It is no secret that the online marketplace is full of information for consumers. Deducing a company’s authenticity is a focal point of online searches and decision making for online shoppers.
Today’s consumers have a lot of decisions to make on where to spend their money when shopping online and researching companies. Studies are finding that online reviews are an important way for businesses to stand out from the rest. Customers want the reviews to be authentic just as much as they want the business to be authentic. Reviews from fellow customers helps produce such authenticity.
A survey by the Pew Research Center made four key conclusions about how online reviews impact businesses:
82 percent of U.S. adults read online reviews
Almost every adult considers viewing a company’s reviews when purchasing from them for the first time. This decision may not even be related to an online purchase, or a purchase made through a company’s official website and social media. The Pew survey asked how consumers behave before making their first purchase from a company. This means that potentially all transactions a business makes can be affected by its online reputation. As stated above, Pew found that 82 percent of U.S. adults say they at least sometimes read online reviews, while 40 percent say that always or almost always do.
53 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds always read reviews for first-time purchases
Millennials are the largest population in the world, which means they have a huge presence online. They are the group most impacted by online reviews, with more than half (53 percent) of 18- to 29-year-olds saying they always read reviews when making a first-time buying decision, according to the Pew study. The more likely a group is to read reviews, the more often they trust that the reviews are more accurate, too.
Almost half of Americans believe customer ratings help confidence in purchases
Reviews help customers feel better about their buying decisions. Products gain attention through word of mouth and social circles, more than comments from salespeople. The positive and negative aspects of a product, or a business, are often discovered through a customer’s independent, online research – not always advertising. In fact, nearly half (46 percent) of Americans feel that the availability of customer ratings helps “a lot” toward feeling confident in a purchase, according to Pew.
Around 40 percent of adults have expressed feelings about a company on social media
Online reviews are being written by a wide-range of customers, not just social media influencers. Roughly 40 percent of adults have expressed their feelings about a company on social media, according to Pew. What’s more, nearly one in ten writes a review on nearly every business they interact with.
Delivering customer service experiences that lead to positive reviews is one of the best ways to get ahead. If a company wants to really dive into how to get more online reviews though, it needs to find the right business intelligence solution.
Sales Lasso is an SMS customer follow-up system that reaches customers right on their mobile devices. It activates satisfied customers by having them generate online reviews, follow-up sales and referral leads through automated, customizable campaigns.