Did you know that 49% of people believe online reviews as much as their family and friends’ recommendations about a product? Nearly nine out of ten customers admit to reading product reviews before purchasing anything. Online reviews can either make or break your business.
88% of consumers do read review
What is the importance of online reviews for a business?
Do you know what do 88% of consumers do before buying a product? They check the reviews under the product. Reviews are crucial for your business for the following reasons:
Customer reviews significantly impact sales
Seriously Silly Socks made 60% higher sales on their business website than any other channels due to the 3000 five-star reviews on its page. Up to 93% of customers admitted in a survey that reviews influence their purchase decision the maximum. Additionally, 68% of people develop an interest towards a product or service only after reading a minimum of 5-6 reviews.
Customer reviews and online feedback are the best social proofs for your business. Online review statistics indicate that 74% of customers will only buy from a local store with positive reviews and good online ratings. A survey showed that even a one-star improvement in ratings of a business boosted its sales by 5-9%, even in the short run.
Reviews boost the visibility of your business
As per a report by Google, the percentage of mobile users searching for “product reviews” has increased by 35%. Your business’s reviews on review sites will feed the algorithm with more content. It will help your business surface up on the feeds of your potential customers.
People will learn more about your brand on authoritative sites like Google, Bing and Yelp. A survey by Moz showed that 15% of a small business’ search ranking is determined by its online reviews.
Positive reviews build the reputation of your business
As per customer review statistics, only 48% of people will buy from a brand with an online rating of less than four stars. According to a study, customers are ready to pay 30% more for products from a brand with a solid online reputation.
Millennials and Gen Zs decide if a brand is credible based on the number of positive reviews it gets online. Research shows that products with as few as five reviews are 270% more likely to sell than those with zero reviews. It is the power online reviews hold!
Online reviews can help you build trust among your potential customers
As per a survey, 76% of customers are more likely to trust reviews of other customers rather than a brand’s own description of its products. When your existing customers publicly praise your brand through reviews, it generates trust among your potential customers that massively impacts sales.
9 out of 10 customers decide whether they should trust a business after reading a minimum of ten reviews. 74% of customers admit that positive reviews build their trust in a brand. 26.8% of consumers say that products with 11-50 reviews emit a higher sense of trust among them. On the contrary only 5% of customers feel they can trust products with 500-1000 reviews.
What are the crucial things to keep in mind when it comes to online reviews?
91% of customers read online reviews before buying anything from books and clothes to health insurance. Seventy percent of internet users admit using rating filters (rating of 4 stars and higher) for searching business.
Godard Abel, co-founder and creator of G2 Crowd (a platform for peer-to-peer business solutions) emphasized the growing influence of consumer reviews on purchase decisions of people.
- A 4-star rating seems more credible than a 5-star
No matter how great your product is, there will always be two or three who will badmouth it regardless. People are aware of this fact. So consistent five-star reviews across all platforms may seem suspicious and fake to people. It will give out the impression that a brand is manipulating its reviews. As per a study, brands with a 4.2 or 4.5 rating made the maximum sales.
- It is more important for a brand to respond to negative reviews than positive ones.
It can be tempting for a brand to delete negative reviews or ignore them. But negative reviews help in proving the authenticity of your online reviews. 85% of people will only trust the reviews of a brand if it has negative reviews as well.
72% of buyers appreciate negative reviews under a product because it provides them “more insight and depth to make an informed decision”. 67% of customers want to see a mix of both positive and negative reviews under a product. So your brand must respond wisely to negative reviews by showing genuine concern about the reviewer’s experience and providing assurance to solve the problem in future. It creates trust not just among your existing customers who had a negative experience with your brand but also your potential customers who are reading the reviews.
- Focusing on both quantity and quality
How many reviews should a product have? The “quality” over “quantity” logic doesn’t apply in the case of reviews. Studies show that products that have more than 50 reviews under them have a 4.6% higher conversion rate than products with less than 50 reviews.
