Founded in 2004, Yelp has become a multibillion-dollar digital empire. It and other customer review sites have become extremely important to local businesses. While most sales happen in physical stores, the internet – and smartphones in particular – are used for the search. Window shopping is now done online. Review sites serve as tractor beams pulling consumers towards shops when they are ready to purchase something. Small businesses can encourage their customers to leave reviews, and most reviews left on Yelp are positive. Furthermore, businesses can engage with those who leave negative reviews, and also learn from the criticism. Word of mouth has always been important, but today, it happens on review sites like Yelp.

Key Takeaways:

  • The single most important thing you can do to attract new customers is to take control of your online review score.
  • Consumers are using the internet to figure out where they want to spend money locally before they go there.
  • Via their iPhones, tablets and computers these online visitors post over 100 million business reviews regularly.

” 90% of customers say that what they decide to buy is influenced by positive online reviews”

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