part of branding.
Understanding why you would like online reviews and knowing the importance of reading customer reviews will help you optimize your customer experience to help create a positive online footprint. Let’s see some benefits of online reviews and why your consumers’ published experiences together with your brand are vital.
1. Reviews are social proof
We’re more likely to form a sale if others around us—even total strangers—agree that it’s a sound decision. Today, online reviews are the most important source of social proof, and that they have a transparent impact on sales. High ratings affect a future customer’s decision.
2. It improves your online presence
A successful brand is a directed one. Most shoppers will search online when deciding what to shop for. These websites all have their unique ways of indexing and surfacing content. Still, all of them value original and fresh content, and customer reviews can help feed the content machine, keeping your brand favored by algorithms.
Online customer reviews offer positive content that search engines highly value when choosing which sites end up returning. When you’re ranked higher, algorithms and other people alike tend to ascertain your website as an authority in your industry, resulting in more exposure.
3. It builds your integrity
With a gentle stream of good reviews, your business or brand becomes more credible. Recent research has shown that great reviews are building blocks to your enterprise’s online identity.
Clients and buyers have a certain level of distrust for those with 4-star ratings or below. This leaves a little margin of error at the highest, but companies with better average ratings are more likely to have their views converted to traffic and sales.
4. Reviews are essential to decision-making
A proactively cultivated brand is one that increases your online visibility. Social media may be a useful gizmo, but patrons’ power to talk about you on other channels may be a crucial component of your presence.
Almost two-thirds of shoppers think that online reviews are an essential part of the decision-making process. Once they want to understand the simplest places to travel, they’re more likely to check some of the best review websites like Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor, or a customer review website rather than a newspaper or maybe their friends and family.
5. Reviews impact sales
There’s a growing body of data that proves that reviews do empirically cause increased revenue.
A study by the Harvard graduate school found that online reviews can demonstrably impact your bottom line. Brands that are viewed positively have better sales, but improving your star rating can positively affect your profits.
According to the study, a one-star improvement in Yelp.com results in 9% sales within the short term. This proves that even a little increase or improvement in your online customer reviews can have a considerable impact on your business.