If you have ever purchased or at least considered buying anything online, say on Amazon, chances are that you are somewhat familiar with the cognitive buying process and the role played by social proof in the form of online reviews in reassuring and instilling confidence to make you ascertain that the product or service that you’re interested in comes recommended by how many people and to what degree. This is how online reviews influence customers.
“It has been found that an average consumer reads at least 10 reviews before being able to trust a business and spends around 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading reviews before making a decision.”
So, let us first emphasize a bit on what exactly is this social proof and why is it so important:
To put it subtly, Social Proof is more of a “psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior.” It is a kind of business or marketing strategy to increase conversions by prodding people to buy a product or service and putting them at ease with the reassurance that others have bought it too.
Social proof can have many forms like Facebook likes, comments, customer reviews and ratings, social media reviews in general, case-studies, TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and other certification badges, social testimonials, celebrity endorsements, etc. In fact, social testimonials & reviews on your own website as social proof can increase your website’s conversion by a greater percentage.
The same psychology applies when looking at hotel options for booking a stay or while planning a trip as:
Nowadays, virtually all the travelers, nearly 95% read reviews online before booking accommodation. All these reviews could be read on platforms like TripAdvisor, Google, and various other OTA platforms apart from the forums and online travel communities, travel blogs, etc. each of which plays an important role in influencing an individual’s decision and leading them to the hotel website for more information and research.
To instill further trust and confidence in people, it is important for the hotels to equally invest in decking up their websites with enough social proof marketing for better clarity about their position and overall reputation. Surely, glowing reviews from a past guest has the power to grip a visitor’s attention and influence their booking decisions.
While social proof can be multifaceted in nature, one such form of social proof that is gaining traction nowadays is the Review Widget for Hotel Website.
Let us discuss a bit about the Review Widget as social proof in detail:
More of a plugin or code, a review widget is a great means of boosting your website’s conversion and is more of an automated feature that can make even a simple webpage look impressive (for instance, the TripAdvisor reviews widget). Including this on your website will help boost the overall onsite experience. It helps showcase customer reviews from trusted sites like Google, TripAdvisor, Expedia, Booking.com, thereby creating a sense of community and popularity around your property or service, allowing the hotel to flaunt stellar reviews at all the crucial points on the website to influence visitors’ booking decision.
Thus, an excellent means of social proof, let us first explore the benefits of having a Review Widget on your hotel website:
Veritably, a review and rating widget on the website can help optimize the conversion rate through its authenticity, credibility, and relevance. It helps a visitor on your website learn more about the various aspects of your property (cleanliness, location, food/drinks, amenities), the quality of service and helps set expectations for your brand. In fact, a review widget as social proof is a great way of bringing the customers face-to-face with the various aspects and gives them more insights based on the reliability emotion that comes from the voice of your past guests and their glowing reviews on your service. Vicariously, it helps increase the desire to book and boosts conversion rates.
Having a review widget surely comes loaded with a lot of benefits. It can also help boost your organic traffic accompanied by SEO benefits. Reviews provide search engines with content that is fresh, engaging, unique, and relevant, helping to relate directly with customers’ queries. So include your review content in the form of a review widget as social proof at all the crucial points on your website, especially at the check-out, and do not give your visitors an excuse to leave your website.
Frankly speaking, guests would want to know more about your property and service before making the final call. As per a popular study, 50% of online travelers have written an online review in the last 12 months. Interestingly, 53% of travelers won’t book a hotel without reviews. Thus, flashing positive reviews on your website should be a top priority.
Showing the date of the comment establishes its recency and acts as a positive indicator. People care more about the recency of the review than a testimonial from years ago.
Let’s face it: if you are not going to want to spend the time weekly on this to decide which reviews to showcase, why not resort to automation? We, at GuestTouch, have designed a widget that allows you to showcase best reviews (based on review score) automatically from mixed sources. You can also select your favorite reviews to be highlighted.
There is no denying the fact that a review widget can help leverage social proof on your website if used in the right way. It can help publish comments on your webpage from some of your happiest customers to highlight what guests love the most about your brand. It can reassure your potential guests, help build credibility, reduce friction on your hotel website, and help boost your hotel’s direct sales and bookings.
The GuestTouch review widget as social proof makes it easy for you to show your guest reviews at every stage of the customer journey.
As 95% of travel booking decisions are made online, what can hotel brands do to boost website conversion and drive direct sales? Our review widget creates a sense of community, popularity and instills confidence in customers around the hotel’s brand by allowing your hotel to show off all your best and fresh reviews in the most important places on your website.
• Show your best reviews with the Reviews Carousel
• Show off your best reviews from trusted sources to establish trust and credibility: TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Expedia, Google, etc.
• Select your favorite reviews to showcase or simply automate it based on overall ratings and sentiments
• Easy to set up and configure