There are tons of online review facts and stats on the Internet that show how positive reviews build trust, increase conversion rates, generate new and repeat custom and foster loyalty. The fact is that online reviews can be very good for your business.
And then there’s the flip side. Negative, or even fake reviews, that are just bad for business.
Managing reviews can be a bit of a headache, especially if you don’t know where to start. But it’s a valuable and increasingly important part of every business’s growth strategy.
Here are 30 online review facts and stats that show the value and importance of managing your company’s online reviews.
Online review facts and stats – the impact on consumer decision-making
- 93% of people say online reviews impact their buying decisions.
- 91% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- And 90% of people take the time to read online reviews before visiting a business.
The impact of online reviews on trust and credibility
If your reviews are positive, people are more likely to trust you, buy from you and recommend your business.
- Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more.
- And displaying reviews can increase conversion rates by 270%.
- It’s also interesting to note that people read an average of 10 online reviews before trusting a business.
- And, 40% of consumers only take into account reviews written in the past 2 weeks. So, they’re really paying attention to the most up-to-date comments from consumers.
- 68% of consumers are willing to pay up to 15% more for the same product or service if assured they’ll have a better experience.
The impact of negative reviews on your business
- 75% of businesses say online reviews, comments and forum posts are important to the financial and reputational status of their business.
- Negative reviews drive customers away from your business. 94% of people say an online review has convinced them to avoid a business.
- And research shows that companies risk losing 22% of business when potential customers find 1 negative article on the first page of search results. This rises to 70% of potential customers with 4 or more negatives.
- 51% of businesses say they’ve been negatively affected by unsubstantiated online reviews or targeted by trolls. And 35% of people say that one negative review is enough to make them decide not to buy.
But what if your business doesn’t have any reviews at all? The facts about online reviews…
- That’s not good for your business. Why? Because 92% of consumers hesitate to make a purchase if there are no customer reviews.
Does the impact of online reviews change depending on the business sector?
- In 2017, just 13% of consumers said they were likely to leave a review after a positive experience at a bank. But in 2018 that jumped to 19%.
- Only 14% said they were likely to leave a review after a positive experience with an insurance agent. This rose to 18% in 2018.
- Nearly 70% of car buyers always check online reviews before contacting a dealer.
- 60% of people read online reviews for a local restaurant or café.
Online review facts and stats – written reviews vs star ratings
- Interestingly, 73% of consumers say written reviews make more of an impression than star/number ratings.
- But 57% of consumers need at least a 4* rating before they choose to use a business.
Online review facts – where do most consumers check online reviews?
- Google and Facebook have become No 1 and No 2 for online reviews. 63% of consumers say they are likely to check online reviews on Google before visiting a business. That’s more than any other review site.
What about fake reviews?
Fake reviews are a growing problem for businesses and consumers. Consumer reviews help people to make informed decisions about what companies and brands to buy from. But fake reviews can give false positives and false negatives. This misleads consumers and can harm businesses.
- According to Which? the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) estimates that £23 billion a year of UK consumer spending is influenced by online customer reviews. But research from Which? shows fake reviews can have a detrimental effect on consumers. 31% of people say they’ve bought a product because of excellent customer scores and were disappointed by it.
- But, while 90% of people have heard of fake reviews, only 61% are concerned by them.
Does age matter when it comes to consumer opinions about reviews?
- 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 95% of people aged 18-34).
- 61% of people aged over 55 want businesses to have 4 or more stars. Compared with 52% of 18-34-year-olds.
- 80% of 18-30-year-olds have written online reviews, compared with 41% of consumers over 55.
Responding to reviews
The way businesses respond to reviews matters – because it is scrutinized.
- Businesses that reply to reviews at least 25% of the time have an average of 35% more revenue.
- 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to positive and negative reviews.
When do people expect a response to their online review?
Consumers’ expectations about how quickly a business should respond to an online review varies. Some people expect a response to their review within the hour, others within a week. The most important thing to ensure is that you do respond to a customer’s review.
- 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week.
- But 63% say that a business has never responded to their review – which is disappointing.
- Review responses make a measurable difference, to the consumer and everyone else who visits the business’s review page. 45% of consumers say that they’re more likely to visit a business if it actually responds to negative reviews.
Online review facts – recommendations for businesses
A solid review management strategy can help you to manage online reviews, and use positive sentiment to your advantage.
- Get a review management strategy to help you generate positive reviews and handle negative reviews in the right way.
- And claim your business page on review sites.
- Track and respond to your reviews using a review management tool – because this will give you more visibility and control.
- Use your strategy to fix problems, build credibility and trust and increase sales.
- Prioritise fixing issues identified in negative reviews – embrace the opportunity to improve.
- Share the positives – spread the positive sentiment to build credibility.
Igniyte is a leading online reputation management company, working with businesses around the world to build, repair and maintain positive reputations. Learn more about our online review strategies and management services for businesses here. All facts and stats from Igniyte and the sources cited in this article’s online review facts and stats blogpost are correct at the time of publication.