Emarketer has released a list of different ways that US shoppers are utilising social media to find and research gift ideas during the festive season. The most popular past time for internet shoppers proved to be checking reviews, in order to assess the worth and risks of their intended purchase before committing to it. Nearly half of the respondents replied that they would use reviews when making their Chrismas purchasers, compared to just 10% who would talk to their friends online about gift ideas.
Why Do Consumers Trust Online Reviews?
Earlier research, conducted by SearchEngineLand, has indicated that as many as 72% of online consumers will trust brand reviews just as much as they do personal recommendations. In light of this, for any business which is dependent upon sales, creating an engaging space in which consumers can write and respond to product reviews has never been so important for increasing brand awareness and profitability. Consumer reviews are perceived as offering a much clearer representation of the reliability, quality and trustworthiness of a brand than advertising or pricing, and consumers will often check online reviews when making product comparisons. Whereas currently anonymous reviews will tend to slightly dilute this resource, the future of online reviewing is already changing; Google’s recent decision to tie in its entire online app review system to Google Circles is a particularly relevant case in point. Users without a Google+ profile will no longer be able to leave reviews and all future reviews will clearly bear the name of the Google user who wrote it, thereby improving authenticity.
Best Practice When Utilising Online Reviews for Your Brand
The majority of consumers are now online and the impact of consumer reviews upon brand awareness and conversion is on the increase. Therefore, it’s simply sensible practice for any business with an online presence to utilise consumer reviews to increase their own profitability over the festive season.
Some businesses choose to include online reviews within a comprehensive marketing strategy, by offering consumers exclusive deals in exchange for product reviews. Consumer reviews tend to be accessed via social media networks and can be used alongside SEO strategies to a brand’s advantage by their using the same networks to promote existing consumer reviews, or to encourage new reviews to be posted. Social media relies heavily upon visible interactivity and this can be deployed in a review space by a business which directly responds to its consumer reviews. In this way a business is able to simultaneously add value to a customer’s opinion, creating a personal bond between brand and consumer, whilst effectively managing their online reputation.
The WebMarketing Group is an established SEO marketing company based in Harrogate, specialising in SMO, SEO, content writing and online PR. Find out more about search engine optimisation @ webmarketing group and on Google+.