We may like to think of ourselves as autonomous beings capable of making independent decisions. But the truth is, consumers have a pack mentality: we’re influenced by our , especially in the face of choice overload. In a 2021 study, 87% of respondents admitted that they read at least one online review before visiting a local business, while as many as 94% said that a poor review had persuaded them to avoid engaging with that business at all. Reviews are a highly prized source of online information, twice as likely to influence customer decision-making than loyalty, and 7.4 times more likely than traditional marketing.

Beyond online
What’s more, consumers aren’t just using reviews at the point of online purchase. According to research, 82% of shoppers research products and read reviews on their mobile phones while looking at the same product in-store. Invaluable to customers, critical to businesses, reviews can make all the difference between an open wallet and a closed browser or shop door.

In good feedback we trust
So, what wisdom should businesses take from these statistics? If glowing reviews of a service or product increase conversions and poor reviews drive potential customers away, then a good review must Palestinian Territories Email Lists be considered a prized possession. As should positive feedback on social media. Even if that feedback doesn’t drive immediate sales, it can help to strengthen a company’s credibility and build lasting trust. The very process of reviewing allows businesses and customers to build a relationship with each other, and this reciprocity, in the long term, will lead to better business.

Celebrate the good. Respond to the bad.
This means that ignoring a good review, or not responding to a bad review, is missing a trick. Businesses should share praise and encourage positive interaction on social media, without gloating or overdoing it, while using negative reviews as a chance to show their attentivity and care. Remember, reviews are a two-way street. They ignite dialogue, generate attention, offer businesses the chance to adapt and improve themselves. All serving to not just engage customers, but ideally hang on to them too.

So, what type of reviews should businesses be hoping for? And what differentiates a good review from an outstanding one, in terms of impact? There’s no denying that star ratings matter – an easy, visual way for consumers to make a confident and informed purchase. Customers look for a minimum of 3.4 stars before they’ll even consider engaging with a business, so the impact of a one-star review can be detrimental, especially if there’s not many reviews posted in the first place.

Finally, there’s authenticity. Businesses can’t just display their positive reviews for all to see. They must ensure they’re authentic. According to a survey by TotalRetail, if shoppers suspect a product has fake reviews, 36% wouldn’t purchase the product, and 28% wouldn’t trust the brand again. Trust is fundamental to the success of all relationships, especially those between a business and its customers. So, keep it real.

The internet has brought everything imaginable to our fingertips: organic grocery delivery, , a new car delivered to our door. But online reviews play a vital role in this buying process, and can impact everything from trust and loyalty, to sales and SEO. The power of online reviews is inarguable. But 20% of customers, despite often reading them, have still never written one.

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