Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, the online demand for services and products has risen beyond expectation. This rapid growth has also significantly increased the volume of online reviews.
A recent poll of consumers concluded that 71% believe reviews matter more today than ever before the pandemic.
We still have yet to see how the pandemic will fundamentally change the overall landscape of online shopping and online reviews. Let’s look into how things have transpired over the year.
Has the Pandemic Changed Reviews?
According to a study, they found top three characteristics for online reviews consumers chose were: quality of service or products (80%), reasonable prices (75%), and good customer service (75%). However, research also noted a significant drop during the pandemic: quality to 56%; prices to 54%; and customer service to 52%.
This shift exemplified how people’s priorities changed with businesses. Pandemic safety and mask-wearing have become much more important to consumers. You can see the change within the 25% drop in categories.
Relying on Reviews
That being said, communication via online reviews has increased. When the pandemic first started and lockdowns were in place, people began to depend on online ordering and delivery. It became a necessity.
It raised the expectations of rapid responses to online reviews or through social media; consumers have been actively voicing their opinions and criticisms of businesses.
Reviews have also served as a barometer of quality and expectations in a dire time, where quantity is limited, and people resort to new brands. The need to give reviews to help others navigate their own needs has become imperative.
The pandemic also aided newer or small businesses. Since the pandemic left many desperate, people were willing to go outside their comfort zone with new brands.
Smaller businesses were able to shine and showcase their customer service and product quality. The pandemic allowed people to expand where they shop and boost many businesses’ online reputations worldwide. For some companies, the pandemic posed a crisis, whereas, for some, it posed an opportunity.
Will This Continue?
We all keep talking about getting back to a new “normal” after the pandemic. But will that be the case? Surveys have suggested that these drastic changes are here to stay.
“Companies that put e-commerce at the heart of their business strategies are prepared for the post-COVID-19 era,” said Yomi Kastro, founder, and CEO of Inveon. “There is an enormous opportunity for industries that are still more used to physical shopping, such as fast-moving consumer goods and pharmaceuticals.” The reality is the pandemic has shifted business models and the dependency on online reviews.
What we do know with certainty is that businesses will continue to need to manage online reviews, most likely now more than ever.
That’s why it’s essential to invest in reputation management software such as ReviewInc that can help with the upkeep of online reviews, even during a pandemic. Our team can help navigate your online reputation to help keep you and your customers happy. Set up a demo today to learn how!