Positive reviews will influence a person into buying something only when there are a lot of them. 68% of customers in a 2023 online shopper’s survey agreed that they don’t trust a high review rating unless there is a high quantity of reviews under that product.
What percent of customers conduct online research before buying a product?
As per Google review stats, 81% of customers will always hunt for information about a brand and its products and resolve their queries before they buy a product (from online or offline stores). A study by GE Capital Retail Bank found that most customers on an average spend 79 days doing research about a brand and collecting information about its product before making a major purchase.
As per a global study, 36% of internet users between the age of 25-34 use online reviews for product and brand research. 62% of shoppers are more compelled to buy a product/service if the review has photos and videos left by the customers with words. As per a recent study published by Bazaarvoice, it was seen that in-the store shopping behavior of people is highly influenced by the online research they conduct before it.
As per research, 50% of all offline purchases in product categories of beauty, health, electronics, tech, and automotive happen after reading an online review. As per Sara Spivey, CMO of Bazaarvoice, “People spend $5 in-store for every dollar spent online post online research”. This indicates that online reviews impact offline sales even more than online sales itself.
What is the average number of reviews a customer reads online before buying a product?
Online reviews statistics show that more than half of the online shoppers (54.7%) read a minimum of four product reviews before buying a product. As per Bizrate Insights 2021, around 44% of shoppers read only three or fewer reviews. A recent survey by Statista showed that American consumers need to read a minimum of 10 reviews to trust a brand. But 31% of these consumers read even more than 55+ reviews before they trust a brand enough to make a purchase. Also, statistics point out that 85% of consumers do not consider reviews older than three months relevant.
How effective are online reviews?
- According to a study by USA Today, when a product goes from zero reviews to just one review, the click of the “buy button” increases by 65%. One bad review can lead to 86% of customers quitting purchasing from a brand. It is because a dissatisfied customer spreads bad word of mouth to typically 9-15 other people and in some cases more than 20 people.
- An expert analyst estimated that online reviews fuel about 20% of global sales. This statistic when applied to the figure of global e-commerce sales ($2 trillion sales) prove that online reviews brought more than $400 billion in sales.
- Online review statistics 2024 show that positive reviews under higher priced products show almost a double conversion rate than lower price products
- As per a survey by Moz, online reviews account for around 15.44% of SEO ranking credit. Search engines consider quality, quantity, diversity and the speed with which reviews are posted.
- As per online review statistics by Uberall (brick-and-mortar business), a 0.1% increase in star ratings improves the conversion rate by 25%. They also found in a study that a 3.7% star rating improves conversion rates up to 120%.
How important is it for brands to respond to online reviews?
As per a survey by Bright Local, more than half of online shoppers (55%) feel good about a brand if it responds to their feedback (positive or negative). 89% of consumers are highly likely to buy from a brand that responds to all its reviews. 22% of shoppers admit never buying from a brand that does not respond to its online reviews.
As per a survey by Podium, more than half of customers change their minds about a brand (towards a positive side) when it responds to its reviews. It gives them a perspective on how responsible and caring a business is towards its customers. Online review statistics 2024 show that 97 percent of shoppers who read online reviews admit that they read responses from the brand as well.
45% of customers admitted that they are more likely to buy from a brand if it responds to its negative reviews. But simply responding to negative reviews is not enough. The response should be quick. According to online review statistics for 2023, 53% of shoppers expect brands to reply to their negative reviews within a week. One-third of customers expect the response in even less time (three days or less).
Responding to negative reviews is a part of providing good customer service for brands. It not just leaves a good impression on your potential customers but also placates your existing unsatisfied customers and increases the chances of retaining them.
How much can a negative review cost your business?
- As per a recent survey by an analyst, a brand needs to attract a minimum of 40 positive reviews to outweigh the damage caused by a single negative review of its product.
