Definition | Benefits of Reviews | Best Platforms |
The most popular review platforms are generally those that aggregate user reviews in a way that makes it easy for consumers to sift through them and understand more about the product or service.
Given that most consumers rely on user reviews to inform their purchase decisions, it’s hard to overestimate the importance of these review platforms for businesses.
What is a review platform?
A review platform is a site which collects user reviews of products and services and then displays them according to various filters such as star rating.
The purpose of the review platform is to highlight the experience of customers who have had hands-on experience with the product or service. Since it’s not always easy to take a company’s word about its products or services at face value, many consumers like to browse through user reviews before they part with their cash.
The review platform is, as such, an essential tool for both business owners and customers. It can make or break a company’s reputation and credibility, so it’s in the interest of business owners to ensure they provide a five-star service to their clientele.
While reviews aren’t everything, it’s hard to uphold a positive online reputation without them. Even if the reviews for the company aren’t 100% positive, more reviews inevitably leads to more exposure and increased visibility. This usually results in customer interest, which can usually be converted into sales.
What are the benefits of having customer reviews?
Customer reviews should form an integral part of your marketing efforts if you’re a business owner. If you neglect them, they can tear your business down by tarnishing your reputation, but if you nurture them they can skyrocket your sales and propel you to further growth and success.
1. Easier purchasing decision
If you want to secure more sales, putting more time and effort into your marketing strategy seems like a wise course of action.
Yet, you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money or even that much time.
How is that possible?
Well, let’s just say that the user review should be seen as a powerful (and free) marketing tool that you should take advantage of.
The magic phrase here is social proof.
Reviews provide your product or service with a legitimacy that you won’t find anywhere else. That’s because the words come from your customer base.
This social proof can ease a customer’s concerns about the product on offer and perhaps even convince them to make the decision to purchase.
2. Better clickthrough rates
As a business, you want your customers to not just show interest in what you have to offer but to make purchases.
After all, without sales, all the interest in the world won’t mean anything for your financial goals.
To improve clickthrough rates, star ratings are something you need to pay attention to.
While there are ways of using negative reviews in your favor, it goes without saying that glowing four, and five-star reviews are best.
These four and five star reviews will most likely boost your clickthrough rates, as customers will have a much easier time parting with their cash if they perceive the product as well-rated.
It’s much harder to convince someone to invest in a two-star product than a four-star one, so you should do your best to keep customers happy so you can shoot for the stars.
Businesses sometimes have a bad reputation.
Due to the amount of misleading marketing out there, and the number of cutthroat entrepreneurs who care about nothing other than sales, it makes sense that the average customer is reluctant to trust a company’s words.
That isn’t to say you can’t have an effect with your words; it just means that your words have more power if your customer base backs them up.
You could claim that your product is the best in its category and even have third-party testing to back up your claims, but if a few hundred people have bad things to say about it, then your sales will likely suffer.
You need to foster customer trust and loyalty by proving that you are sincere and responsive to customer feedback.
4. Provides Useful Feedback
Without customer feedback, how can you improve upon the products/services you offer?
Reviews are essential for the improvement process, since they give you invaluable information that – if used correctly – can help you increase customer satisfaction going forward.
While it isn’t always easy to hear, negative feedback and criticism from customers are very useful.
Because it shows you if your product has any clear flaws or issues that need to be addressed. It’s very challenging to climb the rankings and get flawless star ratings if a lot of customers have drawn attention to the same problem.
As such, feedback, regardless of whether it is positive or negative, is essential for any business to grow.
What are the best review platforms?
We’ve gathered together 25 of the best review platforms, so you know exactly where to go for real product feedback whether you’re a customer or a business owner.
These platforms all do a great job at presenting the user reviews in a way that’s easy to understand, and easy for you to browse according to various filters so you can quickly find the information you need to make a purchase decision or find out what customers are saying about your business.
Trustindex is used by more than 20,000 businesses, as a platform to display customer reviews and increase sales.
If you’re having trouble finding the best way to proudly show off your five-star reviews and recommendations, then you needn’t look further. Trustindex offers a wide variety of widgets for popular review platforms such as Google, Amazon, and Yelp to help you boost your SEO ranking and customer trust.
TripAdvisor is a review platform that focuses on the travel and leisure industry.
It’s ideal for holidaymakers and businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors, looking to improve the overall customer experience.
The huge review platform receives an estimated 390 million unique monthly visits across its 49 sites, from customers and business owners from all over the world.
3. Google My Business
Google My Business is a service that allows customers to check out local business ratings, and business owners to manage their online reputation and visibility.
It’s an essential tool for business owners as it allows them to be found online and locally, especially if they focus on boosting their local SEO.
Given that most consumers use Google on a regular basis, it’s a great platform to leverage for visibility and for customers it’s easy to find out information about a business quickly.
Facebook is first and foremost a social media platform facilitating social connections and conversation, but it is also widely used as a review platform.
If you set up a business page on Facebook, you can reach a lot of potential customers through the ‘shares’ and ‘likes’ you collect.
It’s currently estimated that there are around 2.89 billion active monthly users on Facebook, so this should dispel any doubts about the visibility you can achieve with Facebook reviews.
Amazon is one of the largest online retailers, stocking products from thousands of companies all over the world.
That makes it an excellent review aggregator, and a great website to visit to get an idea about a product or service from the customers themselves.
