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How Online Reviews Help Companies Succeed

five star ratingThe Internet has leveled the playing field in many areas, allowing small companies to compete successfully with their larger and more well-funded counterparts. When you put your business on the web, your customers do not know how large you are or how many employees you have. They simply know that you have the products they need at a great price.

While the online world has made it easier for small companies to survive and thrive, a few significant challenges remain. One of the biggest is that of trust. Some consumers have been burned by shady online stores that promised far more than they actually delivered. Those experiences have left many online shoppers wondering who they can trust, and that is one reason online reviews have become so popular.

Consumers use online reviews to compare products, check the reliability of the items they are considering and make smart purchasing decisions. Online shoppers also use online reviews to determine whether or not a given product lives up to its hype. Simply put, online reviews simplify the buying process for the consumer and help them avoid making the wrong decision.

If you are the one doing the selling, a section devoted to online reviews can help you sell more products, build your brand and create trust with your audience. Since the first online reviews appeared, smart business owners have been using that feedback to help their businesses and boost their bottom lines.

The key to making it work is honesty. Some shady webmasters have filled their sites with fake reviews written by their own employees or produced for hire. While those fake reviews may get a bit of attention at first, consumers are smart enough to see through them. Filling your site with such poor quality reviews will surely backfire and hurt your brand instead of helping it.

There are plenty of legitimate ways to build product reviews into your online store, so there is simply no reason to take the quick and easy route. When someone buys a product from your site, you can send out an email thanking them for their purchase and encouraging them to post an online review. If the review does not come in right away, a reminder email can jog their memory and allow them to provide the feedback you need.

You can also encourage shoppers to provide feedback and online reviews by giving reviews a prominent place on your website. If shoppers can see the reviews right there on the homepage, they are more likely to share their own experiences and help their fellow shoppers get the best deal.

Building reviews into product descriptions is another great way to build your brand while building trust among your audience. When shoppers arrive at your site, they are looking for information as well as products. They may know what kind of product they are looking for, but finding the right brand and variety can be a real challenge. By providing real-world reviews right on the product page, you can help match shoppers with the right products from the start.

Matching the right product to the right shopper has a number of important benefits for online store owners. Helping shoppers engenders trust and allows shoppers to see you as an authoritative source. Matching the product to the person can also reduce costly returns and turn one-time purchasers into loyal repeat customers.

If you have not yet built online reviews into your online store, now is the perfect time to rectify the situation. You already know how powerful online reviews can be, and how much modern shoppers rely on them. Using such reviews to build your brand and encourage customer loyalty can boost your sales and help your business grow.

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