If you are selling products – online or in a physical store, you’re probably aware of the huge change in how people are making purchasing decisions today. Consumers use price comparison sites, get product recommendations on social media, and consult product reviews or company reviews. The power afforded to consumers is higher than ever before, and your customers have easy access to the information they need to make purchasing decisions that feel right to them. Here are some tips for helping your customers make the right choice.
Not making the right purchasing decision often leads to frustration, as consumers feel they waste both their time and money. So shoppers are now researching online like never before. In 2011, the average consumer consulted 10.4 sources before buying, which is twice as many as in recent years past. Consumers are not simply sticking to one site to get their information; shopping has become social. Recommendations, product reviews, price comparisons as well as ratings and consumer reviews of companies are all important.
Armed with a smartphone, the information hunt can all be done while consumers are in the store. The phenomenon is known as “showrooming” and can be a problem or an opportunity for retailers, depending on how you look at it.
One thing is clear, though: Customers are checking out your products and your business online, so you better be present. A good place to start out, when you want to support customers in their purchasing decision process, is to look into online reviews.
Online reviews define the buying process. In fact, reviews are the second most influential factor – 70 % of global consumers trust online consumer reviews– that’s an increase of 15 percent in four years. Only recommendations from friends and acquaintances are trusted more.
Consumers are using online reviews to answer this single most important question:
Will the company fulfill my expectations?
Or, to put it another way, a good collection of reviews about your company goes a long way to showing the world that others felt comfortable doing business with you.
So, the next step is to build a review strategy, and that means looking into how to start collecting and managing your online reviews. I’ve written a free whitepaper that will help you to ask all the right questions when it comes to selecting an online review platform.