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Can online reviews be better for business than word-of-mouth?

79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, 70% of consumers consult online reviews before they make a purchase, and 71% of consumers say that online reviews make them feel more comfortable that they are buying the right product for them. So why is it that online reviews now have so much selling power?

Word-of-mouth has always been a powerful selling tool, you’re likely to trust someone’s personal recommendation. But now, that traditional word-of-mouth marketing has morphed into a new style where the word is travelling between strangers online rather than friends and family in person. And consumer to consumer recommendations are shown to be twice as effective as paid-for advertising when it comes to sales. So that means you should be encouraging it in your business.

Firstly, you need to make sure that you are providing a high quality product or service, and that you’re not overpromising and under-delivering. This will mean that any reviews are positive, which is obviously what people are looking for when they’re looking for that consumer back-up that they’re planning a sensible decision.

Then you need to find places to place these reviews. There are websites that are designed for specific industries such as TripAdvisor for the hospitality industry and Checkatrade for tradesmen. Or you can host reviews on your own online shop like you see on Amazon. You can get your web developer to build this into your website for you, or you can possibly use external services such as Reevoo similar to online retailer Cotswold Outdoor.

Then you need to encourage people to leave reviews for your products and services. You can add links to these on your business card, invoices, email receipts, or specifically send a follow-up email (these can be automated) to encourage people to leave reviews.

If you need help getting online reviews present on your website then get in touch and see how we can help: hello@webfwd.co.uk

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