Article Written by Katina Jaye Beveridge, ASBAS Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre.

If you’re disregarding online reviews of your business or products or they aren’t part of your marketing strategy, then you’re not making the most out of your resources. Did you know 90% of consumers read online reviews first before visiting a business or making a purchase? Additionally, 88% of consumers trust online customers’ reviews like personal recommendations.

In fact, positive reviews make customers trust the business more while negative reviews lead to a bad reputation. Having a positive online presence offers several key advantages, which is why online reviews are becoming a key part of branding.

Benefits of Online Reviews

  • Social proofs drive purchases – Consumers are more likely to make a purchase if others around them agree that it is a good decision. The biggest source of social proof is online reviews and they have a clear impact on sales.
  • Online reviews make your business more visible – Being successful means being visible. People will know more about you if they read about you all the time. Customer reviews give you a steady pipeline of positive content that search engines love, giving your brand more exposure in the search engines.
  • Customer reviews make you look trustworthy – Positive reviews can build significant trust and credibility for your brand. Many customers distrust brands that have ratings below four stars. Companies with better average ratings, on the other hand, are more likely to see page views and visits converted to traffic and sales.
  • They are essential to decision making – About two-thirds of consumers consider online reviews as an essential part of the decision-making process. When people want to know the best places to go or the best products to buy, they turn to Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and even social media for suggestions.
  • Consumer reviews have a direct impact on your bottom line – Businesses that are viewed positively tend to have better sales. Even a small improvement on your star rating can have a massive impact. According to research, a one-star increase on boosts sales by 5% to 9%.
  • Reviews give you an open line to your customers – Customers today expect businesses to respond to their comments and reviews. More importantly, reviews give you a way to quickly respond to a poor review and show that you care.

Now, the question is, how can you get customers to review your brand? Encourage customers to leave their thoughts and share their experiences on various platforms, such as:

  • Your website
  • Google My Business      
  • Amazon              
  • Facebook           
  • Yelp      
  • Trip Advisor       
  • BBB (Better Business Bureau)   
  • Yellow Pages       
  • TrueLocal
  • Word of Mouth

Good luck with your review gathering campaign.