Although not a ‘new trend’ by any stretch, many marketing departments are starting to realise the value a good review has in the online space.
Organic traffic from SEO continues to be one of the best sources of web traffic for businesses. While there are lots of elements involved in ranking, the number of reviews you have is a key factor. Google looks at your Google reviews, Facebook reviews, Yelp reviews and more. If you have a 1-star rating, it’s going to reflect poorly in your search engine rankings.
Online reviews can also make or break a sale. Half of adults under the age of 50 regularly check online reviews before purchasing a new item. With this in mind, many businesses are becoming increasingly aware that it is important to have a system implemented that asks for reviews during the customer lifecycle; crucially, without incentivisation.
It’s also worth using online reviews more as a marketing tool as it costs nothing and has the potential to gain traction quite easily. People trust people, not brands, and the rise of user-generated content is fast outranking all other forms of marketing when it comes to influencing purchase decisions. According to a YouGov survey in 2017, just over 1/3 of consumers always check reviews before purchasing a product or service and slightly less than 1/2 (48%) sometimes check reviews. Only 6% of respondents never read online reviews at all.
The Seaweed Bath Co., a manufacturer, wholesaler and online retailer of seaweed-based skin, hair and personal care products, leveraged consumer-generated content to build its brand in the mass market. They turned to Bazaarvoice, a ratings and reviews platform, to help collect authentic product reviews from consumers and distribute them to its retail customers. In 10 months, 100 reviews were collected, and since then the number of customer reviews in the retailer’s e-Commerce store has roughly doubled. Kim Chisholm, CEO of The Seaweed Bath Co., remarked “In working to build awareness out of the gate, the most important thing is to show and share feedback from customers.”