Every business, including those in the bridal retail sector, desires positive reviews. The boost a business gets when one of their customers or clients posts a much sought-after 5-star review along with a glowing testimonial about how great their experience was is worth more than many a sale. Conversely, get too many 1-star or 2-star reviews, and the panic sets in.
So, why are reviews so important and why do bridal businesses crave them? The reason is the change in the way that people shop for goods today via the Internet. The scenario of 30 or so years ago, when shoppers would go to streets full of retail stores or a retail mall and walk from store to store, is long gone for many people.
Today, consumers prefer to use their laptops or mobile phones to look for what they want to buy, and they start by doing research. That research lets them see not only what is available and at what price but they can also read reviews and testimonials about products and the businesses selling them. This is also known as ‘social proof’.
Google And Social Proof Via Google Reviews
One of the biggest exponents of social proof is Google, and given that they are the largest search engine online, it is also why Google reviews influence online consumer behaviour. What this means for those who own or run a bridal business is that they must seek Google reviews and, better still, positive Google reviews.
Let us compare two bridal businesses. One actively seeks reviews and testimonials; the other does not. Both sell more or less the same bridal products of the same quality and at a similar price. Which of the two do you think will have more online customer enquiries and, ultimately, more sales?
The answer is the one that has the reviews. Why? The reason is that those researching online for bridal products will look beyond prices and product ranges if they are similar and focus instead on how highly a bridal business is rated by others who have bought from them. A business with many positive Google reviews will gain the vast majority of website visits versus one with few or no reviews.
The Many Benefits Of Having Google Reviews
Other benefits of having Google reviews are that they can raise the profile of your bridal business, and crucially they can also influence Google’s algorithm when it is determining where a business website should rank. With Google’s obsession with user experience, it will favour bridal websites with many positive reviews versus those with few of them.
Google reviews can also play a significant and positive role in helping you plot the future direction of your bridal business. With the feedback given in Google reviews, it can help you make changes based on what people say they love about your business and equally valuable, what they do not like. Finally, Google reviews are also responsible for your business and its brand gaining trust amongst local consumers.
How To Gain Google Reviews
The first thing you must do, if you have not already, is set up your Google Business Profile (formally GMB) on Google. By optimising this profile you can gain huge advantages over your local competition. As for getting Google reviews from customers and clients, the solution is simple…ask for them! We are stunned to see businesses that do not ask for reviews, especially if clients are telling them how grateful they are for the great service received.
As well as asking customers, you should also explain how they create their Google reviews, step by step if necessary. In addition, always respond to each review and thank the person for leaving it. That includes anyone who leaves a negative review. You will gain enormous credit if you accept responsibility when something goes wrong and not only promise to put it right, but also take action to prove you have. You may even see a negative Google review changed to a positive one.