Businesses are beginning to catch up the transition of establishing an online presence and are understanding why it is so important to do so. According to The Drum, “In 2015 Facebook influenced 52 per cent of consumers’ online and offline purchases, up from 36 per cent in 2014.”
We are entering an era where consumers are beginning to be more influenced to make purchase decisions based on what they see online. According to a research study done by Moz, “The results revealed that online reviews impact 67.7% of respondents' purchasing decisions. More than half of the respondents (54.7%) admitted that online reviews are fairly, very, or absolutely an important part of their decision-making process.”
For example, a customer walks into a store and sees a product they are interested in. Before the internet, people would more than likely purchase it based on what the packaging information said. Well, things aren’t as straight edge anymore. Instead of trusting the product immediately, people will now leave that item on the shelf and go home to do research. Review sites, customer comments, and star ratings will more than likely be the reason why a customer purchases a product or not.
Here are three main reasons why your online reputation can be crucial to your business:
- Negative Reviews
If people are saying negative things about your products or business online, others will see that. If they feel the same way, they will feel more comfortable leaving negative comments as well. According to the Moz research study, “Not only are customers most frustrated with the way customer service issues are handled, 58 percent said they were more likely to share customer service experiences today than they were five years ago, with more and more people sharing experiences on social networking sites and writing online reviews.Of the respondents who shared negative experiences, 45 percent used social media and 35 percent shared via online review sites.”
- Loss of Potential New Customers
If you are not managing your online reviews, people can influence what your brand stands for. For example, if there is a problem with a product or service you provide and your business has not taken care of it, it will likely create a bad reputation. Once others know about the problem, they will likely shy away from your business. To avoid this, there needs to be somebody in your business who monitors any mention of your business. By doing so, problems can be fixed immediately and customers can get the answers they want.
- Word of Mouth
Last but not least, word of mouth is still the number one form of advertising. When people are saying good things about your business, more people will be inclined to do business with you as well. Vice versa, if they see many negative comments and reviews, they will choose another business that has a better reputation. People will search out for the best available companies, even if its more expensive or further away. The quality of your business and products is more important than ever due to the transparency of the web.