Online Reviews – Quantity over Quality?

Online reviews matter for small businesses. Good reviews can take your business to another level, but bad reviews are expected to cripple a business. When it comes to online reviews, it may actually be quantity over quality according to a study by WomplyWomply found businesses with over 200 reviews earn twice as much as the average firm. 

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What Is Womply?

Womply's information about online reviews is groundbreaking
Womply's information about online reviews is groundbreaking

Womply, a San Fransisco based small business software company, used data from more than 200,000 businesses across the country.  They found that roughly 4 out of 5 reviews are positive.  The shocking news was negative reviews didn’t necessarily mean a loss in revenue, and surprisingly, 5-star ratings didn’t necessarily yield more revenue.

Replying Is Key

Based on their research, the three most important things were: having more reviews, recent reviews, and frequent responses. What was surprising was that, according to Womply, businesses that have up to 50% negative reviews online earn nearly the same as the average business (20% negative).   Businesses that respond to more than 20% of their reviews earn over 40% more than those that don’t respond at all.  

Fears of Negative Online Reviews are Mostly Unfounded

Based on these data, it’s more important to interact with those who review you than it is for them to like you.  It seems odd, but that’s what the data say.  And, when you come to think of it, maybe it doesn’t.  It may just be human nature.  If someone took the time to write you a note, you’d probably take the time to reply.  People seem to respect that. 


A Bad Review is all it takes to hurt a business
A negative online review used to be scary, but now is something to deal with sensibly

We are often reluctant to ask for reviews out of fear of someone saying something negative, but these data show that those fears are mostly unfounded.  Reviews negative or positive provide an opportunity to improve your business and have a better handle on quality control. 

Other major findings...

      • Not all businesses are treated equally – if you’re a taxi driver, hotel, or in real estate, people can be harsh. 
      • Ignore your listings at your peril: Claiming your listings on at least 3 major sites can yield an extra $100K vs. the average business and $200K vs. those who ignore them. 
      • Google is king when it comes to Online Reviews, over  
      • Consumers spend a lot more at businesses (over 50%) that reply to reviews. 

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