Online reviews and product blogs can help drive sales in a big way. About a decade ago when someone tried to get more information about a product, before buying it from an online shopping portal, he used to rely on the knowledge of close friends or his intuition. However, the word-of-mouth process has thoroughly evolved with the emergence of social networking sites.
Everyone is connected today and product information is thoroughly amplified with the use of online reviews. Be it a good or a bad comment – a review can substantially affect your sales and credibility.
According to Yahoo Small Business Advisor, 70% of the modern customer checks in for a product review before making a purchase. For larger brands, product reviews, blogs and social updates have become important elements of the marketing mix. Customers will be seeking opinions from a variety of reviewers, specifically from people who have already used the product/service. As such 97% of the online reviews are also considered genuine and help give a boost to the product credibility. Till the growth of online reviews, brands acquired testimonials through marketing but they werent as convincing. Today, every coffee shop will have a social page on Facebook with real customers putting down their experience. Modern customers have both the voice and the tools to put it down. The reach of reviews are nearly endless as the world is getting more mobile and people are depending more and more on internet for anything under the sun.
Driving Up Sales
Online reviews have a strong impact as they come straight from the customer. In the fast paced world that we live in today, everything is available right where you need them. Information is accessible to all and online medium translates into a big community. Good online reviews give customers the confidence about a great service/product. For instance positive reviews from brides have increased booking of wedding photographers.
The importance of reviews is more prominent in case of a new product. Customers dont want to take the risk of investing and trying out a new product but will thoroughly follow what other have to say about the product. As such they will not dive first but will look to others to show them the way. Be it music, a new phone or even a newly opened restaurant, customers would have already known what is to be expected before they actually get to use/receive the service first hand.
Things that an influential online review present
If you want the right type of positive reviews for your products, here are certain points that will help you out:
Locate influential bloggers: They would be reviewers who already have a good following and a good review from them can act as a huge marketing incentive.
Present all necessary information: Put yourself in the shoes of a customer and try to define things that make your product/service special. Present all the information that can make a difference and make a fellow customer go for the product.
Be generous with product samples: If you are sending samples of your product to the reviewer/blogger, go for full sized samples and never ask it to be returned!
Match the product personality with the blog: Do your research and ensure that the target audience you are trying to influence with the review will indeed be interested in your product. Well, you obviously cannot sell a tattoo service to a conservative or a conservative crowd.