How Online Reviews Can Affect Your Business

Online customer reviews can, and will, affect businesses of all shapes and sizes. According to a study conducted by the market research and analytics firm Dimensional Research, a whopping 90% of consumers say their purchasing decisions are influenced by positive online reviews, while 86% claim to be influenced by negative reviews. But this is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact of online reviews.

It should come as little-to-no surprise that consumers base their shopping decisions largely on online reviews. After all, businesses can tout themselves as being the “best of the best” all they want, but they are biased in doing so. When a past customer posts a review of a business’s product or service, however, it’s more genuine and trustworthy. This is the underlying principle that makes online reviews so influential in consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Another reason why so many consumers base their purchasing decisions on online reviews is because they instill trust and credibility. With all of the recent cyber attacks and disclosures of personal information, consumers are hesitant to submit their credit card information to new websites and businesses. Thankfully, though, there’s a quick and easy way to show your customers that you can trusted: allow them to submit reviews.

Now that you know some of the benefits of allowing customer reviews, you might be wondering how to implement this feature on your website. There are several different options available when it comes to online reviews, one of which is to hard-code it directly into your website. Of course, this is a bit technical and time-consuming, but it can be done. An alternative method is to use a plugin or add-on for your site’s content management system (CMS), such as the WP Review Plugin.

You might be surprised to learn that you can also enable customer reviews on your Facebook page (note: this feature is only available for pages listed in the Local Businesses category). To enable customer reviews, click the About tab directly below your page’s cover photo, followed by “Page Info.” Next, click to edit the Address section, add the street address of your business and click “Save Changes.” This should reveal a map with your business in the center of it. Click once again to edit the Address section, and below the map click the box labeled “Show map, check-ins and star ratings on the page.” When you click “Save Changes,” customers will be able to submit reviews.

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