When consumers decide to make a big purchase, such as a new computer, a winter coat, or an all-inclusive holiday package, they usually start their purchase journey with checking the brand’s digital channels: a website, a Facebook page, or a blog. They then move on to comparison shopping, to see how the product or service in question stacks up to the competition. Through this entire decision-making process, there’s a consistent factor at play that’s been shown to have a tremendous amount of influence over consumers, online reviews.
Whether it’s customer testimonials on a brand’s website, contributed influencer content on a brand’s blog, product reviews and ratings on comparison shopping sites, or chatter on social channels, today’s consumers care a lot about the experience other people have had with a brand’s products or services before making a big purchase decision. According to our marketing experts, 85% of consumers, aged 16 to 34, said they trusted verified reviews more than any other source of information. Furthermore, 64% of adults would gladly share a positive experience they had with a brand with other consumers while 57% would opt into sharing a negative experience through digital and social channels.
Consumers use the experiences of previous consumers to visualise the kind of experience they may have with a specific product or service. How can businesses utilise this valuable feedback to their advantage? They can start by simply asking their consumers. Employees can lead the incentive by explaining that their review will not only help you improve your own products and services but also help make a positive impact on other consumers who are shopping around. Go a step further by inviting customers to share a unique story about how the product or service positively impacted their life. Businesses should also interact further with customers by responding to their reviews. It’s important to let customers know that their views matter, even if the business disagrees with the views or cannot help solve the problem.
It is evident that online reviews are an integral part of the customer’s buying journey. Customers want to have a deeper connection with the brands they love. Online reviews may lead to a more meaningful relationship with your customers and should be integrated into business marketing efforts.
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