The influence that a small business website has on consumer purchase decisions is often contested, with many putting a greater emphasis on listings management, social media and online reviews for example. However, new data suggests that the website may have more influence as a means to reinforce or compliment other digital efforts.
According to a new study, 54% of consumers visit a business website after reading positive reviews. This was the most common second step after reading these reviews, followed by visiting the business (19%), searching for more reviews about the business (17%), contacting the business (7%) and continuing to look for other businesses (3%).
Online reviews have become the digital extension of word-of-mouth, with 91% of consumers relying on reviews regularly or at least occasionally to inform their purchase decisions. However, as the data show, the path to purchase doesn't always begin and end with reviews. Consumers today are engaging with a number of media to inform these decisions, and in many cases, it is the spectrum of marketing methods that drive a purchase.