Having easy access to technology has forever changed the way we shop. From shopping on Amazon to the trial experience of visiting a winery, we are all curious how other people enjoyed the product. More consumers are reading online reviews than ever before. In 2021, 77% of consumers reported 'always' or 'regularly' reading them when browsing for local businesses (up from 60% in 2020).
Online reviews are just as essential for wineries as they are for customers. Reviews establish stronger relationships with potential customers and allow companies to charge a premium price for their products. Studies have shown that customers will pay 22% more for some products if the company has a good reputation.
Understanding why reviews are crucial for your winery will help create a positive shopping experience for your customers. Here are five reasons why reviews matter so much for wineries.
Provide Social Proof
Giving your potential customers confidence in your business is vital for any winery. Positive reviews reassure shoppers that they can trust your brand and products. Up to 84% of consumers noted that reviews were critical in their purchasing decisions. This is much like when we ask friends and family for recommendations; reviews provide social proof that helps potential customers overcome hesitations and worries.
SEO is a fundamental marketing tactic that all wineries should consider, as it can help improve your site's visibility when people are searching online. Google uses customer ratings to determine a business's relevance to a particular search query. The search engine lists the top three results for local search, so customer reviews can help get your winery in front of the eyes of wine enthusiasts in your area. With Google's continuous push for quality and relevant content, this is not a statistic to ignore.
Wineries can build strong trust and credibility by having steady positive reviews. If potential customers know that other people had positive experiences with your winery, they're more likely to trust you. The way customers talk about your brand can be just as important as them saying your name. A positive experience attached to your winery will eventually help you drive more sales.
Anyone can claim how excellent their product or service is, but that doesn't mean those claims are always accurate. Online reviews can help validate your expertise in the eyes of prospective customers. You can demonstrate your expertise and authority as a winery by providing evidence of success through your online reviews. Strong customer views can also provide history and prove that you have an established track record of quality products or service.
Influence Purchasing Decisions
Online reviews can directly influence customers' buying decisions. Customers often compare products or services during the buying process and usually choose the ones with more positive reviews. According to one study by BigCommerce, having as few as five reviews makes products 270% more likely to sell than products with no reviews.
Don't be too afraid of fake, old, or bad reviews. Customers are increasingly aware of the possibility of fake reviews and therefore don't depend exclusively on reviews when making purchase decisions. In addition, customers understand that older reviews might discuss something that no longer applies to your winery. According to the Bright Local survey, 44% of respondents thought reviews over a month old weren't relevant anymore.
If you get a critical review, there are a few ways to manage it. First, it could be a learning experience for your team and a way to identify areas of your customer service that need improvement. Next, take time to professionally respond publicly to each review, even if the topic of discussion is out of your control. This way, other customers see you take even the most critical opinions seriously.
Marketing your winery is essential; part of that marketing should include how people are talking about you. Take control of the conversation and encourage guests and shoppers to leave feedback. Whether it's good or bad feedback, you can respond and show how your winery can handle constructive criticism.
It's also important to consider different review platforms, such as Google and Facebook, as they will continue to build expertise, trustworthiness, and SEO. Optimizing reviews on these platforms is especially critical for wineries with a tasting room as these will be the first place potential customers will check for reviews.
Having a system that helps you effortlessly oversee your website reviews is essential. As the wineries champion, WineDirect enables you to manage your reviews in an easy, all-in-one DTC (Direct to Consumer) solution. Learn more about WineDirect's review features.
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