Online customer reviews are everywhere and hard to ignore. In fact, reviews have fast become the most popular online resource for businesses looking to build their reputation and pull in more customers.
But do customer reviews help sales?
It’s important to make the distinction between attracting customers and converting customers.
Sure, lots of reviews may attract a customer to a business, but whether they purchase a product or service, because of those reviews, is a different matter.
The answer? Let’s take a look at five key statistics about reviews and sales:
- #1: Customers spend up to 31% more on companies with excellent reviews
- #2: 87% of potential customers won’t consider businesses with low ratings
- #3: 72% of customers won’t take buying actions until they’ve read reviews
- #4: 92% of consumers report that the customer reviews they read influence their purchasing decisions
- #5: Customer reviews can increase conversions by 270%
The takeaway is clear: online reviews convert customers, help business sales and, as a result, significantly improve the chance of a business’s overall success.
Despite that, your business still needs to get more reviews to be able to get more customer sales.
Why Do Reviews Help Sales?
Reviews help sales, but why exactly is this the case?
As shown above, most customers won’t take buying action until they have read reviews and agree that other customers’ reviews influence their decision to make a purchase from a business.
It goes without saying that the more positive reviews your business has, the more appealing it is to customers.
It shows that your business delivers on its promises, so customers can feel assured they will get the service they want.
Aside from building trust and credibility, though, positive reviews have the potential to:
- improve local SEO on Google (Google reviews and Yelp reviews), causing your business to rank higher for relevant search queries
- help customers make informed purchase decisions based on the information other customers provide about a specific product/service in their reviews
- promote engagement, leading to more reviews
All of these factors can lead to increased sales for your business.
Do Negative Reviews Help Sales?
You might have noticed that the above only covered positive reviews. So, what about negative reviews? Do negative reviews increase sales?
The answer is… potentially.
Negative reviews, while unappealing to both businesses and customers, can still have upsides. And this is due to how negative reviews can:
- help customers to make informed decisions about a product/service through information other customers provide in their reviews
- add a layer of authenticity to business profiles on review sites
- make businesses more attractive due to the ability to reply to reviews, which businesses can use to showcase their values and level of customer care
Negative reviews are inevitable, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a business without a few negative reviews. Still, it is possible for bad reviews to help sales, but they don’t have as much positive influence as good reviews.
Does Replying To Reviews Help Sales?
Yes. In fact, Google actually encourages businesses to reply to the reviews they receive (on Google) as it will improve local SEO.
This means improved visibility and authority when search terms relevant to your business are typed in Google, which helps you to outshine competitors and draw more traffic to your business.
In addition to improving your business’s local search rankings, replying to reviews – on any review site – generates authenticity and transparency, as well as helps other customers make informed purchase decisions through the information you provide.
These points benefit your online reputation and business sales no matter whether it is a positive or negative review that you are replying to – and you should be actively replying to reviews as much as you can.
Reviews Help Sales… But Only If You Get Reviews
Of course all the benefits of reviews, including growing your online presence and increasing customer sales, only apply if your business gets reviews.
And not just a few reviews here and there, but a constant, steady stream of reviews across all the major review sites and platforms.
In fact, 85% of customers won’t entertain reviews older than 3 months. And this is vital to know because if your business stops getting reviews over a prolonged period for whatever reason, customers become suspicious.
The same applies if your business does not have that many reviews in general.
So to maximize sales you also have to increase the number of reviews your business receives on a consistent basis.
Needless to say, this is hard – especially when you should aim to get more reviews across multiple review sites, such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp, all of which are widely used by modern consumers.
On top of that, to get more reviews you need to gain online authority. But to gain online authority, you need to get more reviews.
Despite being a virtuous cycle, it has become the bane of most businesses wanting to increase their sales due to how difficult it is to achieve.
Get More Reviews To Get More Sales
We can’t talk about the problem of trying to get more reviews to increase sales without offering a solution. And the solution is simple.
ReputationStacker is a tool that automates the review process for your customers to make leaving online reviews easier. For your business, this means collecting more reviews.
Starting with a simple one-question survey about their experience, your customers are directed to leave you a review if their response is positive.
If negative, you are automatically notified so that you can handle the issue privately before the customer posts it online.
ReputationStacker’s streamlined, fully automated funnel makes it easy for customers to leave reviews – and for your business to get more reviews.
It’s simple but effective, and also allows you to choose which review sites your customers are sent to.
Ultimately, by collecting more positive reviews from your customers, your business will benefit from having an improved overall reputation that is going to boost your online authority and, as a direct result, increase customer sales.
Ian Kirby has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years. Having worked both with and for digital marketing agencies and in-house with multiple companies, he has a specific interest and expertise in online reputation management, online reviews, and the implementation of business systems. Ian’s writing, videos, and interviews have garnered millions of reads, views, and listens.