In 2021, it doesn’t matter where a business is based. Thanks to the internet, it can benefit from having customers across the globe. This works both ways, with consumers also having access to a wider array of retailers than ever before. On the surface, it seems like a win-win situation.
Sadly, it’s not so clear-cut. Life online isn’t always as it seems, and modern-day consumers face perils they wouldn’t have needed to consider even a few decades ago. From having their sensitive information stolen to purchasing goods that don’t exist, there are dozens of potential dangers to keep an eye out for.
Enter review sites: a unique knowledge base designed to keep customers safe and help them make informed decisions. Here, we look at just a few of the ways these can benefit consumers – and why businesses should work hard to be featured on them.
A collective knowledge base
When it comes to shopping online, it can feel risky. The upside is there are far more companies operating on the internet than in a buyer’s local area, meaning increased choice and – usually – more competitive pricing.
Similarly, there are parallel benefits for businesses i.e., a larger audience and lower overheads. For these reasons, it makes sense that eCommerce in London and beyond is thriving, with many businesses busily futureproofing and committed to staying online for the long term.
However, one thing there is less of is a certainty, at least for consumers. Buying online removes the ability to easily evaluate a store and its products. It’s not possible to visit it or take a look at what it’s selling in the flesh. Instead, there’s an element of trusting that everything is as it seems on the surface, and not everyone is comfortable with this.
This is where review sites come in handy. These act as a collective knowledge base. Whether the information on them comes from expert assessors or previous buyers, the online stores and/or services featured have been thoroughly vetted, and there’s much more of a sense of knowing what the consumer is signing up for.
Take one of the many online directory sites for live dealer casinos. For those looking to play from a mobile or another device, these can be an invaluable resource. Not only have the sites included been assessed for legitimacy, but they’re rated, ranked, and reviewed. Any concerns consumers might have can be easily allayed by reading through the plethora of materials available.
More generic review sites like Trust pilot can be similarly helpful. Allowing users to search for businesses based on the company name or a more general category, they offer an insight into what consumers are signing up for when purchasing goods or services online. This removes the element of guesswork and ensures they’re only bestowing their custom on companies that can be trusted to keep them safe when shopping.
The power of social proof: How review sites can benefit businesses
Review sites are a powerful tool for consumers, helping to keep them safe and ensure a good experience online, but they’re also useful for legitimate businesses that provide great service. Lending social proof to eCommerce stores can be a wonderful resource for generating business and growing an audience.
There are several reasons businesses should consider featuring on them, and foremost among them is the statistics backing up their value. For example, 89 percent of consumers worldwide read reviews before buying a product. 79 percent of those asked also said they trust these reviews as much as personal recommendations.
For this reason, it’s a wise idea to try and generate reviews for your business. One way to do this is by contacting directory sites and inviting them to rate your products and services. Another is to encourage customers to leave feedback when they purchase from you.
There are lots of ways to do this. Asking them to write about their experience with you on social media is a great place to start. You might want to give them some added incentive to do so, perhaps by offering a discount code or money off future purchases as a thank you.
When it comes to online reviews, they are one of the most effective tools for keeping consumers safe online. However, they’re also an incredibly handy resource for helping businesses to build their legitimacy. If you can recognise and appreciate their importance, this is the first step toward harnessing their power and using them to build your brand reputation – online and off.
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