Some 1,500 UK and US professionals have revealed how their companies feel about using online reviews, with 79 per cent believing they play an extremely important role in encouraging consumer decisions.
With such a majority, Trustpilot expects that more businesses will only continue to change practices and embrace the technology to drive marketing and sales campaigns.
The survey finds that 69 per cent of respondents currently display online reviews, while 14 per cent actively refuse to display or collect them. The main fear is that 51 per cent are worried about negative comments, according to the report.
Data shows the latter is missing out, however, as 75 per cent claim the the main benefit of including online reviews is acquiring new business, 58 per cent said discovering their weaknesses and 41 per cent said increased customer loyalty.
Holiday rental company HouseTrip had previously depended on social media and forums to track feedback from customers, but decided to integrate online reviews to encourage word-of-mouth marketing.
Speaking to Real Business, Andy von Hirschberg, vice president of brand marketing at HouseTrip, said: “We believe that the voice of the customer is essential to the success of our business. HouseTrip’s model relies on providing an excellent customer experience and ensuring holiday-makers have a great time in our properties. Working with Trustpilot has allowed us to integrate an unbiased and transparent reviews platform onto our site, making it easy for customers to share their experiences, and allow us to evolve.
“Due to the growth of social media and online reviews, consumers now have more influence than ever. The increasing popularity of online holiday-home rentals relies on this trend heavily, as customers seek assurances on safety and security.
“Consumer purchasing decisions are massively influenced by the opinion of their peers and this is set to continue as the social sharing economy expands. In this respect, online reviews are key to letting our customers know that they’re making the right choice.”
Alongside the business interviews, 1,900 consumers were also surveyed – revealing 60 per cent have made an online review in the past year, while 62 per cent said they’re more likely to do business with a company after reading positive feedback.