‍When you own a small business, staying updated can be difficult. There’s no time to read newspaper articles, much less blog and tweet about them. Fortunately, there are other businesses with whom you can share information. If your company qualifies as a B2B entity that is—that is if you sell products or services directed at other businesses. 

Any business that sells its wares direct to customers qualifies in this case. And if you have an eCommerce site or offer goods and services via something called a marketplace such as Amazon or Etsy – or even if you sell via a network of independent vendors who deliver their goods on behalf of the final customer – then that makes you a B2B entity as well. The good news? 

These days, nearly anyone with a computer and an internet connection can establish an online presence to help market their business. Establishing and monitoring these sites regularly can be one of the best ways to grow your small enterprise in today’s digital economy environment. Let’s take a look at some ways online reviews can help your business succeed.

Online Reviews For Your Business

Before we dig into the ways online reviews can help your business grow, let’s take a look at why you should care about reviews in the first place. For starters, online reviews are a great tool for letting customers know if your business is worth the money. 

This might sound obvious, but we’ve all been in situations where we’ve found ourselves needing to purchase without actually seeing the product or trying it out first. If a product looks interesting and meets our basic needs, but nobody has reviewed it yet, we may decide to risk putting our money elsewhere. 

The best way to avoid this is to make it a priority to collect and convert customer reviews. At the very least, you’ll be helping out other customers by providing unbiased information about your product or service.

8 Ways Online Reviews Help Your Business

1. Build Brand Recognition

Online reviews can help you build brand recognition because customers leave reviews more often if they’re familiar with your brand. While it’s true that many people will leave a good review regardless of unfamiliarity with the company, many others are likely to do so only if they’re interested in the product first. 

Thus, online reviews can help you build recognition by providing a positive reference point. Because online reviews are so easy to acquire, they can even be a good way to gain feedback from your competitors to help bolster your brand recognition.

2. Drive Conversions

Online reviews can help you drive conversions because they often include positive sentiments about the product and its quality. Thus, many customers who leave reviews might also be ready to purchase based on the recommendations. This is especially true if the review is posted by a current or former customer who is familiar with your products or services.

3. Cultivate Customer Relationships

Online reviews can help you cultivate relationships with your customers because they’re a great way to learn more about your customers. The key here is to use the insight you glean to improve your services and products over time. 

As those reviews build brand recognition and provide references for your products and brand, those reviews will soon be helping you build trust among your current customers. And in many cases, this can even lead to new business.

4. Increase Sales

Online reviews can help you increase sales because they play an important role in online marketing efforts. As such, they can help you to boost your online visibility. This means that your company appears higher in search results and on directories, which helps to boost traffic to your site. 

The best way to boost the volume of reviews is to get active on review sites. Join online forums, read online journals and blogs, post comments, and engage with other users. Engage with users in person or online and make sure to get as much feedback as you possibly can. 

Once you have a good amount of reviews, start submitting your business to social media sites such as Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Doing so will allow you to boost your online reviews even more.

5. Connect Online And Onsite

Online reviews can help you build connections between your brand and customers because those reviews often include links to your website or social media pages. Thus, you’re helping to promote your presence in the online world as well as in in-person ones. 

This is especially helpful in today’s highly social environment. After all, many customers now expect to interact with brands online as well as in person. Online reviews can help you promote your presence in this latter context by connecting you to your online fans.

6. Grow Repeat Business

Online reviews can help you grow repeat business because they provide references to past sales. Thus, many customers who leave reviews are likely to be satisfied customers who will happily recommend your products or services to others. Research suggests that the best way to generate new sales is to increase the volume of existing ones, rather than engage in new sales. 

Thus, the best thing you can do to increase sales is to increase the volume of reviews you’ve received. As reviews build your online presence and boost other social media efforts, they’ll also help you generate new sales from satisfied customers.

7. Create Employee Morale and Retention

Online reviews can help you create employee morale and retention because employees are generally encouraged to post reviews about their experiences at work. That is, you can expect to hear from current employees about the benefits of posting reviews. 

And those reviews can also help you to retain top talent. After all, most employers are likely to be concerned about the volume of reviews their employees have received. Those reviews can help you to show employees that their experiences at work were positive, and they can help to boost retention efforts.

8. Stay Relevant

Online reviews can help you stay relevant because they represent actual customer experiences with your products and services. Thus, you can compare your brand to those of competitors and see how your current customers like you. 

You can also see where your customers might have been unhappy with their experiences with you. This is important because it helps you to stay relevant in your industry. After all, you can’t expect to be successful if you’re not relevant. You can’t be successful if you don’t know what your customer wants, wants.

Online Reviews Can Also Be Harmful

Like any marketing tool, online reviews can do a lot of good if they’re used well. However, they can also lead to unintended consequences and are even harmful if they’re not handled carefully. 

Fake Reviews

Many online review sites offer the ability to include a genuine review written by a third party. Consumers should be wary, however, of reviews that are written by a company’s employees or those that are written in the voice of the company. 

These reviews may be fake and intended solely to boost the company’s online reputation. The best way to spot these kinds of reviews is to ask an outside source (a friend, colleague, etc.) to review your products or services. 

These reviews are often written by someone who has used your company or product services. If your company receives a negative review, you can use the information to your advantage.

High Competition

Finally, it’s worth remembering that every business is competing for customers’ attention. If your business receives a negative review, be sure to incorporate a response into your marketing strategy. 

There are several ways to respond to a brand-damaging review. For example, you can contact the reviewer and offer an apology for any issues that the review has raised. You can also respond by explaining why the reviewer’s experience was a one-off.

Damaged Reputation

A negative online review can have a damaging impact on your brand. This is particularly true if the reviewer’s message is deliberately damaging. In such cases, you can take steps to minimize the damage. 

For example, you can take down any reviews that are deemed to be too damaging and have any additional posts, such as replies to the original review, removed. 

You can also respond to the review and explain to consumers that the experience the reviewer had was a one-off. This can help to minimize the damage that the review has caused.


Online reviews are one of the most powerful tools for brands to grow their businesses. Online customer reviews can be a powerful tool in growing your small business. Use them to cultivate relationships with existing customers, increase sales, connect online and onsite, create employee morale and retention, and stay relevant. 

These are just a few ways you can use online customer reviews to help grow your business. To truly reap the benefits of these reviews, though, you’ll need to set up and maintain your online presence. These include your website, blog, email marketing, social media accounts, and more. 

Keep your online presence up-to-date and your customers will have a place to leave reviews and share your brand. And with each review, you’ll be reminded of how much your old customers appreciate what you do for them.

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