Why do people read and care about user reviews?
In recent years, there has been a great increase in the “trust rating” of online user reviews. Back in the day, user reviews were generally viewed with at least some mistrust because they weren’t written by experts.
Today, thorough reviews from industry experts are hard to find but there is an abundance of user reviews. This is likely the reason why people are flocking to read user reviews before making any buying decisions online.
Here are some current statistics regarding online buying behavior:
– 88% were influenced by both positive & negative reviews.
– 39%-41% made buying-related decisions after visiting review websites.
– 29%-39% made buying-related decisions after viewing the main company’s website.
– 22%-25% of all online buyers were influenced after reading about products and services on Twitter and Yelp.
Source: Dimensional Research
What do these figures mean?
The current statistics show us that people are more likely to buy or avoid a product after getting direct information from other people. From a psychological point of view, this is called ‘herd instinct’ where members of a population allow themselves to be led by perceived authority figures.
In the case of the Internet, people who take the time to write reviews about products and services are considered the authority figures. The mere presence of a user review is enough to capture the attention of potential buyers.
What’s interesting in this scenario is that when there’s direct information from the product manufacturer, that information is also taken into consideration by online consumers. In short, if there’s genuine information about a product, potential buyers are interested in finding and reading them.
What should you do to protect your online business?
You can protect your online business by making sure that your customers’ needs are met with the highest standards.
Don’t let a customer walk away with a bad experience. Always exert extra effort in solving your customers’ problems even if you think it’s no longer within your ‘jurisdiction’ as the business owner.
Why? Because a bad customer review can become so popular that people will take one look at an old, established review and use that as a sole reference when buying stuff from your store. People will rarely spend hours researching about a certain product unless that product is expensive.
How can you engage your customers more?
You can engage your old customers and potential customers through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Big brands like Samsung have already jumped on the social media bandwagon a long time ago and these multinationals are taking full advantage of the medium. They are able to promote new products and gather direct feedback from their followers and supporters.
The ROI or return of investment in social media can be measured in how actively people “Like” or share your content. Of course, promotions can also be measured in terms of number of clicks and the generated profit for each promotional event.