Ratings and reviews have never had a stronger influence on consumer’s decision like in the digital era. The development of the sharing economy enabled people to share goods and services with complete strangers, but they can’t verify their trustworthiness based on personal recommendation. In fact, users have to rely on ratings and reviews to evaluate their reputation.
The disruption in consumer’s habits has shifted to local businesses as well. It’s very common for people nowadays to use their computer or their smartphone to look for all kind of information, especially before making a purchase decision. It’s fast, convenient and time saver for the consumers.
Reading reviews: a systematic step in consumer’s decision process
What struck us the most is the number of people reading online reviews: the majority (91%) do so. This proportion illustrates how important feedback is for consumers. Thus, it’s really dangerous for a business today to not pay attention to its online reputation, which can reveal a lot on consumer’s opinion.
Indeed, 60% of people are influenced by bad reviews to the point that they don’t want to use a business. In order to reverse a bad reputation, analyzing customer’s reviews is a good start. By knowing what’s wrong with the business, it’s easier to find solutions for bringing the customers back.
Reviews as a trusted indicator
As we mentioned earlier, ratings and reviews are sometimes the only indicators people can get on a business’s reputation. This is why 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Information is now widespread and businesses often have a sufficient amount of reviews to impact consumer’s decision.
Customers are demanding
Ratings are equally significant for potential customers. 84% of them want a business to have at least 3 to 5 stars ratings if they are to use it. Usually, the number of ratings will be superior to reviews as it’s a really easy process and doesn’t require users to write any text. In addition, it’s often the first element they will notice about businesses when doing a research on Google. Therefore, a low rating could quickly strike them off the list.
What can we learn from it?
In 2016, only 9% of consumers didn’t pay attention to online reviews and this number is decreasing every year. It has almost become a mandatory stage in the customer’s journey, which is why the power of ratings and reviews must be understood by businesses. Establishing a reputation system influences better feedback from users and ensures transparency of the businesses, which will ultimately lead to more success and happier customers.