Maybe-Yes-No-Keys-Representing-35136263If your business wants to sell more, then you need to understand the process of how your customers make purchasing decisions.

The quality of your product and brand/seller reputation is an obvious factor – but what are the things that influence purchase decisions once those fundamental requirements have been met?

In this article, we look at how reviews can influence purchasing decisions so you can maximise this opportunity to increase sales.

Reviews on your website matter

Today’s tech-savvy customers turn to the internet to conduct online research and compare different options – and reviews, ratings and social media play a big part in this.

In fact, over 60% of customers read online reviews before buying a product or service to help them to eliminate any doubts they may have or to help with product/service selection.

We know that customers will look for reviews, so why not make it as easy as possible for them to do so by gathering reviews on your website. It’s one of the first places people will look for reviews about your products and services.  Not only will you be providing potential customers with the information they want to see, you’ll also improve your SEO, increase conversions and drive more traffic.

Reviews increase trust

Reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations – either from someone they know or stranger’s opinions online – are the most trusted sources of information for buying decisions according to the latest Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report.

The study found that 92% of users trust recommendations from people they know, while 70% trust consumer opinions posted online. In comparison, 47% of participants agreed that they trusted ads on TV, while 40% reported that they trust ads served in search engine results. These results show the importance and influence of information gathered through social media and user generated content – more so than traditional forms of advertising.

ipad with travel picsThe truth is, we tend to be much quicker in trusting other users (even if they are strangers) over brands. What better way to build trust and convey transparency than to let your customers prove your authenticity for you by enabling them to upload their own reviews, photos, videos and comments on product pages or service landing pages?

Your online visitors will trust what your previous customers have to say especially if they are transparent, from people they recognise, and also from people like themselves, i.e. same demographic, background and age group.

Tip:  Don’t delete all the negative reviews – potential customers will recognise that no business is perfect and they appreciate knowing what the problems might be, if they can live with those issues, and what the response of the company was when the issues came about.

What was a problem for one customer might not be an issue for another. A negative review actually helps potential customers feel like they have ‘done their homework’ so the customer ends up with more confidence in their decision to choose your business. Read our previous post on how to deal with negative reviews for some more tips…

The mass leads the way

telling-secrets-pop-art-25371263As humans, we tend to look to others when deciding what to do, especially when we’re not sure of what action to take. It’s part of our unconscious urge to fit in and belong. We’ve all been told to try a certain dish at a restaurant or a certain new product because a friend, or friend of a friend raved about it, and we do so because we don’t want to spend our precious time researching alternatives and worst still, risking a bad purchase.

When Reviews and Ratings are clearly displayed on your website, they help to unconsciously trigger a visitor’s need for social validation while also helping to rationalise that they are making the right choice.  They give us a sense of comfort as others have helped us to make the right decision –  “If majority gives The Dark Knight a 5 star rating, then it must be a great movie. They can’t be all wrong.”

Contact the Digital Visitor team to find out just how easy it is to integrate our award-winning Social Reviews Application so you can start gathering reviews to influence your potential customers purchasing decisions TODAY! Call +44(0)1179 055 195 or email info@digitalvisitor.com