When consumers think about purchasing certain products or services, they will typically do extensive online research first; about the item’s quality and functionalities; about the manufacturer of the product; or regarding the company offering certain services. The ability to connect with other consumers online during this research phase creates an opportunity for prospects to discover what prior purchasers think about their experience in contrast to or support of the marketing efforts made by the company selling the products and services.
This need for honest information from other product or service purchasers, without any marketing influence, prompted a tremendous increase in consumer based reviews, as well as forum discussions and personal blogs. As of 4/15/15, an average of 142 million unique visitors look up reviews on Yelp.com per month and 200,000 of them call or get directions to a business they found on Yelp.com daily! As of 12/2014, TripAdvisor.com, a travel review sites, averages 340 million unique views per month. These numbers provide no doubt that people are using online review sites to help make buying decisions.
Popular products and services attract a larger numbers of reviews. If those reviews are positive, the reviews actually help increase the popularity of these products and services. The more positive reviews a product has, the more trust the consumer places in that product due to so many “unbiased” opinions expressed. When there are many reviews vs. just a few, this is even more compelling, as it is less likely that these reviews came from employees, friends, and family vs. being authentic comments.
In various studies and statistics analyzing the effect of online reviews on products, it has been established that positive reviews may indeed have a major, positive impact on sales, influencing buying decisions of prospect. In fact, even if a person has received a personal referral to a business, they will often look online to make sure that the overall reviews are as positive as the review from the original referrer.
A significant amount of positive online reviews can definitely sway a prospect into becoming a customer. Have questions on how to increase your business’s positive reviews? Contact us today at 800-768-8428 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.