Online reviews are part of many consumers “due diligence” process when making a buying decision, and the reviews impact all types of businesses beyond the online retailers. Like it or not, online reviews have become your reputation. People share reviews on popular sites such as Yelp and Google Places in addition to postings on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, forums and many other social sharing and social media sites. Buying decisions are impacted by what other people say about your product or service.
How is your online reputation impacting your business? Do you know what others are saying about your business online? Customer reviews can enhance your business, but bad reviews can be ruinous. This may seem intuitive, but let’s move beyond intuition and into facts. Here are some statistics complied by Search Engine People about the impact of online consumer reviews.
- Traffic to the top 10 review sites grew on average 158% last year (Compete.com)
- 97% who made a purchase based on an online review found the review to be accurate (Comscore/The Kelsey Group, Oct. 2007)
- 92% have more confidence in info found online than they do in anything from a salesclerk or other source (Wall Street Journal, Jan 2009)
- 90% of online consumers trust recommendations from people they know; 70% trust unknown users, 27% trust experts, 14% trust advertising, 8% trust celebrities (Econsultancy, July 2009, Erik Qualman, Socialnomics)
- 75% of people don’t believe that companies tell the truth in advertisements (Yankelovich)
- 70% consult reviews or ratings before purchasing (BusinessWeek, Oct. 2008)
- 7 in 10 who read reviews share them with friends, family & colleagues thus amplifying their impact (Deloitte & Touche, Sept. 2007)
- 51% of consumers use the Internet even before making a purchase in shops (Verdict Research, May 2009)
- 45% say they are influenced a fair amount or a great deal by reviews on social sites from people they follow (46% say reviews in newspaper or magazine influence them.) (Harris Poll, April 2010)
- 34% have turned to social media to air their feelings about a company. 26% to express dissatisfaction, 23% to share companies or products they like. (Harris Poll, April 2010)
- Why do they share? 46% feel they can be brutally honest on the Internet. 38% aim to influence others when they express their preferences online (Harris Poll, April 2010)
- Reviews on a site can boost conversion +20% (Bazaarvoice.com/resources/stats ‘Conversion Results’)
When deciding where to spend your marketing dollars, consider the impact of online reviews. Online reputation management is key part of any business strategy. Contact Us to discuss how we can help you manage and improve your online reputation.