The World of Online Reviews
I recently read a fascinating interview from econsultancy with Laura Nestler, Community Manager of Yelp. Yelp is an online review site that started in the US in 2004 and recently launched in the UK with new features. It is interesting to see how the site has been continually developing and adding new elements over the years.
The most interesting aspect of the new version of Yelp is the additional functionality that gives business owners the opportunity to respond to reviewers with favourable or unfavourable reviews. This is a key development and I believe much overdue. The ‘two-way dialogue’ model that forms the foundation of Social Media needs to occur to ensure continual dialogue and transparency.
So what else is new for Yelp? as with many online applications, they have now launched our most recent iPhone application – Yelp for iPhone – and they expect to roll out further apps for other devices in future.
Review Sites in a Tight Economy
As the economy tightens consumers are spending more time on the internet researching product purchases before they buy. Online product review sites are one of the leading types of user-generated content on the web today and their role will become increasingly important.
The following figures show the significance of review sites for consumers.
Does your website have a review element? it might be a great way to start engaging with your customers today.
- Review users noted that reviews generated by fellow consumers had a greater influence than those generated by professionals. (comScore/The Kelsey Group, October 2007)
- 64% of consumers reported wanting to see user ratings and reviews, based on a study of 5,000 online shoppers. (Forrester, 2008)
- 94% of UK online researchers use online customer reviews. (JupiterResearch/Bazaarvoice, January 2008)
- 71% of online shoppers read reviews, making it the most widely read consumer-generated content. (Forrester)
Article of note: Tips on building your review site
About the Author: Jenni Beattie is the Director of Digital Democracy a Sydney based Social Media Consultancy . Enjoy the article? please subscribe to the RSS Feed