Although marketing technology frequently changes, the consumer's need for social proof continues to outweigh other forms of advertising. An article by Psychological Science finds that "Given two products with similar ratings, consumers are more likely to buy the product with more reviews." This statistic, along with several others, proves the power of online reviews.
Along with social proof, feedback provides insight into the customer experience, increases revenue, and enhances brand awareness. The next time someone from your team asks why reviews matter, then share these data-backed reasons.
Customer reviews improve SEO
Building your brand's web presence isn't a simple task. By keeping a steady stream of recommendations coming in, you're adding heft to your search engine visibility. According to Moz, online reviews make up an estimated "10% of how Google and other search engines decide to rank search results." Which means that customer feedback, regardless if that's from positive or negative reviews, does more to enhance your listing on the SERP page than most people think.
Recommendations influence buyer behavior
There's no doubt that psychology plays a role in why social proof works. Customers are comforted by the words and personal thoughts of others. 3D Cart says that “Reviews make 71% of customers more comfortable purchasing a product.” Consumers view reviews as similar to recommendations from a trusted friend.
Additionally, the perceived authenticity of customer reviews helps consumers choose from a variety of products and services. Impact reports that "85% of Millennials say reviews influence their purchasing choices." This suggests that online reviews can sway consumers towards or away from a purchase based on the available buyer feedback.
Online reviews increase revenue
The benefits of word-of-mouth advertising are well-known. However, today’s digital world offers multiple outlets for peer-to-peer discussion about products and services. It’s important to track and analyze the ROI of customer reviews. Numerous studies show that consumers rely on reviews and many won’t even consider your product if no reviews exist. Also, a pricier purchase means a higher influence of online reviews. Spiegel Research Center states that displaying reviews can boost conversion rates by 270%, but for higher-priced purchases, that rate shoots up to a whopping 380%.
Reviews provide customer feedback
Marketing and customer service professionals value feedback because it offers insight into the customer experience. With Gartner reporting that "two-thirds of a company's competitive edge is based on the experience they deliver to their customers," staying on top of consumer expectations is crucial. Growing a business through sales means accepting and learning from feedback. Leverage reviews to take swift action when faced with a problem. Then use the review to respond to the customer and demonstrate your credibility to others for social proof.
Customers want to read online reviews
The bottom line is that customers want to read customer reviews. Chances are, if you don't provide a way to gather reviews, then your clients will go someplace else and share their opinion. With Content Marketing Institute and SmartBrief saying that "66% of buyers use sources outside of vendor materials during the research phase," it's essential to give customers the content they want to read. Deliver more of what your customers want by generating online reviews regularly.