- According to online review statistics, 94% of shoppers admit that they will never buy from a brand with more than five negative reviews.
- Research shows that two out of every ten customers are driven away from a brand just by a single negative review.
- Online reputation statistics show that three negative reviews of a product can drive away 60% of the potential customers and four or more negative reviews can drive away up to 70% of your potential customers.
- But do you know, on the contrary, negative reviews of businesses by consumers can sometimes have a positive effect on the business as well? According to Spiegel Research Centre, when customers read negative reviews on a business website, they spend 4x more time on the website. It results in a 67% higher conversion rate.
What percentage of customers leaves reviews?
According to a study by USA Today, only 5% of customers who use a product from a brand go to the site to write a review about it. As per a worldwide survey by Statista, more than half of the online shoppers (52%) in the age group of 25-30 post a review online. Their primary motive behind writing a review is to inform fellow shoppers about their customer experience and the overall product performance. Since 2010, the average length of a customer review has dropped to 200 characters from 600 characters. It is the same length as an expanded tweet. But though review lengths have gotten shorter, more and more people are leaving reviews in 2023 than ever.
As per another survey by Bright Local, when brands prompt a customer to leave a review, at least 12% of them always do so. 23% of shoppers leave a review only half of the time when prompted by a brand, and 30% of them leave a review sometimes. 41% of these people in the survey were asked for a review via email, 35% of them on a receipt and 35% in person. 16% of shoppers say they are “very likely” to review a brand if a staff member asks them to do it via text message or email.
According to a survey by Spiegel Research Centre, 80% of the reviews online originate from a friendly follow-up email by a business asking the customer about their experience using the product. It makes it one of the most effective strategies of a business to collect reviews from verified buyers, compared to anonymous reviews with no source. Verified reviews improve the purchase decisions of potential shoppers by 15%.
So far the biggest factor influencing a buyer to leave a review is a brand’s exceptional customer service. 61% of shoppers say they are “very likely” to leave a review for a business if it exceeds their expectations of customer service. 37% of shoppers are “likely” to do so if a brand converts its negative shopping experience to a positive one. As per Podium, 81% of customers say they have left a review for a business four times a year or less. 20% of customers say they have never left a review for a business.
Also, a survey of 1004 respondents conducted by Zendesk on social media, showed that people are more likely to leave a review when they have a negative experience of using a product as compared to a positive one. In the survey, 49% of shoppers shared their negative experience, while only 38% of shoppers shared a positive review on social media. This trend was followed even on review websites. While 46% of people shared a negative review about a brand, only 27% of customers left positive feedback. But also on the contrary, research by Jungle Scout showed that 56% of customers are likely to leave a review if the product or service was exceptional.
But there has been a slight change in scenario since the pandemic. Nearly half of the customers who would usually leave a negative review hesitate to do so since Covid 19. It is because people have become more empathetic towards the challenges a business faces while surviving amidst a global disaster.
Online Reputation Statistics
It is the reason 42% of businesses admit that their reputation has improved since the pandemic. Also, since the pandemic, around 31% of customers read more reviews, and 67% admitted not buying from a business if the reviews claimed that it did not follow its health and safety measures.
Do people trust the reviews they read online?
As per a survey conducted among online shoppers in 2023, 37 per cent of customers trust an online review as much as influencer recommendations on social media. 28% of shoppers say that they trust online reviews the same as articles written by subject matter experts. 78% of people trust reviews more than direct marketing by brands. But for a person to trust a review, it should be from a verified source.
Also, online reviews should be of a fair length for people to trust. Too short or too-long reviews with complicated words hamper an individual’s trust in an online review. However, the amount of influence reviews (both positive and negative) have on customers varies across different industries. Authenticity and transparency are the two most important factors people consider while reading an online review. So if a potential customer gets any hint of a brand manipulating its reviews or the review platform censoring the negative review, they are not likely to trust the reviews under their products.
