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Archive for August, 2012

Aug
13

Online Reviews And Their Role In Your Business

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These days, more and more people use the World Wide Web to learn about a company, or the goods and services it offers. In fact, a poll carried out by the Wall Street Journal showed that more than 90% of customers trust information they find on the Internet more than any other sources. In that same survey, 78% of consumers said that television ads no longer have enough information they need. In a separate study conducted by Businessweek, it was discovered that 7 in every 10 consumers seek advice from consumer and expert reviews or ratings prior to making a purchase.

Reviews can be found on consumer protection websites, social networking sites, forums, shopping comparison sites, and other third party websites designed to aggregate consumer testimonials. Studies show that 64% prefer reading reviews they found through search engines, 58% on shopping sites, and 47% on the company’s website.

What these researches fundamentally demonstrate is that customers show great preference for consumer-submitted reviews. Companies that use online reviews in their marketing strategy, see an increase in sales of up to 18%. It is also revealed that reviews increase the duration that a customer browses a company’s website by 100%. In a separate survey, it was also found that company websites that displayed consumer reviews were more likely to convert visitors to actual paying customers.

The use of social networking sites to talk about consumer experiences is also an emerging trend and businesses that do so enjoy increased traffic to their own websites, and in turn, better sales. What’s great about utilizing these social networking websites is that it makes it convenient for consumers to share testimonials with their friends, co-workers, and loved ones.

Many consumers consider a favorable review as something that has an equal or greater bearing than price and special offers in terms of their purchasing decisions. This is mirrored in an online poll conducted by Webcredible, a customer experience agency, found that 29% of consumers consider positive reviews as the most important consideration when making purchases online.

There are a number of strategies you can employ to motivate consumers to leave reviews on your website. One would be directly soliciting for reviews. For instance, you can include a link to your social networking site or official website on your receipts and tell your customers to leave their comments and suggestions there. Giving incentives is also another effective approach to encouraging clients to make reviews. As an example, you can provide them coupons or discounts for doing so. It is important that you respond to these reviews in a professional and timely manner though. This will show that you care about your customer’s experiences and you’re committed to improving your services.

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