With 60% of consumers looking at online reviews at least weekly, a recent survey by Podium suggests that 93% say online reviews do impact their purchasing decisions. The way consumer engagement with B2B and B2C business has evolved illustrates that 82% of consumers do read reviews before making a purchase decision, and 60% look at reviews on a weekly basis. Further, the study suggests that two-thirds of consumers (68%) are willing to pay up to 15% more for the same product or service if they are assured they will have a better experience.
The report suggests that customers do trust and engage with online reviews regularly and these reviews remain very influential when it comes to making purchasing decisions.
“Any business owner knows that your most authentic and impactful advocate is a happy customer, and technology has made every customer’s voice extremely powerful,” says Eric Rea, CEO of Podium, the company that conducted the survey. “Our data shows just how much consumers trust each other, and therefore how much these advocates can drive purchase decisions and grow brand recognition through online reviews.”
And yet, the report suggests that businesses are missing a major opportunity because many to do not engage with customers or ask them to leave reviews. Additionally, 77% of consumers agreed they would leave an online review if prompted by a local business; 61% of consumers say they do leave online reviews in order to help others. However, current data notes that only 13% of SMBs ask customers for reviews.
“In essence, happy customers do your best marketing and they do it for free,” says Rea. “And yet, many businesses don’t take advantage of the golden opportunity to engage with their brand advocates and help them share their experiences online. There’s tremendous potential to amplify customer voices online – for businesses of all sizes.”