There’s no doubt that online reviews influence consumers. We’ve put together 15 facts that’ll look at how consumers are influenced and exactly how big this influence really is.
1. 80% of consumers research products online every week.
That’s right. A whopping 8/10 consumers conduct online research about products they’re interested in purchasing.
When a potential customer goes online to look up your business, hopefully they find something good. If you’ve been properly managing your online reputation, you’re golden.
If you haven’t, it’s probably time to put your best foot forward online.
2. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
People view online reviews like they view testimonials – as experiences straight from the mouth of a real person.
3. 91% of people only look at the 1st page of Google results.
Academic research indicates that 91% of searchers do not go past page 1. Surprised? You shouldn’t be.
Think about the way you search. Do you ever click through multiple search result pages in Google?
4. 70% of people trust the opinions of other consumers posted online.
Even though fake reviews are a huge problem on all the major review sites, most consumers still trust them. Before eating out at a restaurant or calling a plumber or booking a hotel, now more than ever, people turn to online reviews to make decisions about which businesses are going to get their money.
By simply asking your customers for reviews, you can start collecting real, good testimonials that can persuade consumers into choosing you over the other guys.
5. Nearly 700 complaints with the FTC have been filed against Yelp.
Although many consumers find online reviews helpful, they can be harmful to local businesses. As it turns out, quite a few businesses have run into problems with the review site, Yelp.
Whether it’s due to fake reviews, pesky advertising offers from sales representatives, or positive reviews being removed from their pages, Yelp has caused quite the stir for small businesses.
If you’re currently featured on Yelp and have run into these problems, don’t remain silent. Take action! Let your complaints be heard.
6. Prominently displayed negative reviews on a review site are enough to make people pass on what you’re offering.
There’s a good and a bad side to this one.
The bad: people might pass if you have too many bad reviews. However, the best way to handle them is to respond to each negative review and make things right with your customers. This shows that you care about customer service.
Utilize the bad reviews as a learning experience, a chance to make improvements, and prevent negative reviews from popping up in the future.
The good: as long as you keep collecting positive reviews from satisfied customers, those negative reviews won’t be displayed so prominently and will have a lesser chance of deterring potential customers.
And don’t worry! More good news is coming up about those bad reviews.
7. 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores.
Consumers might get a little suspicious if your reviews are all 5 stars. Studies show that if there are a few bad ones in there, consumers are actually more likely to trust all of them, including the positive ones. This may seem to conflict with #5, but as long as the good outweighs the bad overall, your online image will be fine.
8. Consumers will tell an average of 42 people about a good customer experience and 53 people about a bad customer experience.
When you receive bad service, it elicits extreme emotions, more often than not. Because of the emotion we’ve experienced, we’re more inclined to talk about bad customer service than we are good customer service! It’s just how emotion works.
Just remember: Don’t abandon the rules of traditionally good customer service in the digital age. Keep making your customers happy!
9. 35% of consumers will use review sites when they’ve had a bad experience. 23% will use them when they’ve had a good experience.
The same goes for online reviews when it comes to our inclination toward sharing negative experiences. Make sure you’re treating your customers well and providing them with good experiences that they’ll want to share on the web.
Also, when you know you’ve done a good job, give them a tiny push and ask them for an online review.
10. 20% of Yelp reviews are fake.
Remember those 700 FTC complaints? Well, they may be justified, as this study found that up to 20% of reviews on Yelp are fake. That’s one in five reviews!
If you suspect that fake, negative reviews are being posted on your page, take action.
11. The average consumer consults 11 online reviews before making a purchasing decision.
Even if you’ve got a couple bad reviews, it’s alright! Consumers don’t stop reading reviews only after the first few. If you’ve got honest reviews from loyal customers, curious consumers will likely keep you in mind as an option. (Source: socialbarrel.com)
12. A high product rating will increase the likelihood of completing a purchase for 55% of consumers.
This one seems obvious, but it just goes to show that if a consumer is on the fence about your product or service, good reviews and ratings can bring them over to your side.
13. Consumer reviews are 12 times more trusted than product descriptions.
No matter how much work you put into perfecting that product description, consumers are going to trust the opinions of others consumers 12 times more. Your customers can be your best salespeople. Give them good experiences with your services or products, ask them to write about those good experiences, and you’ll be able to win more consumers over.
14. Almost 60% of consumers use social media while in a store and half of those people are reading reviews.
Imagine this scenario: A customer is in-store, about to reach for your product on the shelf, but hesitates and decides to look up reviews about the product first.
What happens if they find a lot of great product reviews? They buy it!
What happens if they find a lot of negative reviews? They leave it on the shelf.
15. A one-star rating increase can result in a 5-9% increase in revenue.
It’s simple: reviews can increase your revenue. In fact, just one more star in your business’ rating can give you a 5-9% jump!
By continuing to provide great customer service, asking your customers to review you, and monitoring those reviews, you can easily take advantage of the impact reviews have on today’s consumers.