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Does Your Company Understand the Value of Online Reviews?
TripAdvisor may have been one of the earliest to offer a platform for online reviews, but it’s no longer the only option for consumers. Yelp, consumer associations, and company websites all offer product and services reviews, although 33% of Americans say search engines are their starting point for finding recommendations. 25% of consumers say they first search online review websites, such as TripAdvisor, and 22% seek recommendations at company websites.
When a consumer is in the market to potentially make a purchase and they don’t ask a friend about it, they are more likely to decide based on reviews. Those are the findings from a survey by ReportLinker on the trustworthiness of online reviews.
Did you know? Almost 3 out of every 5 consumers say they find online reviews as trustworthy as a friend’s review.
According to their data, nearly 6 out of 10 online respondents say online reviews are as trustworthy as a personal recommendation. Incredibly, 7% went as far as to say that online reviews are more trustworthy than a review from a friend. On the flip-side, 34% say online reviews are less trustworthy than one they would get from a friend.
Did You Know? In 1999, shortly after the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton was dismissed by the Senate, three websites—RateItAll.com, Deja.com, Epinions.com—appeared on the internet1 and set in motion a social trend called “online reviews” that influences nearly every type of consumer purchase today including choosing a doctor.
These numbers suggest consumers, if possible, would check both with a friend and with an online review before making a purchase.
What do Consumers want to see in a good online review?
- 62 percent say they evaluate the content of a review. But respondents also believe a mix of good and bad reviews builds credibility.
- 58 percent say the number of reviews is important.
- 32 percent say that 30 or more online reviews builds credibility.
Interestingly, consumers don’t really need to know much about the online reviewers when determining whether or not a review is trustworthy as only 26% of respondents said overall credibility of the author of an online review is important to them.
The Importance of Word-of-Mouth
All business owners should take note that online reviews are not a fad as they are here to stay. The data shows there is an increasing value of online reviews.
Since very few customers leave reviews, it’s important to have a plan to drum up reviews. The good news for business owners is that when customers leave a review, more often than not, the review is positive.
According to a report accompanying the data, “It turns out that a negative experience drives far fewer people to write a review than conventional wisdom seems to imply. Almost half of respondents say a very satisfying experience will inspire them to contribute a recommendation, while just 34 percent say a very dissatisfying experience sparks the need to review the product or service.”
Go to Device for Reviews
Because we’re constantly on the go and always have our smartphones with us, it should come as no surprise that the primary device we use to search for or write reviews about products (35%), according to ReportLinker. This is especially true for Millennials (56%) and Facebook users (49%).
It’s also very important to understand how and where consumers seek information. Consumers use various online review sites depending on the product or service being researched. For example, when searching for a good restaurant, consumers reference Yelp 53% of the time, while TripAdvisor is mentioned 51% of the time.
The Importance of Optimizing Your Directory Accounts
Since your customers and potential customers are using online review sites to shop it’s critical to your business that you put your best foot forward and optimize the most frequented online local review directories. Companies should create (or claim) your location(s) and make sure the information listed, such as address, hours of operation, services provided, or products offered are correct.
Also, when respondents were asked which other websites (other than Google, Amazon, and Yelp) do you consult to get reviews, a company’s or store’s website was mentioned 57% of the time … more than Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook! So, if your website does not feature your company’s reviews you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to brag about your services, products, and your employees.
At OMG Marketing, we specialize in helping businesses succeed online. We assist in optimizing your social media and online directories. We have tools that can help your company drive more positive reviews to these online directories as well as to your website. Contact us today at (866) 906-4056 to learn more about how OMG Marketing can help manage your company’s online reputation.