With an estimated 2.45 billion average monthly visits this year, you can’t argue with the importance of a site like Amazon for customer reviews.
Yelp is all about crowd-sourced business reviews, covering everything from dentists to hair salons.
As such, it’s a great review platform for service-based businesses and for consumers looking for the best price/quality nearby.
Yelp brings in around 178 million unique visitors every month.
7. Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau, or BBB, is all about fostering customer trust by revealing what a business is really like.
This review platform is for discerning customers looking for a reliable company, and for business owners it’s an important platform to come across well on.
The BBB receives around 7 million monthly visitors every month.
8. Foursquare City Guide
Foursquare City Guide, as you might have guessed from the name, provides reviews about businesses locally in your city.
The app will give users personalized recommendations based on their preferences, so as a business owner you want to be one of the first local businesses to pop up for customers.
The platform receives around 3 billion global visits each month.
Yellowpages is perhaps best known as the large catalogue which you turn to whenever you need to find a local business.
Through the review platform’s website, customers can write reviews and browse existing reviews to inform their purchase decisions.
Yellowpages has on average 60 million monthly visitors.
Trustpilot is one of the most trusted online review platforms, with more than 500,000 companies in its database.
It’s a dedicated review platform that covers a variety of niches from health and fitness to clothing and even travel insurance.
As such, it’s a good website to rank well on if you have a niche business.
If you are looking for good Trustpilot alternatives read our article.
Angi, formerly Angie’s List, is an online directory which provides crowd-sourced reviews for contractors and businesses in your area.
As such, it’s a good review platform to perform well on if you’re an independent contractor or if you run a small local business.
The website receives around 10-11 million monthly visits.
Glassdoor is the go-to website for finding information about businesses and what they are like to work for.
As such, it’s an important website for hiring future employees or for job seekers trying to secure their next position.
If you treat your employees well, you can rank highly on Glassdoor and boost your online reputation. There are around 67 million unique monthly viewers.
13. Choice Reviews
Choice Reviews is part of the Association of College and Research Libraries and gives users access to hundreds of thousands of academic reviews.
As such, if you’re in the education niche, supplying academic textbooks and the like, then you’ll want to make sure you rank highly on the website.
Which? is a UK-based website and magazine which is all about promoting consumer choice.
The brand presents various options to its customers based on reviews and ratings as well as in-house testing, so it’s a great website to be featured on.
Consumer Reports, formerly Consumers Union, is a nonprofit based in the US which serves the consumer through independent product testing.
The review platform conducts its own through research and testing to put products through their paces and provide customers with a detailed assessment.
The website targets every type of product from fridges to exercise bikes, and has an estimated average of 13 million unique monthly visitors.
16. Consumer Affairs
Consumer Affairs is a website built on the idea that ‘knowledge is power’.
As such, it’s a website that promotes transparency and seeks to get to the bottom of company’s claims about their products and services.
Covering an extensive list of business types and services, from insurance to movers, it’s a go-to review platform for many customers. It draws in on average around 4 million unique monthly visitors.
Citysearch is an online city guide that can provide holidaymakers and tourists with all the information they need to know about business in various niches in their destination.
For example, if you’re heading to Chicago and you want some pizza restaurant recommendations, you can use Citysearch to see the options along with user reviews and ratings.
It is considered to be one of the most popular local city guides in the US, helping around 11 million customers a month to reach a purchase decision.
18. Yahoo! Local Listings
While Google My Business is one of the most popular local business listing platforms, Yahoo! has its own rival service called Local Listings.
With this service, you can claim your business listing online and manage it to make it possible for customers to find you locally.
It’s a good platform to boost your local visibility, as on average Yahoo! receives 200 million unique monthly visitors.
A review platform for influencing purchase decisions, Influenster aims to show customers reviews from ‘people just like you’.
The platform relies on modern metrics such as social media analytics to assess a product’s popularity across social media.
As such, it’s a good website for the young, modern consumer. It has around 2.5 million monthly unique visitors.
Not all products are physical, these days there’s a huge demand and market for software.
G2 is one of the best websites to head to for detailed reviews on software options, so if you’re a tech company or startup it’s a good website to rank well on.
There are around 5 million monthly visitors to the website.
TrustRadius is another software reviews platform, so again, if you’re a tech company selling digital property to other businesses then it’s worth checking the site out.
There are around 1 million monthly visitors, which may not seem like much, but considering it’s a specific niche it’s a large audience for software companies.
22. Manta Business Reviews
Manta Business Reviews provides reviews for around 35 million businesses.
You can claim your business listing on the website to boost your visibility, and tap into the pool of customers that regularly use the website.
GoodFirms provides reviews for service-based companies and software products.
If you work for, or run, a B2B (Business to Business) tech company then GoodFirms is a website you’ll want to look into.
The website receives around 700,000 monthly visitors.
24. HubSpot App Marketplace
HubSpot is a popular online marketing company, but it’s the App Marketplace we’re interested in for customer reviews.
Through the website, you can find out what customers have to say about your app or about an app you’re looking to invest in for your business.
It’s a reliable website that can help inform your app purchase decisions.
Capterra is a well-respected website that brings software reviews to the masses. It refers to itself as the ‘world’s leading software reviews and selection platform’ which means it has a lot of clout in the software industry and it’s an invaluable resource to businesses in the niche.
As such, it’s an excellent review platform to aim for if you sell software to businesses or directly to consumers.