There was a time when the web was considered the Wild West, especially when it came to purchasing products and services. That’s not to say scams and ‘snake oil’ doesn’t still get peddled, but users seem to have grown wiser and various mechanisms are in place to help separate legitimate businesses from shady ones. One such mechanism is online reviews.
Online reviews allow customers to use third-party sites and social media platforms to share their experiences about a product or business. Those that stand out have their praises sung and this translates to more revenue; those that don’t continually fail, lose business and are essentially branded for life.
It’s not perfect – fake reviews can slip through and new businesses can find it difficult to build up a review profile – but when consumers and businesses are proactive, it can make online and offline commerce better for all involved.
According to a new article from WebsiteBuilder.org, it is certainly within a business owner’s best interests to encourage reviews, learn from them and improve their business accordingly.
Indeed, consumers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews, and overall reviews can increase sales by an average of 18%.
On the local level, 72% of consumers say they trust a local business more if it has positive reviews online.
Conversely, 22% of consumers will flat-out refuse to purchase a product after reading just one bad review online. Overall, 86% of consumers ‘hesitate’ to buy from a company that has poor reviews.
Businesses and consumers therefore clearly have an incentive to engage in the review process.
Businesses also have an incentive to genuinely try hard to please consumers. For example, when retailers replied to negative feedback on social sites like Facebook, a third of these reviewers either deleted their original reviews or re-wrote them to be more positive. Nearly a fifth went on to become loyal customers and purchased again in the future.
When others see everything was made right, they are likely to have more trust in the business and make a purchase as well. It’s a consumer-driven marketing tool.
For more interesting facts about online reviews and how they impact various industries, check out the full infographic from WebsiteBuilder.org.