Do online reviews matter? Yes, they do.
Reviews can inspire trust and credibility. Shoppers often look for customer reviews to learn more about your business, products and services before they buy. The Internet has also made it possible to find this information quickly, and mobile devices like smartphones have made it easier to find things on-the-go.
Studies find that users trust online reviews now more than ever. BrightLocalâ€™s Local Consumer Review Survey 2014, the latest of its local consumer reviews, conducted over 6 weeks in May-June 2014, revealed the growing importance of online reviews in the purchasing decision. An annual exploration into how consumers read and use online reviews, the survey showed that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. It also revealed that the proportion of people who read online reviews to determine whether a local business is a good business rose from 22% in 2011 to 39% in 2014.
It was the 4th year the survey had been conducted. As with the 2013 survey, the focus of the 2014 survey was on consumers in the North American market. The Local Consumer Panel which consisted of 5,000 individual consumers received 2,104 entries with 90% of respondents coming from the US and 10% from Canada.
The lessons from the survey: as a business owner, itâ€™s imperative that you monitor and manage whatâ€™s being said about you online.
Finding ways to stimulate positive reviews is essential to enhance your online presence and drive new business.