Reader Reviews: Fear Not

Recent data indicates it is time to embrace rather than fear online reviews.

A recent RatePoint survey found that of the 30 percent of small business retailers who had integrated product reviews into their Web site, 43 percent said reviews had resulted in more sales. And 28 percent said reviews had resulted in more traffic. A RatePoint study in July also found that reviews were six times more likely to impact a business positively than negatively.

A recent Wall Street Journal article points out that while a stellar review is ideal, detailed criticism has unique benefits. Said one businessman: “I see these sites [and reviewers] as providing a free type of market research,” he says. “They are in a unique position to tell us not only how we’re doing, but also how we can improve the business.”

 Some of the most respected review sites are:

Consumer reviews are powerful. Your website should at the least link to respected review sites. Even better, integrate the reviews for all visitors to see.