To understand the crucial role that reviews play we start from reasoning how it was done some decades ago before the Web had the popularity it has now. What did you do before going to a barber to get service? There was the friend who recommended you that man, the other friend who recommended you another and the third friend who told you that neither was good and that his distant cousin who would have made you a good one was the better price! At that moment, to choose, you tried to look for a fourth or a fifth reviews hoping to get more impartial judgments and, finally, you found the barbershop you needed.

The situation today is not so different: those assessments that you first asked your friends are the same as those you can read now through thousands of reviews left by people who have tried the same service or product before you and can tell you about it in a more objective way.

In the virtual world, where the success of your barbershop depends on being clicked by users, the difference between you and your competitor is so subtle that the potential customer will be able to choose in a completely causal way.

You too when you do not have enough elements to evaluate the range of choices you have before you and, not being able to evaluate the skill of the professional who will carry out the cut, you entrust yourself to those who have tried the same before you and to what they say.

The secret to understanding the centrality is to put oneself in the customers’ shoes: how could they reason? To summarize how they could reason, let’s start with a concept written in the book “The weapons of persuasion” by Robert Cialdini:

Social proof: people, on average, tend to consider the behaviors and / or choices that are made by a large number of people more valid.

The weapons of persuasion – by Robert Cialdini

You must, therefore, give the user a reason to choose your offer and not that of your competitor, just one click away. Through the reviews, you can communicate a free promotional message and, above all, much more credible than the communication sources you can manage. Users search for reviews to have an objective and neutral judgment on a service that they will not be able to evaluate unless they have purchased it!

Don’t you believe it?

Several research institutes have carried out research to turn this concept into numbers:

As calculated by Reevoo, 50 or more customer reviews can correspond to a 4.6% growth in conversion rates.

63% of customers are more likely to shop from a site that contains customer reviews (iPerceptions).

Visitors to a site that interact with reviews and Q&A are 105% more likely to buy during the visit, and spend 11% more than visitors who do not interact with user-generated content (UGC) (Bazaarvoice, Conversation Index, Q2 2011).

The reviews are significantly considered more reliable (almost 12 times more) than the descriptions that come from the producers, according to research on US internet users (eMarketer).

According to Reevoo, the reviews produce an average sales growth of 18%.

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