The Impact of Recent Customer Reviews on Product Visibility

August 24, 2021
Contributor: Andrew Conrad

Customer reviews are critical to winning new customers, and authentic, recent reviews are the gold standard.

Verified user reviews give buyers confidence that the product or service they are considering has been tested and approved by their peers.

Business software buyers are no different. But not all reviews hold equal value in the eyes of potential customers.

For one thing, verified reviews from real people who have actually used the product are a must, and buyers are becoming more savvy in recognizing fake reviews. In fact, even a negative review is more valuable than an inauthentic review. A negative review gives you a chance to improve your product, while a fake review only casts doubt on the quality of all your reviews.

Verified, recent reviews build buyer trust and confidence

As thorough as you may be with product information on your website and marketing channels, potential buyers know you are inclined to paint your software in a flattering light. That’s where authentic customer reviews come in, filling a gap in knowledge about your product online, and building buyer trust that they’ll purchase a quality software solution.

It may be tempting to collect a handful of glowing reviews to build buyer trust and then forget about your review collection efforts. But it isn’t quite that simple. It’s vital to continue collecting up-to-date, authentic reviews—both positive and negative—throughout the life of your product.

The Power of Customer Reviews

Learn more about collecting and leveraging online reviews from your customers.

Why is recency so important?

Across our network of software reviews sites—Capterra, GetApp and Software Advice—we have found that reviews that are less than a year old make the strongest impression on potential buyers and yield the best results when it comes to conversions. In fact, 84% of consumers think online reviews that are more than 3 months old are irrelevant, according to BrightLocal. That may seem extreme, but when you consider how often your product evolves with iterations and new features, it makes sense that buyers want the most up-to-date information possible.

The strongest reviews are both recent and authentic

Traditional advertising and marketing efforts can go a long way toward getting your software noticed and drawing buyers into your sales funnel. But when they reach the late stages in their software buying journey, they will likely compare your software against multiple competitors. In this case, positive reviews can often make the difference.

According to Gartner research, more than half of U.S. consumers consult reviews when they know which type of product or service they want to buy, but haven’t settled on a specific provider yet (full report available to Gartner clients).

Percentage of consumers using reviews at each stage of the buying process

Make sure that your reviews are as strong as possible by emphasizing authenticity and constantly generating new feedback, so you’ll always have recent reviews.

An added bonus to constantly generating recent reviews is that, over time, this will lead to more eyeballs on your software product. Software vendors on Gartner Digital Markets see a 127% increase in traffic to their profile pages when they collect 10 or more reviews.

Andrew Conrad

Andrew Conrad is a Senior Content Writer specializing in helping small businesses use technology more efficiently and effectively. The Maryland native received his bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Maryland and has created content for leading publications including the Baltimore Sun and PSFK. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn.

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