Customer reviews are available almost anywhere online. You can find reviews and ratings for millions of products, services, and businesses all over the world with just a simple search. As ecommerce becomes increasingly popular, consumers are purchasing products without having seen or held them first-hand. Buyers want to know what they are getting whenever they spend their money, and reviews are an effective way to learn about a product or service. But how important are customer reviews for your business?
Reviews Make Consumers More Likely to Buy
A lot of businesses shy away from allowing buyers to post reviews because they worry about negative feedback. However, the benefits far outweigh the risks when it comes to online reviews. A 2017 study by the Spiegel Research Center found that businesses can increase their conversion rates by as much as 270% if they display reviews. Also, the same study found that reviews from verified buyers made consumers 15% more likely to purchase than reviews by anonymous posters. If you’re looking for a way to increase trust with your customers and improve your conversion rates, displaying reviews on your website might be your answer.
The correlation between reviews and trust is not limited to products. BrightLocal reported that 73% of consumers have more trust in a local business if they read positive reviews. Also, 60% of people check the online reviews for local restaurants before visiting the establishment. Whether you sell products online or instore, reviews can help you attract and retain customers.
You Can’t Ignore Reviews
There are a lot of platforms where consumers can post reviews. eCommerce sites like Amazon and eBay are obvious places for reviews, but your business may show up in Google reviews or feedback on Yelp. It is important to do your research and know where people are talking about your brand online. Once you find reviews about your business, you cannot ignore them.
Review Trackers noted that 53% of customers who leave reviews expect the business to reply to them within a week. Replying to reviews can also increase loyalty and trust because 41% of consumers believe a company cares about customers when they respond to reviews, according to Bazaarvoice. In fact, responding to reviews (even negative ones) can help you gain new customers. Marketing Charts noted that 7 out of 10 customers changed what they thought about a business when the company responded to a customer review. With so many opportunities to share your brand and create connections, online reviews for your business cannot be ignored.
Even Bad Reviews Aren’t All That Bad
As it happens, customers actually look for bad reviews. Power Reviews found that 82% of customers are looking for negative reviews, specifically. It may seem odd, but 40% of buyers in the B2B space agree that negative reviews can actually build credibility for a product, according to G2 Crowd and Heinz Marketing. If there are no bad reviews for a product or service, Revoo reports that 95% of customers are suspicious that the positive reviews are fake.
You may be tempted to delete bad reviews or avoid allowing reviews altogether, but those practices are not wise. Consumers want to see reviews, both good and bad. This helps them learn more about your products and builds trust. Once buyers read reviews, they are significantly more likely to purchase your products.
So, How Do You Get Reviews?
If you’ve realized the importance of displaying reviews, you may be wondering how to collect them in the first place. A lot of buyers will leave a review if you ask them, according to BrightLocal. Follow-up emails are a popular tactic, and Power Reviews reports that 80% of reviews usually come from a follow-up email. It is important to encourage all customers to write a review. People are more likely to write a negative review on their own, without any prompting. You can balance this out by asking for reviews from your customers.
Now that you know the importance of online reviews, you can take the necessary steps to leverage them. Reviews can greatly increase your conversions, sales, and trust in your brand. There is no need to fear reviews if you are providing the highest level of quality and service and making your customers happy every day. Reviews will only help your business succeed in the long run!