Online Reviews Matter. That is a fact that doesn’t require a lot of convincing, but knowing why they’re important and in what way people use them can be really helpful when you are building your online branding. I have assembled 4 such statistics that each support a different aspect of online reviews.
1. 97% of Consumers refer to reviews about local businesses.(BIA/Kelsey)
People who are searching for something online typically refer to business reviews at two points in the process.
- They will look for companies that have reviews before even clicking through to a profile or website.
- Once the search is narrowed down, reviews are then specifically sought out to help finish the search process or reinforce a decision about a company they’re selecting.
Either way, having reviews in lots of different places will ensure they find or select your business over your competition.
3. 88% of consumers will trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (Search Engine Land)
If you ask a friend where to get a haircut, chances are you’ll go to whatever place they recommend. Word of mouth is where businesses typically get a vast majority of their business. Now that online reviews are starting to rival word-of-mouth in importance, it is even more critical that you have good reviews ready and waiting for people.
2. 90% make purchases based on positive reviews (Marketing Land)
When a company has positive reviews posted in a number of online directories, it tends to reinforce their decision to pick your company’s products or services. People don’t want to go to a business that has lots of negative reviews.
As a caveat to that point, there are ways that negative reviews can be turned around to work in your favor. As an example: Say an unhappy customer writes a negative review about your lawn care service because you forgot to edge the sidewalk. A great response to that would be something like “I’m so sorry that we forgot to edge that part of your lawn, please give me a call at (xxx) xxx-xxx so we can make it right”. For the person who wrote the review, it validates their review and let’s them know you care about them and want to make it right. It also shows people searching online that you are a good business person and will make any mistakes right if they happen.
4. 80% of users visit review sites when they are ready to buy…Almost 90% of them make a purchase within one week (Nielsen)
This is the one that I do more than anything. When I am ready to make a purchase, I will make sure the company I am about to do business with has a good reputation and there aren’t any skeletons in the closet. Since online reviews are so readily accessible, it’s becoming a cultural norm to check their reviews just to make sure it’s going to be good working with you.
I am sure there are many more reasons that reviews matter, but these are the 4 that stand out to me on a regular basis. Are there other reasons that you have seen that you think should be added to this list? If so, write a comment below.