Understanding the Importance of Third Party Reviews

‘Word of mouth’ is something every business will know the importance of. What people are saying about the services you offer and the work you do has always been crucial to business success.

In the digital age, reviews of your business online are like a version of ‘word of mouth’, but with arguably greater power. Because what people are saying about you is so easily available for everybody to view, this naturally has an impact on your reputation and the success with which you attract new customers or clients.

However, many of these reviews will not be posted on your own website, but rather on third party websites. Popular sites for posting company reviews include Google, Yelp, Amazon and Facebook.

These reviews can go a long way to enhancing the levels of trust a potential customer may feel towards your business, and ultimately help to enhance your credibility – provided the reviews are positive of course. If they are not, you need to take a look at where things are going wrong within the business itself…

But working on the basis that the third party reviews you are receiving are generally positive and have the potential to benefit your business, the question then becomes how you can utilise them to your advantage.

Decisions, decisions

The way that people choose who they buy from, work with or use the services of has changed in comparison to years gone by. With a wealth of information online and available to view with such ease, people are willing to put time into researching a company and finding out more about them before making any kind of purchase or commitment.

With elements such as a positive reputation, good customer service and high product or service quality all being relayed through reviews on digital channels, underestimating their importance is not wise.

According to our friends at Yotpo, shoppers who see reviews or user generated content on a brand’s site convert at a rate 161% higher than those who don’t.

This alone means it is vital that businesses do not neglect or overlook the value of online reviews.

The Trust Factor

Trust is an important word in any consumer relationship, as without trust, the relationship quickly disintegrates.

One way people will naturally seek assurance that you are a company they can trust is by looking at previous experiences others in their position have had with you. Word of mouth works on this basis, as do online reviews.

Any online review that highlights your business in a positive light will help build levels of trust among potential customers. If you have delivered a good experience for a customer in the past, then you are more likely to be trusted to do the same for them.

Allowing for authenticity

One of the brilliant things about third party reviews is the fact you as a business are not responsible for their creation directly, and you are just the subject.

Advertising has a big role to play in boosting the profile of a business of course. But if you describe yourself as brilliant at what you do when advertising, a customer has no reason to necessarily believe you. But if another customer describes you as brilliant at what you do, they are perceived as having no reason to lie about it. This naturally means that their words have an authenticity to them that leaves anybody reading them feeling that their viewpoint is genuine and can therefore be trusted.

This is why third party reviews can prove so beneficial to companies – because they are almost like free advertising, but arguably with a greater impact than a typical advert.

A mixed bag

So far in this blog, online reviews have generally referred to in the context of them being positive. Of course, it does not take a genius to know that this is not always going to be the case.

Negative reviews come with the territory. And while having as few of these as possible is obviously the goal, there is a likelihood that at some point, they could come your way.

If this does happen, do not panic. The best thing to do is address the feedback and respond in a professional and constructive way.

By doing this, anybody who reads the exchange can see you are taking negative feedback seriously and looking to improve what you do. This in turn can help present your business in a good light even in challenging circumstances.

Taking advantage of the positives

 If there are positive reviews out there on third party sites about your business, then harnessing the opportunities these present is well worthwhile.

One avenue that many people want to go down is to look to get these positive reviews up on your own website. This can be tricky when it comes to reviews posted on third party websites however, as there can be copyright issues. So simply copy and pasting reviews onto your website is something to avoid.

A reviews plug-in is a better way of doing things, as this avoids the potential copyright complications. Companies such as Yotpo for example offer a reviews widget that can be added to your website. These can feature all the reviews being uploaded to certain platforms about your products or services.

This brings all the benefits of user generated content into the fold on your website. And the benefits are sizeable. According to Yotpo:

  • Having 10 reviews on a product detail page increases conversions by 53% on average.
  • Having 100 reviews on a product detail page can more than double the conversion rate of that page.
  • Shoppers who see reviews or user generated content on a brand’s site convert at a rate 161% higher than those who do not.
  • Shoppers have a 137% higher purchase likelihood after seeing customer photos.
  • On average, there is a minimum of 70% uplift in time on site for customers who see user generated content.

Add to this the fact that positive reviews can be easily shared via social media and it is easy to see why reviews are becoming an increasing area of focus for businesses across all sectors.

Securing the gold

So far in this blog, online reviews have generally referred to in the context of them being positive. Of course, it does not take a genius to know that this is not always going to be the case.

Negative reviews come with the territory. And while having as few of these as possible is obviously the goal, there is a likelihood that at some point, they could come your way.

If this does happen, do not panic. The best thing to do is address the feedback and respond in a professional and constructive way.

By doing this, anybody who reads the exchange can see you are taking negative feedback seriously and looking to improve what you do. This in turn can help present your business in a good light even in challenging circumstances.

Bringing reviews into the mix

At Williams Commerce, we have worked on a number of ecommerce projects that have included the integration of platforms and widgets that bring third party reviews onto the websites of our clients. By complementing this with leading UX and web design, the end users gets to enjoy a superb experience that supports positive decision making.

If you are interested in embracing user generated content and reviews on your website, then speak to a member of the Williams Commerce team. We are a Yotpo partner and can help you take advantage of the various technologies around user generated content that are available.

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