With the proliferation of the internet and smart devices, online reviews have become the Holy Grail for the success of small businesses. People regularly read online reviews, and most of the decisions in local commerce are now influenced by review websites. Yelp, for instance, has garnered 186 million users since its inception in 2004, and it posts more than 150 million business reviews every month.
Yelp, Google My Business, and many other consumer review websites have become the first place people visit to find local businesses and gauge their credibility. Based on the type of reviews, these sites have become a ban or a boon for small businesses. When a user visits these platforms, the decision to purchase is exactly what prompted the user’s search. This makes reviews an invaluable asset for businesses with tight marketing budgets.
Furthermore, customers are likely to spend 31 percent more on a business that has excellent reviews. Statistics like these explain why reading reviews have become the new normal for consumers.
This article will talk about the impact of positive and negative reviews on a business. We will also discuss why a small business should care more about getting reviews and provide some advice on how to add them.
Impact of reviews on a business
- 94 percent of customers will use a business with at least 4 stars
- There is an approximately 5-9 percent increase in revenues for every star a business gets
- Consumers will more likely spend 31 percent more on businesses with excellent reviews
- Google reports that business listings with more than 3-star reviews take 41 out of 47 mobile clicks
- 59 percent of consumers will not buy after reading three negative reviews about the business
- A single negative review costs 30 customers on average
- Negative reviews about a company can make it lose 70 percent of potential customers
In light of these statistics, we further explain why online reviews are so crucial for your business and why they should be on top of your mind.
Reviews can result in increased sales:
When making a purchase decision, consumers go through a stage where they are aware of all the available options in the market. Reviews help them to narrow down their choice and decide as to which product or brand to go for in the end. Seeing positive reviews about a business instils trust and confidence in consumers so they can easily make a decision in favor of the business.
Knowing about a product from someone who has bought it and used it first hand is also a wise thing to do before you purchase it yourselves. Readers get to benefit from the experience of other users while the business gets more exposure which automatically translates to more sales. Many businesses, therefore, use various tools to get more reviews in an attempt to improve their conversion rates and boost up their sales.
Reviews build your credibility:
Today, consumers conduct a thorough research about businesses before they purchase a product or service from them. And as stated earlier, most of them trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from a friend or family. Consumers turn to business review websites to get a better understanding of the business and see what other users are saying about their products or services.
Reviews help small business establish credibility and integrity which are essential for long term growth. Even if you have a lot of sales in a certain quarter, you’ll still need credibility to sustain those customers. Negative reviews can be detrimental to your reputation, but once you build up a pool of positive reviews, one or two bad reviews isn’t going to hurt you because you’ve already established your credibility.
This, however, doesn’t mean that you just ignore negative reviews. It is prudent to address the issues raised by consumers so that you can show the public that you care about your customers’ demands and needs.
Reviews drive traffic to your website:
If consumers read a positive review of your product or service, they will naturally look for your business website where they can place their orders. Some review websites offer a link to the company’s main website so readers can directly visit and see what it offers. It allows prospects to have direct access to the product or service provider so they won’t have to search for them anymore. It can be an effective way to engage and drive new traffic to your website and turn them into loyal customers.
Reviews provide you important feedback:
For any business to succeed in the digital era, it must look for ways to improve and stand out against competitors. Reviews offer you an opportunity to become aware of your product’s strengths and weaknesses. The reviews section also provide you an avenue to learn about the problems that customers are facing with your business, so you can address them and hopefully turn the bad review into a good one. Such engagements can also lead to repeat business because 70 percent of complaining customers will give a business another try if their issues are resolved.
Good reviews can boost your SEO ranking:
Online reviews can prove extremely effective to improve your SEO ranking. Google considers the ratings of business on various review websites when determining which businesses to return in local searches. Your brand becomes more relevant in search results as it is increasingly mentioned in reviews on various sites. The more web pages link to your product, the higher it will be ranked in search engines.
Small businesses should invest more time and resources to get positive online reviews across multiple platforms. Reviews help you build trust which will result in more sales. By displaying positive reviews about your business on the website, you can build a more loyal relationship with your customers and help maximize your revenues.
Audrey Throne is the mother of a 3-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Throne is passionate about lifestyle, business, automotive, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics.
Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.