When family and friends are not available to give advice, business review sites are always the first stop for recommendations. Compared with the overwhelming advertisements online, consumer reviews usually make us feel much more comfortable that we’re buying the right products. In fact, now in this world, the power of business reviews such as Yelp!, Angie’s List and Google Places could not be ignored any more.
Studies by independent research groups like Forrester Research, comScore, The Kelsey Group, and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association show that rating and review sites influence consumer shopping behavior. According to one 2013 survey, 9 in 10 consumers said their buying decisions have been influenced by online reviews. With the Internet platform, business reviews could be exposed to broader audiences, and visitors could interact with each other and with merchants to communicate their ideas, advices and suggestions.
Business review site is a win-win tool for both consumers and marketers, because consumers here could gain advice to help them make purchase decision and avoid buying awful products, while at the same time, business review sites provide a online word-of-mouth effect that indirectly assist good businesses in promoting reputation.