Online review sites

- today's interactive yellow pages



Reading time: 4 minutes

Find out:

  • What are review sites and how do they exactly work?
  • Why are reviews so important for your business?

What was once in the “analogue stone age” a search in the yellow pages followed by collecting opinions about a certain company, is today a visit to online review sites. One search query, one click and the consumer gets quickly and easily shown all the relevant results for his search on the selected site.
But do online reviews really play such a big role?
Taking a look at the numbers from the Bright Local study from 2020 the answer is clear: 87% of the consumers read reviews before they decide for a local company. 79% of respondents also said they trust online reviews the same as recommendations from friends and family. Online reviews are word of mouth in the age of digitization.

1. What are review sites anyway and how do they work?

Review portals are sites that collect opinions from customers and publish them for others. The principle is based on bundling and checking reviews of products, services or companies to provide later a serious access to other users. Usually, reviewers give one to five stars, optionally write a text or share a picture. On some sites consumers can also submit school grades for specific, individual aspects of a product or company.
There are plenty of rating sites online: industry-specific, charged or free, some online shops even have their own rating system integrated in their online shop.
Review sites are real experience reports, providing potential customers a complete picture of a company, no fake reviews implied. More and more users value the topicality of reviews or use the reviews to find out about aspects they care about, e.g., Covid-19 hygiene measures in local retail.

2. Why reviews are so important for your company

With over 2.5 million small and medium-sized companies only in Germany consumers are spoiled for choice. Reviews and the associated portals are therefore a decisive marketing tool to distinguish yourself and your company from the competition, to increase traffic online and in-store and to convert it into loyal customers and sales:

Visibility and brand awareness: A potential customer is looking for a “sports shop nearby” or a tourist wants to visit the “best Mexican restaurant” in town? Potential customers are no longer asking the next passer-by but are looking by themselves on the relevant sites or search engines. The more reviews you have, the higher you appear in the results. If the reviews are also positive, you have just won a new customer. So many positive voices can’t be wrong, can they?

Purchase decisions and customer trust: Reviews from other customers create a feeling of security for every potential buyer. Compared to paid advertising, a customer can trust the opinion of others more and make better informed purchase decisions. What once used to be laboriously asked from friends and family can now be done quickly with just one click. Consumers want to be able to trust a company. Who could you rely on more than other happy customers?

Interaction and customer loyalty: For reviewers, online reviews are an easy way to get in touch with a company directly. If the rated company reacts correctly to positive and negative criticism, the customer feels that they are being taken seriously and will be happy to come back. A company’s reaction to reviews also shows others that customer appreciation is a top priority. Or wasn’t it disappointing in the past when your note in the suggestion box went unanswered?

“Of course, reviews should also give a shop, restaurant or other company feedback of what customers are enthusiastic about or what still has potential for improvement, e.g., in service. But review sites are much more than just that. Retailers, restaurateurs and other service providers can use review sites to generate attention, win customers and retain them in the long term if used correctly. Good review management is very important, so no retailer should be afraid to actively ask for reviews.” Markus Demirci, founder and CEO of mPocket.

You don’t know which review site is the right one for you or how you can encourage your customers to leave a review? Maybe you are already one step further and don’t know how to answer that many reviews?

How mPocket supports you as an SME

With the mPocket app you create a direct connection between your customers and your brick-and-mortar store. The app helps you increase your customer frequency and revenue per customer by sending review requests and reminder messages with just one click or already in the store. Your customers will find it easy to write reviews about your business, which will help you get better rankings on Google Maps and more visibility online and offline. On average, our customers receive 40% more reviews with mPocket than before.

*For reasons of better legibility only the simultaneous use of male and female language forms is not used. All personal names apply to both genders. 

Jasmin Janson

Marketing & Communication Manager mPocket

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