Dogan Kirnaz Hi there! I'm a freelance writer specialized in copywriting and storytelling. I'm studying English Language and Literature at Akdeniz University and Public Relations and Advertising at Anadolu University.

Almost 90% of consumers trust online reviews, according to a study of BrightLocal in 2014. Likewise, 94% of customers read at least a few online reviews about a product before buying it, according to a study of Fan & Fuel in 2016. Thus, online reviews can make a product bestseller or push it to the back of the product list. Besides, these reviews have a considerable effect on the image of businesses. Search Engine Land states that 87% of the consumers don’t even consider using a business that has less than a 3-star rating. In a nutshell, online reviews have both positive and negative effects on businesses and products. And that’s what makes them so critical.

People trust and value online reviews.

In particular, online reviews on third-party review platforms are what people value more than companies’ formal websites. Online review platforms, like Yelp and Glassdoor, have more than millions of online reviews, and thousands of people visit these websites every single day. Human beings have given importance to what others say since the day they started talking. We listen to others because we need to survive and maintain our species. Other people always know something we don’t know. As the Dalai Lama stated, “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”  That’s exactly why we trust and value online reviews because referring to someone else’s knowledge is the best thing to do if we don’t have the slightest idea about something new.

They identify who you are.

No matter how much you advertise yourself, your target audience will determine who you are at the end of the day. As Rumi states, “They will only understand you as much as they see and hear.”  That’s why many of the advertising attempts don’t work. And that’s why the way people see you is more important than the way you see yourself. Again, almost all of the successful advertisements are those that can get into people’s minds. Thus, you can make people do what you want as long as you can control their judgments about you. 

They can be very dangerous.

94% of customers say that just an online review can convince them to avoid a business, according to a study of ReviewTrackers in 2018. They aren’t wrong because online reviews can determine whether people prefer a business or not. Do you prefer a restaurant with a rating of less than 3-star on a day when you are very hungry? As human beings, we don’t like to take risks because we’ve adapted to live in comfort. So, we value what others say when we face something new that we don’t even have the slightest idea.

Since we value the reviews of others, we make our decisions accordingly. Therefore, just like a butterfly effect, online reviews can cost small businesses millions, and they can increase the advertisement costs of all businesses. As a result, the value of online reviews is increasing day by day. Also, investments of businesses in this direction are becoming widespread.

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