User-generated content has become a powerful marketing channel. Now more than ever, consumers are relying on online reviews to decide what to purchase, where to shop and where to eat. Online reviews on websites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook have become a resource for users and strongly influence their buying decisions. Product and company reviews have become a trusted source for consumers before they make purchases.
Online Reviews Serve as a Digital Word-of-Mouth
An increasing number of consumers are using online reviews as social proof to help in their purchasing decisions. This implies that reviews are becoming a part of the purchasing process. In fact, 79% of customers value online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation. However, not only consumers benefit from online reviews. For companies, customer reviews are a valuable testament to their reputation and can give insights into the customer experience of products and services. Many companies now display reviews next to product listings to help customers with their buying decisions.
Trends in 2022 That Will Grow Your Business
Since online reviews are now valuable tools to your business in terms of sales. Reviews can generate new business opportunities for your business which is why it is crucial to understand their importance and how to make them work for your brand. Some of the most important statistics to note are:
- 64% of customers check Google reviews before visiting a business
- 62% of consumers do not support brands that have manipulated reviews
- 45% of shoppers are more likely to support a business that responds to reviews
- 1 in 3 customers expects a response to a negative review within 3 days
- Reviews produce an 18% lift in sales
Google Ranks as the Top Review Site
Want to grow your business? Make sure you have reviews on Google. Data shows that almost 64% of consumers check Google reviews through a search before visiting a business location. This is more than any other review site. Because Google shows star ratings and review samples in organic search results, users can easily find reviews without having to go to another third-party website. Google the platform that has the majority of reviews at 73%, then Yelp (6%), and Facebook (3%).
In an Embed Social Online Review Report, over 300,000 reviews were analyzed on Google and Facebook, of which 91% were Google reviews. This further substantiates the power of Google as a trusted source for consumer reviews.
Authentic Reviews are Best
Trustpilot research shows that 62% of consumers will not support brands that manipulate their reviews either by censoring negative reviews or buying fake ones. Reviews are most helpful to online consumers when they are honest. Reviews, whether positive or negative, contribute to your brand’s reputation as most consumers look for authentic feedback, even if imperfect. The most common tool for monitoring reviews is social media, but all businesses should be monitoring their online reputation on a regular basis.
Engage With the Customer
Reviews offer the perfect opportunity to engage with the customer as their share their experience with your brand. How your business responds to the reviews is just as important as the review itself. As Google itself says, “High-quality, positive reviews from your customers can improve your company’s visibility. Respond to reviews that users leave about your business.
Responding to customer reviews is important as churn increases by as much as 15% when businesses do not respond to feedback. When you respond to reviews, you show that you value your customers and their feedback.” As for negative reviews, they serve as a chance to improve if necessary. Of if not, a simple response such as “We appreciate your feedback” acknowledges a negative review. This will help your business’s reputation, as well as 45% of consumers, say they are more likely to visit a business that responds to reviews. Responding to the review in a timely manner is also important, as 1 in 3 customers expect a response to a negative review within 3 days or less.
Leverage Your Reviews
Positive reviews are a marketing tool that should be leveraged and shared on other channels, such as social media. An outstanding, authentic review can serve as a great sales and marketing testimonial. Customers are more likely to purchase from an online business that has customer reviews than from one that doesn’t. Displaying positive reviews on your website increases consumers’ confidence in your brand and impacts the bottom line.
Reviews produce an 18% lift in sales not only because they build your business’ credibility but because they also improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The top-listed local listings are often dominated by businesses with a large number of reviews.
These online review trends and statistics for 2022 underline the importance of reviews and local listing management to ensure that reviews are correct and consistent across directories, review sites, and social networks. Companies need to focus their efforts on the review sites that influence buyers and boost search rankings. Centinal can help your business by driving online reviews to the most visible social platforms to help build your reputation and brand.