Why does your online reputation matter so much? Well, the virtual world is a reflection of the material world, for one thing. Does that mean that a nice little business somewhere has an exact digital copy? In a way, yes, it does.
Reputation Marketing and Main Street USA
As we covered previously, online reviews matter a lot. Let's say you run a family-owned flower shop in Mesa, and one that has been around for over twenty years. You have a well-established client base, and there are still new customers coming in.
Your business is a fixture and you have generations of loyal customers. You give good service, so you think that you don't really need good online reviews of your business.Except for several things. The way new customers find you has changed.
A lot of people look for a business on their mobile device, and while they're on the move so to speak. Particularly with customers that are new in town and/or a younger generation, these ideal customers are going to look at the digital version of your business. They're going to look to see if you have not just a website, but a mobile website, and if you have a Google maps listing as well, and the next thing that they are going to do? They're going to look over your online reviews very carefully.
Do Online Reviews Matter So Much?
Absolutely. This article excerpt from INC.COM shows how important online reviews are.
89% of consumers viewed online sources of product and service reviews as trustworthy--and another 80% have changed their minds about a purchase based solely on the negative reviews they read.
In 2011, 85% of those surveyed said they’d be more likely to purchase if they could find additional recommendations online.
A one-star difference in a restaurant rating impacts revenue between 5% and 9%.
For some businesses, online interaction is the last in a long list of pressing items. For others, reviews are like heading to the dentist for a root canal: You’re filled with dread when you think of them. Whatever the reason, what you don’t know will kill you, so start with a quick, do-it-yourself audit. First, ask yourself where you would search if you were looking for your product. Check the usual search engines, blogs, online review and industry-specific sites. Remember: Losing revenue, customers, or even your business is much worse than the pain of reading negative commentary." [READ MORE]
Ponder that if you will. "85% of those surveyed said they’d be more likely to purchase if they could find additional recommendations online." Eighty-five percent. That's a good reason by itself to consider why online reviews matter, even if you do have an established business.