Why are online reviews so important?
Constant access to the internet through our phones means that online reviews are always at consumers’ fingertips. If your company doesn’t have online reviews, you’re unlikely to survive in our digital age. In this article we explore why reviews are so powerful in increasing sales.
The internet age is a time where people want to share their opinions, their stories, their lives, sometimes to a ridiculously intense degree – this includes reviews of services and products.
Review platforms such as Trustpilot, Amazon, and Yelp have become increasingly popular over the last few years, with reviews – good and bad – being shared across social media for a multitude of reasons.
The rise in social influencers and bloggers has also lead to smaller review sites and youtube channels with a broad stretch, meaning that anyone can give their opinion at any time.
So why are online reviews important for you? Here are 3 reasons:
1. Good Word of Mouth
If you are just starting off or are a smaller brand, online reviews can be a good way to get the conversation started around your brand.
When you are googled, you want people to see that your brand has been used by others as that can bring reassurance to potential customers and start a dialogue with your brand at the centre.
Positive recommendations can then be shared, whether continuing to be online or verbally through friendship groups and ultimately increase audience focus on your brand.
Pro tip: reaching out to social media influencers in your field for review purposes can be a good way to reach as many people as possible.
There is a lot of trust in familiar faces and so this approach can increase the positive conversation around your work.
However, chose carefully – carelessly throwing out emails or requests for reviews can make your brand appear careless and show a lack of respect for the influencer and their followers.
The more your brand is seen in the public eye, the more trustworthy it will appear to your customers.
Unknown products and companies tend to be looked at with more scrutiny and suspicion as people have nothing to base their trust off.
In this age of potential fraud and increasing scams, the majority of people find themselves being cautious with their money and turning to familiar and popular mainstream companies.
Familiarity breeds trust.
Online reviews are a fantastic way of increasing awareness of your brand, increasing the trust your customers’ feel and thus increase sales and uses of your service.
3. Proof Drives Purchase
Similarly, with trust, people are not going to automatically believe that your product or service does what is it supposed to do.
Too many horror stories of purchases not being what the buyer expected or not being worth the money means people look at upcoming and new brands with caution.
With each online review that shows your brand does what it says it does, it will increase the number of people trusting your brand.
It’s scientific fact that we follow what others do
Science tells us that people follow what others do. This is called the Social proof bias.
Social proof is the influence that the actions and attitudes of the people around us (either in real life or online) have on our own behavior.
In other words, when we don’t know what to do, we take on herd mentality and follow what other people have done.
Visualise the proof!
Online reviews also have the unique benefit that reviewers can take pictures of products or results and upload alongside any written words.
Being able to visually see what something looks like in ‘real-life’, not just what the company wants the customer to believe it looks like, can go a long way to swaying people to buy into your brand.
Reviews are also a powerful marketing tool
Online reviews are easy for a customer to access at all times and can be a great way to increase support and trust for your brand.
These reviews can be used as a form of marketing, sometimes even more powerful than any advertisement.
If you’re not using online reviews, you can cut out a huge part of your audience and limit potential customers.
A company without online reviews is one that will find it difficult to survive in this modern age.
Build trust with your customer and ensure the success of your brand with online reviews.