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For years, local businesses have been told that customer reviews sites like Yelp can make or break them, but is that still the case?
When it comes to managing their online reputations, businesses face numerous challenges.
Thanks to the popularity of online reviews and social platforms that can give average consumers a large voice, negative online buzz can cause real damage to a company and its brand.
And in the case of small businesses, negative online buzz can literally kill.
It's not surprising that what people are saying about your business online can dramatically affect its prospects.
But despite the importance of customer reviews, many businesses still struggle to get their customers to say nice things about them and their products or services.
It will probably come as no surprise to find out that customer reviews are an important feature to include on an ecommerce site.
They help to educate shoppers who are researching their purchase and reassure them that they are making the right decision.
We’re so used to seeing product reviews that it looks odd, perhaps even suspicious, when a site doesn’t include them.
In fact it could be argued that reviews are so common nowadays that there’s a danger consumers will become immune to their charms or will become dubious as to their validity.
Nonetheless, a new survey of 2,000 UK consumers by Trustpilot has found that three out of four British shoppers (77%) consult online reviews before buying online, so clearly reviews are still incredibly important for driving conversions.
Customer reviews are a hugely important in ecommerce for improving your conversion rate, and can lead to an uplift of 18% in sales.
Research has shown that 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision and 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that has user reviews.
Annoyingly though, customers generally can’t be bothered to leave their feedback. As such you need to find ways of encouraging your customers to leave their feedback without coming across as desperate.
It’s a topic we’ve previously touched on in posts looking at how to organise ecommerce product reviews and how to optimise reviews for higher conversion rates.
And here are 10 tips to help you drive up the number of reviews on your site...
Thanks to the internet and the rise of business reviews sites, dealing with customers has arguably never been more complicated.
Never before has it been more important to cultivate strong customer relationships and to find ways to parlay them into online reviews that, in some cases, can be powerful drivers of business.
According to a recent Gartner study, brands are increasingly paying for fake online reviews, and by 2014, 15% of all reviews will be fake.
And it's not too difficult to figure out why: research has shown that 88% of consumers turn to online reviews when making a purchase.
Social media firestorms are a headache for brands and a boon for PR firms and agencies well-versed in responding to crisis. And with use of social media platforms only growing, they're not likely to go away any time soon.
But not all social media firestorms are the same.
For many merchants owners, daily deals services are very attractive. Their promise: lots of customers coming through the doors in a short period of time. And no up-front fees to boot.
The appeal of the daily deal has driven the growth of some of the fastest growing companies ever.
When you want to know whether the restaurant down the street is worth eating at, there's a decent chance you'll turn to online services like Yelp to see what other diners in your area have to say about it.
This is despite the fact that local government agencies, such as those that enforce health rules, probably have data that's more interesting to you than John Doe's angry rant about a rude waiter.
Make no doubt about it, social commerce is a reality online. From online reviews to cutting-edge social media experiments, user-generated content is playing an increasingly important role amongst businesses that sell and market online.
Bazaarvoice is a provider of social commerce technology and services. We spoke with Sam Decker, the company's Chief Marketing Officer, about the state of the market and how companies can make use of user-generated content to benefit their businesses.