Do Local Business Reviews Matter?

 

There’s a lot of buzz in the Internet marketing world these days about reviews.

And it’s also a big topic of conversation for local business owners as well. Hardly a week passes without me having a conversation with a business owner who’s ticked off about a negative review of their business and wants to know how to get rid of it or who wants to know how their competition is getting so many more reviews than they are or who want to know how to rack up the 5 star reviews.

But are reviews worth all the fuss?

If the data from a recent study from Cone LLC (a PR and marketing agency) are any indication, the answer is a resounding yes.

Here’s a few key pieces of data from their study

  • 89% of consumers say they find online reviews sites as honest and trustworthy sources to get product/service reviews
  • (Here’s a biggie!) The report finds that 4 in 5 consumers have changed their minds about a purchase decision based solely on negative information they’ve found online (that’s up from around 67% just a year ago)
  • 87% of respondents agreed that reading a positive review has confirmed their decision to purchase
  • 85% consumers say they are more likely to “open their wallet” when they can find online recommendations to support offline advice they get (as opposed to 77% last year)
It’s important to note that this data does not just apply to local businesses, but to products as well. While I would like to see just local business focused data, reviews are clearly a key factor (and one that’s getting even more important) consumers use to make purchasing decisions.
If your business does not have a plan in place to get reviews (ethically!) and address any negative reviews you may have, you’re ignoring one of the most influential factors for prospects when it comes to your business.
We’ll have a lot more on reviews in the future. In the meantime, if you’re not sure where to get started when it comes to managing reviews for your business, sign up here to talk with one of the Main Street Marketing Community experts.