Online Reviews and Portals: Are They Helpful or Harmful to Businesses

When looking for a flower shop, a restaurant, a craftsman, a doctor, or a holiday home, many interested parties not only look for the closest, best or cheapest offer on the Internet, but they are also interested in the online reviews and experiences of other buyers and guests and patients.

How to respond to online reviews?

The times when occasional advertisements in newspapers or magazines, a brochure, a nice shop window or a friendly personal word with the customer increased sales are probably over for good. Today, interested parties use the Internet to get an idea of ​​the company, the products, and the service before making a purchase. Review websites like YouReviewIt provide various consumer reviews of various products and services. And as a bonus, they provide tutorials navigating these websites which makes it easier for many consumers online.

Online reviews create advantages

The V-belt has snapped and the car urgently needs to be taken to the workshop – but which one is the best? In situations like this, many customers turn to opinions they read on online review portals such as KennstDuEinen, Yelp, or Google MyBusiness, but now also on traditional directory portals. For a company to do well on the Internet, it needs more than its own website – companies with good online ratings have a competitive advantage here.

Online reviews – a magnet for new customers?

Ratings by users and customers on the Internet are an important criterion for every entrepreneur these days. More and more Internet users are researching the opinions of other buyers before going to the store or making a purchase in the online shop. High customer satisfaction also tempts new potential customers to buy.

Online ratings are playing an increasingly important role and thus have a significant influence on the purchase decision, especially that of new customers. According to trustedshop.de, 90% of consumers trust reviews. So it can happen that as a consumer you let yourself be carried away by positive reviews and make a purchase that you would not have made without it. This shows that customers usually trust the ratings of other users more than the information provided by the manufacturer.

Directories with ratings or rating portals such as Go local or Yelp are therefore the first choice for many before they visit an online shop or shop. Today, the opinions and ratings of other customers influence the purchase decision just as much as the previous classic selection criteria. This turns reviews and field reports into measures for customer acquisition on the Internet. Studies show that around 85% of purchasing decisions today are positively influenced by customer reviews and ratings.

Many SMEs have no idea what power ratings can really have in winning new customers. Testimonials and customer reviews are important to gain the trust of prospects. Referral marketing on the Internet can be crucial to success and thus have a significant impact on sales.

Read also: Golden Rules of Closing a Sale for Businesses

Online reviews increase awareness

Positive ratings ensure that the company becomes better known and that sales and the popularity of a company increase. At the same time, ratings can ensure that your own website climbs up the Google hit list and is, therefore, more likely to be found and selected than that of the competition. Websites with many real reviews are more interesting for the user, which is why Google lists these company websites higher up in the organic search results. If this increases the number of website visitors, this also leads to better placement in the Google ranking.

Online reviews are therefore becoming increasingly important as a decision-making aid. Service providers and local retailers should seek customer reviews to set themselves apart from the competition. For a long time now it has not only been the younger generation who use the Internet to obtain information in advance. Users 50+ are also increasingly interested in obtaining the opinions of other customers online in advance. People are particularly keen to search for catering establishments, retailers, craftsmen, and car workshops.