The Importance of Online Consumer Reviews
How important are online reviews to your local business? Does your business rely on 3rd party review sites like Trip Advisor, Yelp, Amazon, or Open Table? What about Google reviews? If your business is in the hospitality sector, you’re likely to be most affected by online reviews.
The truth is, local businesses have a lot to gain from positive reviews and a lot to lose from negative reviews. 69% of all consumers will search the internet for online reviews of a product, service, hotel, restaurant, or attraction, before making a decision to purchase.
Think about that for a second. They aren’t asking their Facebook friends or their neighbours, like we all did back in the day. Instead, today’s consumers know that they can find legitimate reviews online for just about anything.
Online reviews are a very powerful source of information that has a major impact on consumer behaviour, consumer loyalty, and the entire purchasing process. I found an incredible infographic from Web Republic (see below) that describes the latest trends in online reviews and underscores why your local business should pay attention to its online reviews.
Online Reviews Will Affect Your Business One Way or Another
When looking at the data in the graphic below, you’ll find that studies show that there is a strong correlation between positive online reviews and sales. Surprised? I hope not, it seems pretty obvious. Products with positive reviews sold 200% more than products that had no ratings or reviews.
When local business owners are told by their digital marketing teams to post online reviews directly on their e-commerce website, guess what happens? That’s right, sales increase. 42% of e-commerce sites reported an increase in the average order value after including reviews of their products.
To take that a step further, consider how ratings affect consumer behaviour. Products rated 4.5 stars (out of 5) seem to sell 3x more than products with 5 stars. Whaaaaaat?
72% of consumers will consider buying a product or service with a 3-star rating, however only 27% of consumers will consider a product or service with a 2-star rating.
How Online Reviews Influence Consumer Behaviour
While only 28% of American consumers have written online reviews, 84% of all consumers read online reviews, and 72% of all consumers trust online reviews. Whoa.
When you compare online reviews with reviews directly from friends and family, the latter are trusted more so than the former. Reviews from experts or with celebrity endorsements are less trusted than random online reviews.
Most consumers will read between 4-6 online reviews before they fully trust a business. 30% of consumers assume online reviews are faked, if there aren’t any negative reviews. Consumers are heavily influenced by product reviews, regardless of where they are in the purchasing process.
Local SEO and Online Reviews
Have you ever thought that positive online reviews would improve your website’s SEO? According to the infographic below, businesses with more reviews and better reviews than their competitors have higher SEO rankings.
In terms of Local SEO, positive online reviews are particularly important for local searches as they influence up to 10% of the ranking.
The Wrap & The Infographic
Both businesses and consumers are heavily influenced by online reviews. Reading, comparing, and writing online reviews is essential to the consumers purchasing process and in return, have a major effect on global business sales and e-commerce.
As promised, here is the infographic with more incredible statistics to make you want to pay more attention to the importance of online reviews for your business.
Infographic via WebRepublic.com
* Featured Image Source