How Important are Customer Reviews for Online Marketing?

In the digital age that we currently live in, do you have a review and reputation marketing strategy in place for your business?  Do you ask your customers to write you online reviews?

Think about it the other way round for a minute, do you read online reviews before making a purchase?  For example, Amazon or eBay before buying a product or maybe TripAdvisor before booking a holiday?  So, wouldn’t it be great if you had reviews for your customers to read about your business as well; to help them with their purchasing decisions?

A few key stats to consider:

  • 91% of people read online reviews
  • People tend to trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends and family
  • Customers are likely to spend more on a business with excellent reviews
  • Reviews can boost your search ranking
  • Reviews demonstrate transparency and empower customers by giving them information
  • Reviews are important!

Here are a few quick elements to get you started

Star Rating

An important visual aspect for most, with experts stating if your rating is below three stars’ consumers will move on to a competitor with a better star rating.

Most consumers have a minimum star rating in mind when reading reviews – typically, consumers need to see a minimum star rating of three or they won’t purchase from a business. So, your star rating doesn’t have to be perfect, but you need at least a three-star average rating for consumers to trust and purchase from your business.

Quantity

Another important aspect of a review for consumers. Most people need to read 4-6 reviews, but this number can be a lot higher depending on the customer.

Quality

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to here. Some of your customers may write paragraphs, others may only leave a couple of words.  Try to get more reviews and that should improve the quality of them.

Recency

If a review is old, consumers tend not to rely on it therefore to trust a review they need to be recent – ideally within the last 6-12 months.

Where to start with online reviews and your review marketing strategy?

Depending on what type of industry you’re in, some of these may not be relevant but the main ones to look at are:

Online Reviews

Do an online audit – see what people are saying about you on these sites.  Evaluate your online reputation. Once you’ve done this make a note of your best and worst review sites to help guide where your efforts ought to be going forward.

Start/continue collecting your customers email addresses. A few days after they’ve made a purchase from you, send them an email asking if they’d be willing to write a short review about you.  Or ask them in person if you can.

Hopefully you won’t, but if you get a negative review, don’t ignore it.  It’s important to engage and reply, again demonstrating transparency which will help build trust with potential customers.  Reply to positive reviews as well – a simple thank you!

As always, if you’d like to chat about anything further or you need any help, please get in touch.

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