Deleting negative reviews can jeopardize business sales to a massive extent. As per a survey by Trustpilot 2020, 62 per cent of customers admit that they will never support a brand that engages in review censorship. Brands often indulge in practices like, buying fake reviews on major review sites like Amazon and Google. Statistics show that 62 per cent of customers have zero tolerance for fraudulent reviews.
The latest statistics from the business ratings and reviews industry indicate that the following factors harm a customer’s trust in reviews:
- Products with only 5-star rating
- Products with only positive reviews
- Products with very few reviews or too many reviews
- Products with extremely short reviews.
- Products with reviews overloaded with praise or too much negativity.
- Too many reviews with similar content or using common phrases.
- Only a very few positive reviews among several negative reviews.
- Reviews with hardly any text and just a star rating.
Where do people read reviews? Google Review Statistics
As per a survey by Bright Local, 63% of customers say that Google is their primary place to look for reviews of any brand or product. A survey on consumer reviews found that online shoppers are 2x more likely to look for reviews on Google than any other verified sources. Research shows that an average Local business usually has around 39 reviews on Google. 74% of local businesses have at least one review on Google.
But this number also varies a lot across industries. Given the dominance of Google on online reviews, businesses need to invest in strategies to manage their reviews on Google and build better customer trust. 50% of consumers do not have 100% trust in Google reviews and doubt their authenticity. So businesses must take steps to maintain the authenticity of the digital reviews with better transparency, such as citing reliable sources for verified reviews, removing anonymous reviews, etc.
The second most common place for people (59%) to read reviews is Amazon. 54% of people say they read reviews on Facebook, and 32% say they use Yelp. As of December 2021, Yelp has averaged over 224 million reviews. It was tracked that these reviews came from 31 million unique devices. According to Yelp, most of these reviews come from the home and local services industry. Shopping reviews under the category of beauty and fitness are the next popular category of reviews.
The modern generation of Gen Zs and Millennials also hop on Twitter to read reviews. Research by Yopto indicated that reviews shared on Twitter are more likely to increase a brand’s sales (by 6.46%) than reviews on any other platform. Local businesses should also consider featuring their reviews on Bing Local, Yahoo Local Listings, Yellow Pages, and Citysearch. 25 per cent of people refer to social media for reviews, and 12 percent of people refer to industry-specific sites. 10% of people use “other” sites to refer to reviews and 7% of people refer to Angie’s list.
All this data indicates that it is not sufficient for brands to post and manage reviews only on their website. Only one in five customers admits to fully trusting the reviews on a brand’s website. Most of them refer to third-party sites for more authentic reviews. 70 percent of customers say that they & “somewhat trust” the online reviews of a product on its brand website. So as a brand, you must diversify the digital reviews of your products among different platforms and respond to all these external site reviews for a strong brand image.
What are the latest Google Review Statistics?
The following statistics indicate the status of online reviews on Google:
- As per Review Tracker, zero-click searches on Google increased to 65% in 2020. Google always displays online reviews on its organic search results as snippets with a star rating.
- The latest research shows that 81% of people will always check Google Reviews before they visit any business in person. The year before 2023, this percentage was 63.3%.
- As per a survey by Bright Local, online reviews account for 12% of top local SEO factors on Google. The major local SEO ranking factors are on-page optimization (25%), links (22%), reviews (12%), and Google Business Profile (21%). So as a business, you need to work on all these factors to improve your business’ SEO ranking on Google.
- Businesses with an average of 47 reviews on Google appear in the top 3 local rankings.
- According to Bright Local, most local businesses have an average rating of 4.42 on Google. 61 per cent of brands have a rating between 4 and 5 stars. Five per cent of brands have an average star rating of below 3 stars.
It is clear from all these statistics that online reviews are slowly becoming a crucial part of brand management and product advertisement. The current trend shows that people over the years will be more influenced by reviews than marketing campaigns to buy from a brand.