We live in a world interconnected devices, the internet, and online marketing. In a very brief time, the entire landscape, irrespective of the domain or industry, has and continues to be transformed into a digital ecosystem. Today, we can do everything online, from buying groceries and food, to ordering a cab and planning a vacation, even buying a car or house. From being just a place for businesses to post about their services and company, the internet has rapidly evolved into the new marketplace.
And with this rather rapid transition, the consumer behavior and ways to interact with businesses are changing. It is changing how people buy their stuff, how they evaluate their options, their shopping patterns, as well as their expectations from the product and services. Amidst all this, revolution, online reviews have become one of the key components for users to evaluate a business. Reviews have given the power to the people to share their experience and to know about that of others, in turn, giving their feedback about a business.
Here’s why online reviews are important and businesses should pay attention to them.
- Online reviews are the new “worth of mouth”
Not too long ago, when the businesses were mostly driven offline, advertising, and worth of mouth of existing customers were the marketing means for a brand. In the digital era, this role is taken up by these online reviews. Every customer review is contributing to your business marketing and promoting your business to a potential audience. Therefore, increasing brand awareness and audience. For example, if you are in a home goods business, positive customer reviews can help boost your popularity and land you among popular top Home goods review site
- Opens a channel to connect with your consumers
Proactive service and satisfying consumer experience is a key contributor to business growth. The online reviews open a channel for the audience to interact with the companies and also give allows companies to act quickly on the feedbacks. A proactive response to a review, especially to the negative ones can help mitigate the impact of the review on business. Also, it gives an opportunity for the business to get insights into their audience and users.
- Builds credibility and social profile
One of the biggest obstacles for a new or local business is to build brand awareness and gaining trust. Taking online shopping as an example, one might be less inclined to buy a cheaper product from an unknown brand than a well-priced one from a popular brand. Here’s where online reviews come to rescue. A buyer might not be aware of your brand, but with a number of online reviews and customer ratings supporting your presence, the buyer might consider purchasing your product.
- Helps expand branch reach and gain recognition in the market
Be it any industrial sector, there is fierce competition out there. Making it extremely challenging for new and small businesses to compete with big and recognized Positive and organic customer reviews help the small business to have a stand in the market and grab some attention.
- Reviews can generate reviews
Every customer review is like a drop in a silent pond. It creates ripples that travel far and gets noticed. With the interconnected ecosystem of social media, e-commerce platforms, and other channels, a review can make noise across all channels. People tend to share and repost their reviews across different platforms and this could, in turn, drive more traffic and prompt more reviews, the classic snowball effect.
- Improved SEO rankings and performance
Search engines like Google and Bing, are continuously scraping the web to extract relevant information about the businesses, their reviews, services, etc. to improve their search results. All this information allows the SEO algorithm to generate relevant results for web searches. Therefore, improved and positive customer reviews can boost your SEO ranking, and increase the chances of your business to pop-up in local searches. Hence, increasing traffic and sales.
- Reviews can help with planning and decisions
One of the key elements of running a business is to plan for the next. But, you can only plan, when you know what the market wants and thinks about your offerings. With online reviews, customers can feel free to express their thoughts and opinions about the product and services. While these reviews would influence the decisions of other buyers, these would also provide valuable information to the company about their services. Based on these reviews, businesses can pay attention to their shortcomings and structure/ promote their services to meet customer expectations.
The change in marketing trends and consumer preferences are evolving more rapidly than ever. And it is essential for businesses to utilize modern methods to make the most of the change. And right now online reviews are one such element, which, if used and analyzed correctly can offer great benefits to consumers as well as business owners.