The Importance of Online Reviews in 2016

There is perhaps nothing more important to consumers than seeing the opinions of other consumers about the products and services they are thinking about spending their money on. About 90% of all consumer have read online reviews at some point in the time online (it’s nearly impossible to avoid them on sites like Amazon), while about that same percentage put as much trust in those reviews as they would in the recommendation from a friend.

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The short version of all of this data: people read reviews and reviews have a heavy impact on whether or not they spend their money on something. Here are some more important statistics about the importance of online reviews:

  • Businesses that have excellent reviews are likely to get 31% more profits from their customers than businesses that do not have that same level of reviews. This means that if you want to make more money off of an individual customer or client, you will want to have great reviews.
  • Around a quarter of all consumers say that reviews on local review websites like Yelp and Urbanspoon make them more likely to trust a local business. Small, local businesses can greatly benefit from having reviews on these directories, as it shows that not only have other consumers spent their money there, they have also enjoyed the product or service they were given.
  • More than 90% of people are swayed into using a local business if their rating is above four stars. Local businesses are more of an unknown than national businesses—having reviews is about more than social proof, it’s about proving to your customers that you can provide a quality experience not just to one person, but consistently.
  • sarasota seo serviceAbout a quarter of all consumers have to read a positive review before they are willing to make a purchase. What does this mean for your business? That if you do not have positive reviews, you are going to lose about a quarter of your customers or clients, right off the bat.
  • The three traits that consumers most look for in businesses, while reading reviews, is whether or not that business is reliable, whether or not they are experts, and how professionally they treat consumers. This is especially true of local businesses, who are usually thought of as less professional and to have less expertise than a larger, well-known business.
  • The majority of consumers (about a third), will read in between four and six reviews before they make a purchasing decision. Only eight percent of the population will read absolutely no reviews before buying, while about a quarter read two or three reviews before making a decision. About two percent of people will actually read more than fifty reviews before the decide whether or not to buy.
  • If you have a negative review, it will cause more than 85% of people to hesitate before they decide to buy from you. Even a single negative review will stop people from making a purchase they otherwise would have made.
  • One star on Yelp is equal to in between a five and nine percent increase in revenue for that business, while a negative review, on the other hand, will make about thirty customers jump ship. If you go up from four stars to five stars, you’ll make upwards of 9% more money, while one negative review, will take away thirty potential customers.
  • The percentage of consumers that have made a purchase from a business they have researched through Yelp is a staggering 98%. Having a robust listing here is one of the best ways for local businesses to reach out to people in their area.
  • Those who have already decided to make a purchase will still visit Yelp and research a company before actually spending the money about 80% of the time.

These metrics make it obvious that having a strong portfolio of authentic online reviews is important for a local business (or a business of any kind). It may make having a single negative review sound devastating, but the truth is that there are waysyou can respond to a negative review that will negate its potency, especially if the reviewer is overreacting about a situation or has left a review that is simply false.

Being mindful of your reviews and encouraging your customers to leave them is a great way to build your review portfolio and ensure that you get the positive benefits of having a large number of reviews, while also watering down the efficacy of a few negative ones.



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