Reviews of products and services play a critical role in the path to purchase among consumers who use mobile devices. In fact, according to our January 2014 survey of 1,058 consumers, we found that 45% of consumers used their mobile devices in store to look at online reviews prior to making a purchase decision. Six out of ten consumers said the reviews have influenced their decision to purchase a product. Roughly, half said they have decided not to purchase a product because of the information they obtained in-store. This underscores how important reviews have become during the path to purchase however; many small businesses still don’t utilize ratings and review services.
According to our recent small business survey, conducted on 1,008 businesses, only 28% have a way to capture customer feedback. When asked what the impact of having or not having a process to capture feedback was, 75% said they did not know the impact or thought it didn’t have any impact on their business. Interestingly, 50% of those that did utilize a rating and review process said it has had a positive impact on their bottom line.
Clearly, those that have a process can see the value. What about the rest? There seems to be a disconnection between consumers and many small businesses. This represents a significant education and monetary opportunity for marketing service providers in this space.