Consumers Have Opinions...and Keyboards
November 3, 2008
People are talking on the Web. They’re talking to each other, participating in group discussions, and voicing their opinions on everything from politics to neighborhood watch alerts.
This is the nature of Web2.0- social media and networking- and the future of your online reputation lies in the hands of your consumer.
According to a survey done by the Opinion Research Corporation, consumer reviews are a major influence on consumer decision-making. But you knew that already, right? Obviously one unhappy customer equals 10 new customers you’re never going to get, and vice versa.
In the past, before this social explosion on the web, a bad (or good) review was limited to close friends and family- people we see or talk to on a normal, everyday basis. Now we are able to interact and network with a much larger circle of friends and new acquaintances who share similar interests and hobbies- taking the age old term of viral or guerilla marketing to a whole new level.
Here are a few more statistics from the survey...
- 83% of respondents said online reviews had at least some influence on their purchasing decisions.
- 70% said they look for reviews and information about particular types of products and services, with travel/recreation/leisure topping the list of most researched niches and electronics right behind in 2nd
- 61% look for online reviews before purchasing a new product or service
These numbers are simply too big to ignore. Sites like YahooLocal and Yelp.com are growing in popularity and engagement at a shocking speed and this trend will only continue to increase as more and more consumers are finding ways to voice their opinions.
Businesses must take a proactive approach to monitor and control their online reputation, before it's too late.