"I need more online reviews!" Well, of course you do. But why?
If you're a retail business owner, you know that online reviews are important for your business. In many ways, your online presence is almost as important than your physical shop presence.
You've seen potential customers standing outside your door, consulting their phone or tablet to make sure your products and services are highly rated. You've gotten phone calls based on online reviews from Google and Facebook.
You may have even contacted a review service like Yelp to minimize the effect of negative reviews. Or maybe Yelp called you (don't worry and don't stress - you're not alone).
The reason that positive online reviews help you is that they validate your mission and the experience you provide to your customers. They counteract bad press and negative reviews. They also give you feedback about what customers like about your business - and what they'd like you to improve.
Perhaps most importantly, online reviews provide "social proof" to other potential customers about what they can expect from your business.
And that's why getting more positive online reviews can be a total game changer for your business.
How Much Do Online Reviews Boost Sales?
You may be wondering if a few reviews on one review platform can really influence the purchase decision of a potential customer. The short answer is yes, absolutely.
A recent survey found that product reviews can boost online sales by as much as 62 percent. The survey also showed that the average order value increased by 3 percent when shoppers read reviews.
Just the mere fact that shoppers can read reviews at all increases they amount they spend.
Yes, but what's the actual value of reviews in monetary terms?
First, the mechanics of how it works: Positive customer reviews typically trigger an increase in your conversion rate, leading to a steady stream of new customers. Conversely, dissatisfied customers who share their bad experiences with negative feedback on review sites can have a negative impact on customer trust and this reduces your chances of new foot traffic.
More specifically, while it's difficult to calculate the value of positive reviews from happy customers (or the cost of negative reviews from unhappy customers) in dollars, and while it of course varies from business to business, a Harvard Business School study concluded that a 1-star increase in Yelp rating increased revenue 5-9 percent. That's a serious increase, and it illustrates just how powerful online reviews are.
How Many People Read Online Reviews?
A recent survey revealed 88 percent of respondents occasionally or regularly read online reviews of local businesses.
These respondents use reviews to make a decision about where to shop. More recently, that number went has consistently gone up to over 90%, every single year.
This is so powerful that it's worth repeating:
Research shows that 9 out of 10 consumers read online reviews about your business.
A recent Ask Your Target Market survey indicated that 75 percent of respondents check online reviews before making purchases always, most or half of the time, and 73 percent of those surveyed said online reviews were important to them.
Like it or not, your customers are posting and reading reviews about your business. Too many negative reviews, fake reviews (good or bad), or a complete lack of reviews can hurt your business.
And yet one of the main concerns is that very few people leave online reviews. And this is where the opportunity comes in for you.
How Can You Get More Positive Online Reviews?
The good news is that there are many ways to get more reviews for your business on Yelp and Google. You just have to know how.
What about getting Facebook reviews? Yes of course.
And what about the hundreds of other review sites? Don't worry:
Getting more online reviews is easy... if you know how (and we know how).
First, you need to ask your customers for a review.
The survey mentioned above showed that 70 percent of customers were willing to leave a review if the business asked them to do so.
Also it's very important to have recent reviews. The same survey revealed that 69 percent of customers thought a review that was three or more months old was no longer valid.
Next, make it easy for customers to find out how to review your business. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Mention it to them in person, especially after a positive experience.
- Offer incentives to employees who get customers to provide a review.
- Link to your profile pages on review sites from your website, and add review site badges.
- Show links to your review sites on your receipts and invoices.
- Add review site links to your email signature.
If it's starting to sound like it's hard work to get more online reviews... well, that's because it is.
Fortunately there's a solution that makes getting more positive online reviews from your customers easy...
ReputationStacker Does The Work For You
ReputationStacker helps you get more positive reviews from your customers (on the review sites of your choice), and stop bad reviews before they happen. And best of all: it's completely automated.
The reviews are not fake or computer-generated. They're from your real customers (or patients, or clients, etc), the ones you've been wanting for so long to post reviews.
Here's how it works: You upload your customer's email addresses or phone numbers into your secure and private ReputationStacker Dashboard. That's all you have to do.
The system takes it from there, sending your customers an invite to provide feedback about their experience at your business. The system then automatically directs customers who had a positive experience to your profile pages on the review sites of your choice.
ReputationStacker also lets you know which customers have had a negative experience. This helps you resolve outstanding issues so that you can reach out to these customers before they post a bad review.
If you need help getting email addresses or phone numbers, ReputationStacker has a built-in solution that works every time.
Want more details about ReputationStacker's automated software? Check out the "How It Works" page.
Make Getting Online Reviews Easy
The time to start focusing on improving the quality and quantity of the reviews you're getting is yesterday.
If you don't have a regular system in place for getting more positive online reviews and stopping negative reviews, then start right now.
Talk to your employees about the importance of customer experience and online reviews, listen to both happy and upset customers, and note the experiences that customers seem to enjoy most.
After all, getting reviews isn't just about generating new business; it's also about using the feedback in the reviews to improve the customer experience (which of course leads to new business... and the positive cycle continues).
Check out ReputationStacker and start getting the reviews that will put your business on the right track.
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.