The Future of Online Reviews


Future of Online ReviewsAs the power of reviews online continuously grows, we expect to witness changes in the way they are created, used, and socialized. Below are 3 predictions:

1) Reviews are going to be aggregated by reviewers upon social networks, and add credibility and restore waning customer trust.

SearchEngineLand discovered that 50% of the 88% of consumers who trust reviews online just do so if there are several reviews. The other 50% will care more about authenticity, i.e., if the reviews seem genuine.

However, trust in reviews online has been waning. Cone Communications conducted a global study that confirmed that consumers now are more suspicious than ever, with 52% assuming businesses are behaving badly.

Consumer suspicion, as it turns out, might be justified. One study discovered 1/3 of all reviews online and user-generated content that discussed a product were fake. Gartner reported that up to 15% of all reviews online are fake.

Building up trust will require providing credibility that might lead to massive review websites integrating with social pages, as well as aggregating reviews by reviewers. Anonymity is going to disappear — you will need to own up to all reviews you create. Shoppers are going to have the ability to view the authors of reviews, because they will be connected with a reviewer’s real identity on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

As this occurs, trust in reviews are going to go back to its prior levels, and reviews are going to be all the more powerful and relevant.

2) Aggregating reviews by the reviewer is going to lead to the rise of micro-review sources.

Review aggregation might surface trusted reviewers within numerous market segments. These days, if you locate a reviewer you trust — somebody whose customer experience preferences tend to align with yours — it’s possible to browse reviews by that reviewer for services and products of interest.

Within the near future, it might give birth to fresh review models. Imagine a “playlist” of reviewers for a variety of service and product groups. “Check what these consumers are saying about cafes in your locality” might be an introduction to a list of real individuals who frequent cafes and post reviews. This type of aggregation is going to make it easy to figure out where you should spend your money.

3) Why Visit a Website When There is Google?

These days, 81 percent of consumers perform research online prior to buying. Plus, 89 percent of all searches online are done by Google. Logically, if the search engine begins to aggregate reviewer lists and display those in search results in conjunction with videos, photos, and other details regarding services and products — why bother going to a company’s website?

Ultimately, everything the shopper needs to make a purchasing decision might be available on Yelp or Google. Company sites might become secondary — or substantially less critical as a marketing venue. More effort is going to be spent on and optimizing SERPs and social profiles, and less focus is going to be placed upon driving traffic to a company’s website.

For more information on reputation monitoring contact Soaring Away at (910) 471-5030

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Holly Powell

+Holly Powell Holly Powell, Local Search Marketing Consultant has been in the local search marketing industry since the early 2000's, helping local small businesses "Get More Customers" by increasing your brand awareness through the power of social media.

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