Consumers around the country love to get online and voice their opinions about everything, especially experiences at various stores, restaurants or other businesses. And the trend doesn’t stop with writing reviews – 90 percent of consumers read others’ reviews when making decisions about where to go or who to hire.
It’s of great importance, then, that if a small business wants to expand and grow its business capital, that it pays attention to these reviews so they can tweak anything that may put off potential customers or clients. However, in its inaugural Small Business and Online Reviews Survey, local online marketing company Yodle found that many small business owners don’t put much stock into the feedback.
In fact, only half of the 300 respondents said they think positive online reviews are important. Nearly one in four – 23 percent – went so far as to say they’re unimportant.
“Our study has found a significant disconnect between small business owners and consumers,” said Yodle CEO Court Cunningham. “A large number of small business owners don’t see positive online reviews as important and are not receiving them, and are also inactive in a number of other areas where they would benefit from doing more.”
Positive reviews can be a great way for a small business to grow, simply by quoting such reviews to post to their website, but the Yodle survey found that only 14 percent of companies do so.
A recent infographic from Merchant Warehouse about Yelp – one of the frequently used and most popular online review websites – found that 72 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Further, 93 percent of people who conducted research about a product on reviews sites made a purchase at the business they looked up.
The infographic also revealed that small businesses that had a Yelp account saw an average revenue increase of $8,000. Those numbers make it clear that even if a small business has barebones technology, they should make sure to be active on social media.
Small business owners who are looking to improve their technology or are growing due to positive reviews they receive online should look to nontraditional lenders, as they offer more flexibility and ease of access to business capital, as well as equipment leasing options.