5 Unique Ways Reviews Can Make or Break Your Business

July 3, 2016

If you have an online business, there’s a good chance someone is reviewing it online. These reviews take on several different forms, and said forms can have big implications on a sale… or not. This fact may not be a shocker to you, but there are some subtle, not-so-obvious implications of reviews that you might not have noticed, that can still make a sizable impact on your bottom line.

1. Product Comparison Articles

When people are deep in the purchase funnel, they often do searches like “Pepsi vs Coke”. This means they have narrowed down their purchasing choice to two products, and are ready to pull the trigger. It’s rare for a business to own these search results, but it’s possible. Check out a result like Brita vs ZeroWater, two popular water filters.

ZeroWater ranks number one — they might not be overly optimized for the term, but they’re owning the thought process by addressing it somewhere on the page, putting themselves front and center for people at that decision stage.

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If you have a superior product, let people know. Instead, you might leave yourself open to someone else owning the result instead — and there’s a strong possibility they might have received incentives from the other company to position them first.

2. Amazon’s “Useful” Reviews

You know about the power of Amazon reviews, and how having several popular ones can make or break a decision. However, did you know there’s more to the algorithm — and consumer psychology, than just the star rating? Amazon also has a “useful” function that people can click that makes reviews more likely to show at the bottom of the page. What if your competitors made it a point to click “useful” on every one star rating, even if you had 4 1/2 stars? You’d suddenly seem like a bad product.

For example, check out this page for the Waring electric wine opener, a 4 1/2 star product.

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6 of the listed 8 reviews are one star. One star! For a 4 1/2 star product. Imagine the psychological impact something like that could have if you decide to read that section of the product — despite the fact that a huge percentage of the reviews are perfect.

Keep an eye on your highlighted reviews on Amazon. It’s very possible your competition could manipulate this — and your sales could hurt because of it.

3. The Consumer Impact of “Best X” Reviews

If you sell products online, there’s a good chance there are sites out there comparing you. This is unavoidable, and often times the businesses do very little to actually research or review their product — they just throw up 500 words in hopes to make a dollar through Amazon.

Thankfully, there are a few “legit” review sites that not only can generate sales for you, but also give you interesting consumer insight that others won’t. Examples of this are The Wirecutter, Your Best Digs, and CNET, who dive into small details you might not have considered when initially building your product.


For example, if you were ZeroWater, you might find some useful insight from Your Best Digs water filter pitcher test, which showed that their positive net taste was below every other model. They might compare favorably on their own tests, but are they as aware that the net perception of their product is below the market average?

4. Customer Retention and Monitoring

It’s shocking to me when people don’t respond to their Yelp reviews. You have the opportunity to build a fan, if not an evangelist, by spending a few minutes to respond. Similar to above, the reviews give you the opportunity to address concerns and improve — while also building an opportunity to improve the rating (if applicable). Every major review site gives you an opportunity, as a brand, to respond to negative concerns.

Are you looking…

These responses not only help you with those customers, but they also show customers to come that you care about the brand experience. People (including myself) will easily brush off an occasional one star review if I see a considerate, understanding response from a manager who clearly is looking to address that concern.

5. Results for “COMPANYNAME Reviews”

Have you searched for your business on Google and added reviews? If not, you should.. there’s a big opportunity there, to not only own your brand, but to also see what people are saying of you and to address that concern. It’s not uncommon for these said results to start showing up for your brand search as well, which if a disastrous result, could have major impacts on your bottom line.

In my opinion, every company should have a page with testimonials that they format as follows:

  • URL: http://www.DOMAIN.com/reviews/
  • Title Tag: COMPANYNAME Reviews and Testimonials

This should allow you to easily own the first result, and also, said testimonials on-page can definitely help conversions, too. Check out the following page from Nutribullet, a product with sometimes divisive reviews.

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This page helps NutriBullet on both fronts — they rank #1, and they also support their sales mission on-page by listing several positive reviews… that hopefully aren’t doctored.

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