Alan Duncan
Alan Duncan 8 April 2016
Categories Ecommerce, Mobile

5 Common Misconceptions About Online Review Usefulness

​If you’re looking to build a strong online reputation, online reviews should definitely be part of your strategy. Online reviews help you identify what you’re excelling at, and what might need some work. This ongoing, engaged business-customer dialogue can lead to trust - and trust is what builds a great reputation.

However… We know you might be a little apprehensive about jumping into the online review world.

By the end of this article, you’ll see why some of the most common concerns about online reviews just don’t hold up.

Let’s get started.

Myth 1: Reviews are only written by angry people

A typical angry reviewer

A typical angry reviewer

This is possibly the most commonly held misconception about online reviews.

There are negative reviews out there, but our statistics show that 83% of online reviews remain positive.

Positive reviews pack a punch too. According to BrightLocal’s 2015 study into consumer behaviour, 68% say positive reviews help them trust a company more.

Further research from Practical eCommerce shows a single positive review might help increase conversions by 10%.

You will probably get negative reviews and that’s fine. In fact, eConsultancy claim a range of positive and negative reviews are better for business, as 30% of consumers suspect censorship when no negative reviews are present.

Myth 2: Online reviews will be too much of a drain on my staff

Maintaining a great online reputation is by no means easy, but it is simple.

With Trustpilot, the review collection process can be automated with our tools, saving you time and money.

You can control the flow of review invitations to customers, and Trustpilot review invitations neatly integrate with your existing eCommerce system.

We also have review invitation templates for speedy requests for customer feedback.

Read more on our tools here.

According to Bazaarvoice research, reviews can increase conversions by as much as 58%. Managing your reputation is certainly time well spent.

Myth 3: Nobody reads reviews

Perhaps some people don’t read reviews, but we’re pretty sure your customers do.

A 2015 study from BrightLocal claims 92% of consumers read online reviews. In the same study, only 21% of consumers who read reviews are not influenced to purchase.

That means that the vast majority of people are reading reviews, forming opinions based on reviews, and then buying.

Myth 4: Nobody trusts reviews

Because the internet is largely faceless, it’s tempting to think that reviews cannot be trusted.

But they can be trusted.

With our lives slowly moving online, 80% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.

In Nielsen’s 2015 study into advertising influence, which surveyed 30,000 consumers in 60 countries, online reviews are the third most trusted form of feedback, behind recommendations from friends and family.

Myth 5: Businesses don't need reviews

In the Nielsen study (above), Randall Beard, President of Nielsen Expanded Verticals, says the following:

Don't let your bin look like this

Don't let your bin look like this

“Passionate brand advocates can be powerful allies to amplify your message, but you need to give them a reason to talk.

Evolve the relationship from a one-way sales pitch to a two-way conversation. And be transparent and accountable. Online brand advocates can quickly become adversaries with the power to damage credibility and reputation if things go wrong.”

Online reviews are arguably the only open, trusted method of engagement between businesses and consumers, like Beard suggests.

The same Nielsen study concludes online reviews have the best trust-to-action ratio: 66% say they trust opinions online, and 69% of those who trust reviews always or sometimes take action once they've read the reviews.

Our recent study of 2,000 consumers and their trust in the travel industry showed that 64% of consumers consider a company’s reviews before doing business with them.

In a world of so much choice, a visible reputation really is your biggest asset to make a difference.

Find out more about Trustpilot.

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