How technology and the Internet of Things have altered the way we shop is nothing unknown to us. With easy access to the web, we can now shop what we need without leaving your house. Be it books or assignment writing services, be it toothpaste to dental services – all you need is one click to buy products and avail of such online services. However, while the internet has made everything easily accessible, it has also made way for online scamming and phishing activities. This is where online reviews come in to play a significant role.
A survey showed how more than 70% of online shoppers make it a point to check at least ten reviews before making a purchase decision.
With e-commerce businesses and shopping apps replacing brick and mortar stores, online reviews have taken word-of-the-mouth recommendations. So, how do reviews affect a brand's performance? Let's delve a little deeper into the matter to understand how reviews work as a marketing and promotional technique.
5 Ways Ratings and Client Feedback Impact a Brand’s Success
Irrespective of the medium and niche, every business prospers when it garners appreciation from its clients and users, thus making online feedback a vital part of branding. On that note, let us now understand the role of reviews and how they can create a positive footprint online for your brand. Here you go!
1. Reviews act as social proof
Think from your perspective. Would you trust a TV ad more or reviews from acquaintances and even total strangers? Online testimonials prove and justify the social existence of your brand.
This is why 85% of customers read reviews to make sure that your brand isn't a money-laundering scam.
Moreover, with the web being awash with online stores, online reviews help you maintain a good reputation, thus setting your brand apart. When someone visits your brand website and sees that you mostly have five-star reviews, he or she feels a sense of security. This pushes the person towards making the final call and placing an order.
|Pro Tip: If you want clients to leave feedback about your products or services on your site or a social media account, incentivise their efforts by offering a coupon in return of a review. This will show your customers that you value them and motivate them to leave feedback.|
2. Online reviews lead to better brand visibility
Unless you are visible to users, you cannot taste brand success. No shopper types a website’s URL and visits the website. The chances are that they will look for solutions on a search engine like Google or Bing using keywords that are relevant to what they need. Some may even find out about your brand on Facebook or Instagram.
While using SEO tactics can help you index your website, another great way to ensure that the content machine works in your favour is online reviews. When you build a vine of reviews (preferably positive), search engine algorithms work in your favour, thus ranking your brand higher.
|Pro Tip: Ask your customers to leave an honest review of the purchase they have made. Since website dynamics work like the algorithms of Twitter, more reviews would make your brand a trending one, thus leading to more exposure.|
3. Positive reviews can build trust
When someone visits your brand website for the first time, the person will trust you when he or she finds out that other people have placed their trust in you. This has a domino effect and again lets others feel safe to trust your brand. Therefore, positive online reviews can help you build brand credibility and trust.
When buyers visit your site and see that many others have already purchased your products or invested in your services, the chances of views becoming sales are better. And, do not worry about the negative reviews. New users may let them go when they see that the scales inch towards good things more.
|Pro Tip: If you get a negative review, do not charge the customer or do not make the mistake of avoiding it. Instead, make sure to address the issue politely and apologise earnestly. If you want to cross-check the veracity, ask the customer politely if they could share the order ID. In several instances, good behaviour has proved to help retain customers who have had a bad experience.|
4. Online reviews make a brand the talk of the town
Good or bad, reviews can get people to talk about your brand, leading to increased visibility and traffic on your site. This is why you must encourage your clients to leave feedback about your products and services if you want to expand your brand’s reach.
Moreover, happy customers have the habit of sharing their great experience with others too, and that can increase your multi-channel footprint. When the reviews go beyond your official website and on external websites like TrustPilot and Yelp, you get a better ranking. That is because Google and other search engines collect data from review aggregator sites while ranking online brands.
|Pro Tip: Create profiles on well-known review aggregator sites and then link them to the testimonial section of your brand's site. This will add it all up and help you get a higher rank and better visibility on search engines.|
5. Online reviews work as an open line
When customers post reviews on a brand’s website, they expect you to either take their feedback into account or respond to a query. This way, you get an open forum where you can communicate with your consumers and show how grateful you are.
Most importantly, online feedback gives you an entry into the psyche of your customers, and you get to understand the areas in which your brand lacks in. You can make the required changes to show that your clients' feedback matters. When you connect with your customers on a personal level by replying to what they say and considering their suggestions, they tend to trust your brand more.
|Pro Tip: When a customer leaves a review, positive or negative, make it a point to reply as soon as possible. Be polite and show your gratitude for them taking out time to leave a comment on your website.|
The revenue your business mines are directly proportional to the high rating and positive reviews your brand gets. Therefore, if you want your brand to get the attention it deserves, requests your clients to leave reviews on your website by sending them follow-up emails. You can also incentivise the process to get them to devote time and write a testimonial.