Recent statistics to prove why your organisation should implement customer reviews on your website

Here at Digital Visitor, we are often asked if there are any statistics to prove how useful having reviews on your website can be.

So we have put together a list of some recent statistics from the travel industry and others to help convince all those non-believers out there, that reviews are an essential ingredient your website needs today, especially for those organisations that want to stay ahead of the pack.

Positive reviews are almost as important as price

1A positive review is almost as influential as price or special offers when it comes down to making the decision to book online.

A recent online travel booking poll, conducted by Webcredible revealed that 29% of consumers consider positive reviews as the most likely factor to make them book a holiday online.

The only factor identified as more important than reviews was price, with 38% of consumers identifying online prices and special offers as the factor most likely to make them book a holiday online.

A negative review is not always a bad thing for sales

thumbs up and downA review that may seem negative to one person can be positive in another person’s view.

Take for example a review of a hotel that describes it as ‘not child friendly’. A couple looking for a romantic weekend getaway would not see this as a deterrent for booking, and would most likely welcome this fact.

Travel organisations that really want to make the most of their customer reviews now and in the future, will be those that consider how to make them relevant for each online visitor.  The more relevant and appropriate the reviews included on your website are to the potential customer, the greater the influence is on the booking process.

Our Review and Ratings application can be integrated on any page of your website, to ensure that the most relevant reviews are appearing on the corresponding pages on your website. Our application also enables organisations to select what level of moderation they would prefer – so organisations can choose to have the ability to approve comments, reviews, and discussions before they appear on their website.  This enables our clients to carefully monitor what people are saying about their products and services, quickly reacting to any issues that may arise. We do advise that it is not about just deleting all the negative comments. Here’s why…

Research has proven the importance for organisations to be wary of not censoring all the negative reviews as 70% of people trust reviews more when they can see bad reviews as well as good. Furthermore, 38% of shoppers are more likely to read the bad reviews than the good ones AND 95% of people said they will still buy a product with a bad review.

Reviews drive additional traffic to your website from other social media sites

website_traffic_smallOur clients who regularly share reviews with their Facebook page see an increase in traffic back to their company website ie. 1 good review shared on Facebook each day, generates extra visitors up to 2.5 times the number of page ‘Likes’ per month.

So for example, if you have a Facebook page with 10,000 ‘Likes’, sharing your reviews over daily can deliver 25,000 visitors to your company website from Facebook every month!

Reviews are the most common form of online research, increasing browse time on your website by to 100%

According to Michael McCartan, COO of RateTiger, eRevMax, over 50% of all UK holiday bookings are researched online.

On the other hand, across all industries, a study by Lightspeed Research found that 62% of customers read reviews online compared to 49% who researched competitor’s sites.

As one of the leading social media agencies for the global travel and leisure industry, we have provided review functionality, using our applications, to over 200 travel and leisure organisations such as Virgin Holidays, Flight Centre, VisitBritain, Warner Leisure Hotels, Travel Designers and many more…

2Our in-house research has found that a good review system significantly increases the browse time on a website.  On average, our client’s report that their online visitor browsing time doubles – that’s a 100% increase in time spent on your site rather than competing sites.

 

46.7% of consumers have written a review

3Participation in social commerce is now the accepted norm. More consumers have written a review than those that haven’t.

Research from Reevoo confirmed that currently, 46.7% of consumers do write reviews compared to 46.3% who don’t and it’s becoming a more standard procedure as its popularity increases.

Consumers prefer to read reviews on company websites

4Referring to the same study mentioned earlier, Lightspeed Research say that 47% of consumers prefer to read ‘reviews on a company’s website’ over magazines, forums, shopping comparison sites, newspapers and social networking sites.  The only other sources that were more preferred than reviews on a company website were ‘via a search engine’ (64%) or ‘reviews on shopping sites’ (58%).

This highlights that consumers prefer to read reviews by real people, like themselves,  over what a company’s marketing material states.

Reviews enhance sales by up to 18%

5Statistics from Reevoo confirmed that retailers and brands that have embraced reviews and recommendations into their online retail strategy see an
increase in sales of up to 18%2% of which is from repeat customers.

Like it or not, reviews are positively influencing the volume of bookings and if you don’t jump on board, you will be left behind.

So what are travel companies doing? Who has reviews on their website and who doesn’t?

We decided to conduct our own research to find out how many travel companies did have some sort of rating or review about their products and services. In order to do this, we looked at 100 of the top travel company websites to see what review capability they offered.

This is what we found:

  • 60% of the websites we looked at had a review system in place. Surprisingly, only 15% of these were from Tripadvisor.  The rest used their Facebook wall to collect reviews and most had their own onsite rating and reviews feature such as our application.
  • 40% didn’t include any reviews. This highlights that there are many travel organisations that still haven’t taken advantage of the increased conversion reviews can bring.


How to make the most of customer reviews on your website

  • Make it as easy as possible for your visitors to add reviews with slick uploading of their comments, photos and videos.
  • Display your reviews in the correct place. We suggest:

– a selection below the fold on the homepage
– a selection on secondary landing pages such as destination pages
– specific reviews on product/tour/venue pages

  • Ask your customers to leave a review in your marketing and promotional material. For example, you may want to include a link on your receipts, or on any email communications that go to your customers.
  • Incentivise.  Give your customers a reason to review your organisation or service. For example, you might want to offer them the opportunity to enter a competition, or provide a coupon or discount off their next purchase if they leave a review.  NB: This is not allowed on sites such as Tripadvisor so please check the rules beforehand to find out how to legitimately solicit reviews and promote your listing on Tripadviser.
  • If you have received a compliment from a customer, be it via email or verbally, take this opportunity to tell them that you appreciate reviews, and give them the website address where they can post a review to spread the good word.
  • If you discover positive comments about your brand, products or services on any other social networking sites, contact the user with a link to where they can add a review on your website.
  • Work out which department or who in your organisation is responsible for responding to the comments and ensure that each and every review (whether positive or negative) is responded to in a professional and timely manner. It will show your potential customers that you care about your customer’s experiences and especially about improving your services.


For more information on how your business can easily implement reviews on your website, call +44(0)1179 055 195 or make an enquiry….