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Online Reviews: Word of Mouth in the Digital Era

Why word of mouth is important when making purchasing decisions

Not so long ago, our parents would sit around the fireplace in the living room and talk about that newly acquired freezer or stove. Neighbors would also peep through the curtains while that new lounge suite was being offloaded by sweaty workmen. A day or so later, they would gather the courage to knock on your door and ask after the newly purchased furniture. You would, perhaps with some degree of vanity, gush about the merits of your acquisition. From there, the neighbor would track to the shops to buy an exact replica of your furniture, much to your disgust?

Why word of mouth is important for businesses

Word of Mouth is Important for Businesses

There can be no doubting the fact that word-of-mouth plays an important role in the decisions that people take when purchasing various products and services. Today, the world has become much more hidden, with excessively high walls symbolizing what we all think of our neighbors.

However, Word of Mouth still plays an important role in our purchasing decisions. Indeed, an estimated 13% of our purchasing decisions are driven by this phenomenon. This translates into around $6 trillion dollars on a yearly basis.

Why Online Reviews are important for businesses

Online Reviews are the digital age equivalent of the World of Mouth phenomenon that we have just been describing. Today, instead of peeking through the kitchens, the average housewife is likely to go on Yelp or some other review site before buying that Air Fryer that she has been dreaming about for so long.

The good thing about all this is that instead of getting just one or two recommendations about a particular product, these sites enable you to gain information from a wide range of sources. So, why are online reviews important? Why should businesses strive to have their customers leave reviews on online platforms? Here are a few reasons;

  1. 90% of people are likely to check out online reviews before visiting your business.
  2. Up to 88% of these people trust what they read on online review platforms.
  3. Having excellent reviews is likely to see your customers spending 33% more.
  4. Local businesses stand to benefit from online customers reviews. 77% of people say they trust a local business more if it has online reviews.
  5. Having 4 and five star reviews drives people towards local reviews.
  6. 86% percent of people will think twice before buying from a business that has negative reviews.
Best Online Review Sites
  • Amazon
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Bing Places
  • Consumer Reports
  • Demand Force (newer review site)
  • DoneRight.com
  • Epinions.com
  • Google My Business
  • Google+ Local / Google Places
  • Home Advisor
  • Insider Pages
  • Trip Advisor
  • Yahoo! Local
  • Yellow Pages
  • Yelp!
  • Which?
What does it all mean?

We have previously written an article in which we talk about getting Star Ratings in AdWords Ads and in organic search. If you have a business, it’s important for you to make sure that you are listed on, and direct your customers towards, one or more of these online review sites. Doing so allows you to get the kind of positive feedback that is useful in convincing other people to do business with you.

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