A person looks at charts on a desk via Pexels
Back in the day, if you wanted to get a recommendation about a product or service, you would ask the members of your family or your friends. But in this day and age, online reviews are now king. While you may still ask your close ones for their suggestions, there’s a strong chance that you’ll read the reviews on that product or service before you click the ‘buy’ button and actually spend your money.
In fact, online reviews are big business and what your customers say about you online is as important to your success than ever.
Who is Affected by Online Reviews?
According to the annual Local Consumer Study 2017 published by Bright Local, a massive 85% of customers said that they trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. 73% of those surveyed for the study also revealed that a positive review would make them trust a local business more, and consumers read an average of seven reviews before trusting a business (this is an increase from six in the 2016 study).
What these statistics mean is that online reviews can have a dramatic impact on how we spend our money and who we spend it with, meaning that it could make or break a business.
What’s more is that businesses across all industries are affected by online reviews. In the trades industry, people use trade service review sites such as Checkatrade to find builders, plumbers, decorators and more to take care of handiwork. Meanwhile, restaurant reviews listed on places such as Google can sway a person who is looking for a quick bite to eat on the go. Online reviews even affect the games that we play – the casino reviews posted by Casinos Killer help players to find where the best casino bonuses are offered. Console video game reviews posted on Metacritic are so important, in fact, that the games industry gives its employees bonuses based on them!
Why Are Online Reviews on the Rise?
According to a study published by Pew Research Center in 2016, 79% of people in the United States are now online shoppers, with nearly eight in 10 people surveyed saying that they had purchased something online. So, it stands to reason that with more of us spending money online, more of us are going to be looking for information about those retailers and products online too.
Moreover, many more of us now use mobile phones which allow us to look up information when we are out and about. Finding out more about stores near you is no longer a case of getting a map or asking someone for a full list of recommendations; you can just load the list of reviews on your phone before making your assessment.
It seems that online reviews are here to stay, meaning that business should be more conscious than ever of how to make their customers happy. A review from that happy customer could potentially turn into hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of sales, after all.