Despite 70% Americans Seeking Out Online Reviews before Buying, Only Half of Businesses Snub Social Media as a Platform for Sharing Customer Reviews, New GetApp Research

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New survey by GetApp gives insight into how small and medium-sized businesses across the country use, and don’t use, their online user reviews.

Online selling and the importance of using customer reviews

User reviews and other customer content marketing solutions for successful online selling

Users are actively looking for the social proof of the product or service from others customers.

New research published by GetApp, the largest cloud-based business apps marketplace, shows that while most small and medium-sized businesses proactively share customer reviews on social networks, a large percentage remain hesitant to engage with one of the most important sides of today’s online business world.

This new survey forms part of GetApp’s continuing research program, GetData, and is based on the responses of 500 senior professionals, aged 24-54, working at small and medium-sized businesses throughout the US.

According to the research, more than half of small businesses prefer to use social media as the primary outlet for their reviews (55.5%). Additionally, businesses also tend to publish reviews on dedicated testimonial sections (34.6%) and include them on their product pages (25.9%). However, 13.6% of respondents said that they do not use customer reviews in any form, highlight the level of hesitation —or even lack of knowledge — that many companies still face when dealing with user feedback.

Interestingly, only 8.6% of respondents stated that they use reviews on paid advertising, suggesting that many businesses don’t necessarily see the benefits of publishing reviews on highly visible ads.

Christophe Primault, co-founder of GetApp, says, “This survey depicts the perceptions of many small businesses on the ground when it comes to customer engagement. The fact that just over 50% of businesses share reviews on social media means that many still don’t see how important and influential these platforms are. More surprisingly are the number of companies, almost 15%, that don’t harness the power of their user reviews online at all. Sellers need to realize that without publishing reviews, they won’t make it in the online world.”

With 70% of Americans actively browsing online consumer reviews before making a purchase — and with the proliferation of review apps and sites — it is increasingly important for small businesses to generate their own accessible customer feedback data.

Talia Shani, Director of Content at reviews and marketing platform,Yotpo, says, “Reviews provide social proof from other customers, which is really valuable whether it's eCommerce, a service business or B2B company. All online businesses need to be using reviews, regardless of size or industry."

"Even though the results confirm that most companies see the value of using reviews on various online channels, it's interesting to see that the vast majority aren't leveraging this powerful content for paid ads. We know that ads with reviews on Facebook, for example, have a 4 times higher click-through rate and slash the cost per acquisition and the cost per click in half," she adds.

GetApp’s independently-conducted research program, GetData, aims to effectively increase our understanding of SaaS and cloud-based solutions’ impact on small and medium-sized companies. The analyzed information gathered through the ongoing research helps show real, current interaction between SaaS customers and products and services.

Full survey details:

Answers to the question “How are you using user reviews for your business?”

Answers to the question:
#1 – Use on social media (55.5%)
#2 – Use on dedicated testimonial section (34.6%)
#3 – Publish on my product pages (25.9%)
#4 – Not using them at all (13.6%)
#5 – Use in paid advertising (8.6%)

Demographics: 500 US-based respondents from a panel of SMBs (Small and Medium-sized Businesses). Respondents are aged between 25 and 54 and have an average inferred annual income of $24k – $150k.

More about GetApp: GetApp, a Gartner company, is an online marketplace for cloud-based business apps, specializing in helping small and medium-sized businesses find, research, and get in touch with business app providers from over 100 software categories. GetApp's Europe office is based in Barcelona, Spain, and the U.S. office is in San Francisco, CA.

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