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Online Consumer Reviews and Your Website

August 22, 2011

When it comes to online consumer purchasing decisions, one area that is growing in significance is the influence of other people’s opinions. Similar to the offline world, word of mouth is equally influential online. It is also helpful to remember that reviews read and shared online don’t just stay there, the people who wrote or read these, may also tell others whom they see at home, in a social environment or at work.

According to Marketingcharts.com, research performed by Deloitte’s Consumer Products Group showed that the two top factors that influence a consumer’s decision to purchase a new product / brand are a) the reputation of the manufacturer or supplier and b) friends and family comments.

Consumer generated reviews have been shown to be a critical factor in influencing a consumers purchasing decisions.  These platforms may seem like an inconvenience to some business owners, but in fact they offer a great way for you to monitor your brands reputation online, find areas where you can improve on, respond to both negative and positive feedback in a constructive way, and even identify new product ideas or marketing initiatives.

Where Do You Find Online Consumer Reviews?

Online reviews can be found in many places on the web including: your website testimonials page, on blogs, on consumer product/service review sites such as TripAdvisor and The Review Centre, on Google Places listings and of course on social media profiles where consumers have posted product/service feedback to people in their social networks.

Social Media & Consumer Reviews

With the emergence of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the opportunities for people to find out what others think about a particular brand, company, product and/or service is quick and instantaneous.  

When it comes to Facebook and Twitter for instance; friends, work colleagues and family opinions are only a status update or Tweet away.  A simple, ‘What’s the best (your product or service)? Where can I buy one?’ will get instant feedback.  A global online shopping report performed by Nielsen Wire reported that ‘while checking online reviews are popular for some products—particularly consumer electronics and cars—shoppers still trust the recommendations of friends and family’.

By having your business on one or both of these social media platforms, you can get your brand/company out there, build up brand awareness, monitor your brands reputation and keep in contact with users of your brand.  Investing in a Facebook marketing and/or Twitter marketing campaign is a great way to provide product/service information to consumers during the purchase decision making process and as a way of keeping fans/followers up to date with new brand/company information .

Google Places & Consumer Reviews

If you have a Google Places page for your local business, then something important you may not be aware of are the recent changes to the layout and content available on these pages. Google removed reviews from third party sites including TripAdvisor, focusing solely upon reviews made directly to a Google Places page instead. Therefore, if you have a Google Places page for your local business it is imperative that you encourage your customers, clients and vendors to login and post feedback about your products and/or services directly. If you are not familiar with Google Places pages and you have a local business you should definitely set up or claim your business’s page today. Now that Google Places pages are integrated with the Google organic search results, having your Places page appear in these results can attract valuable traffic to your website.  The number of reviews associated with your Places page appears alongside your listing in the search results – so the more you have the more likely a consumer will be to click on your Places page and read others comments.

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Filed under Digital Marketing

Written by

Jess joined Apex in 2005 after graduating from Massey University with a Bachelor of Business Studies majoring in Marketing. As an Account Manager at Apex, Jess is responsible for the management of a large number of Search Engine Marketing campaigns. Jess is a Google Adwords Qualified Individual managing numerous campaigns for our clients across a broad range of industries and a...

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