With online reviews continuing to grow in importance over the past few years, it can be hard to determine where exactly your business fits within the matrix. We have all probably come across the astounding statistics at one point or the other. Around the world, consumers confess to being heavily influenced in their purchasing decisions by online reviews. In fact, more than 90 percent of consumers state that they first look up online reviews before making purchases. Online reviews are, therefore, a tool that no serious brand can afford to ignore. But are they for everyone? Which sectors of the economy can benefit the most from online reviews?
Who stands to benefit the most from online reviews?
The following are some of the sectors of the economy that stand to benefit the most from online reviews:
1. Ecommerce businesses
If you own an ecommerce business, then your business is one of those that stands to benefit the most from harnessing the power of online reviews. Ecommerce sites rely heavily on the feedback that is left by previous customers to convince people to make purchases. That is hardly surprising, all things being considered. Human beings, by their very nature, do not have that much of a pioneering spirit. Forget all that you may have heard about people being explorers. The average person likes to tread where others have previously trodden. It’s a safety thing.
Anyway, ecommerce businesses can benefit from this quality to build trust around their businesses. That, in turn, will have the effect of exponentially boosting business. But how does it all work for ecommerce concerns?
- Ecommerce businesses need to make sure that they are collecting reviews through their websites. Let’s assume, as an example, that you own an online store selling shoes. What you need to do is make it as simple as possible for your customers to review your business. One way of doing this is by making sure that your customers get automatically prompted for feedback upon checkout. There are many ways through which you can do this, including by hiring a company such as eKomi, that automates the online reviews management process.
- You should also make sure that your business has as many listings as possible. That’s because people will still be able to review your business on Google Maps and on Yelp even if you have not claimed your page. And usually the person who does that is one who is angry. So, you need to seize control of the narrative as a way of managing your online reputation.
- Make sure that reviews get displayed on your website, including on your product pages. That way, people who visit will instantly get the social proofing that is needed to convince them to become customers.
Restaurants, along with other local businesses, including bars and cafes, are another type of business that stands to benefit the most from online reviews. But why are online reviews important for restaurants? Well, how about the fact that more than 33 percent of diners will stay away from an establishment that has a rating of below 4 stars on platforms such as TripAdvisor, Yelp and Google? The thing about local businesses is that their reach is rather limited. Nobody is going to, as an example, drive across town just to visit a restaurant. If you own one, you will understand very well that your reach may be restricted to about three miles around the physical location of your establishment. And that’s stretching it.
Over time, this type of business engenders a high degree of loyalty from the customer. If you provide a good service, people are likely to become devoted customers. And they will become your brand’s ambassadors. Yet, the opposite is also true. If you provide a shoddy service, your business will suffer A LOT. That’s because you operate within a tight knit community, where everyone is seemingly on a first name basis with everybody else. So, how can restaurants and other local businesses benefit from online reviews?
- By being listed in as many local business directories as is possible.
- Make sure that your business has a verified Google My Business profile. Google My Business is how you can begin appearing in local Google Maps results. Businesses that do this benefit in terms of increased credibility. People know that they are dealing with a real entity, and not with some fly-by-night Internet creation that is only there to fleece them of their money.
- Display online reviews on your website and even in your physical store. Why not? Doing this only adds to your credibility.
- Make it easy for people to review your business. This point applies to everyone. But your task is a bit simpler. Due to the intimacy that we have already stated, it’s easier to have personal interaction with your customers. This simplifies the process of convincing them to review your business. Fact is; people are not naturally inclined to leave reviews. Only 1 in 8 will do so after eating at a restaurant.
If your business is in the banking industry, then it’s also one of those that stands to benefit the most from online reviews. So, what are the factors that affect people’s choices when it comes to banking? How do they choose who to trust with their money? Well, 63 percent of Millennials state that online reviews are part of the decision making matrix in this regard. So, there you have it! If you wish to succeed in this sector, you should do everything to harness the power of online reviews.
4. Vehicle Industry
Vehicle purchases tend to be rather big investments. As such, no one is going to simply walk into a dealership to buy a car without first reading reviews about both the dealership and their preferred vehicle brand. In fact, 91 percent of people use online reviews to determine whether or not they are going to do business with a particular dealership.
Those in the healthcare industry can also benefit from the power of online reviews. If you are a doctor, as an example, you can use reviews to spread the word about your business. The great thing about this is you are much more likely to be able to convince people to review your business due to the close interaction that you have with your customers while executing your duties. And with 51 percent of people first assessing doctors through online reviews, it’s clear that the impact of reviews on your practice can be far reaching.
Book a demo with eKomi to see how your industry can benefit from online reviews.