How many users really read your shop reviews and how many are interested in how shop operators react to negative reviews? When do consumers really trust reviews? All this and more is now answered by a new study that has been published and which we would like to present to you here.
Brightlocal has published an important and comprehensive study that deals with the relevance of online reviews (in the USA), with a focus on shop reviews.
These are e.g. reviews on Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor or Yelp. Product reviews were not included.
Bright Local also makes a point of comparing the figures from the 2018 study with the results from the previous year in order to spot trends.
In this blog article, we want to provide you with the most important insights from this study so that you can consider these new developments for your business.
- more consumers search for businesses online
27% do so daily, compared to only 12% last year. 56% of respondents start weekly searches and 69% search for businesses once a month. Especially the 18-34 year olds are increasingly (54%) searching daily.
- 86% read online reviews of companies
If you have ever wondered whether anyone is interested in your reviews at all, here is the answer in numbers.
27% always read the reviews, of the 18 to 34 year olds even 50%. 22% read shop reviews regularly and as many as 37% occasionally.
- most users read reviews for restaurants/cafés
In the following graph you can see in which sectors shop reviews are most likely to be consulted.
The leaders here are restaurants and cafés, while services such as childcare and key services are reviewed online less frequently.
However, there are also slight differences in preferences among the different age groups.
- 55% of respondents visit the company’s website after reading positive reviews.
In the previous year, this figure was 37%. 19% still search for other reviews, 15% visit the local business, 10% continue their search for other businesses and 13% contact the business.
Again, Bright Local finds different behaviour in different age groups.
5 Positive reviews increase the likelihood that a user will use the services of that business.
68% of respondents say this. 40% say negative reviews make them not use that business and 38% say they look at other factors, such as price and location, when choosing a business.
- 78% of respondents trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
However, this happens under certain conditions, e.g. if the reviews are authentic (19%), if there are multiple reviews (25%) or for certain types of businesses (15%).
After all, 19% always trust online reviews. To be fair, however, it has to be said that the figures here have dropped slightly compared to the previous year, as slightly more consumers remain distrustful.
Older respondents in particular remain suspicious, while 91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews and personal recommendations equally.
- Most people judge a company by the average of its star ratings.
Namely 56% of respondents. But the quality of the ratings, as well as the timeliness of the ratings, also play a role for slightly less than half.
Other factors that fall, albeit somewhat less, into the assessment of customers are the length or mood of the reviews, as well as the reaction of the company to the reviews.
- just under half say that a company should have at least 4/5 stars
The “pain threshold” for using a company is at least 4 stars for 46% of users. It is noticeable that the tolerance here is somewhat lower compared to 2017, i.e. only 4 or 5 star reviews are increasingly accepted. 57% do not come back to a company that has less than 4 stars.
- users trust the stars if there are at least 40 reviews.
In the previous year, this value was 34. 18 to 34 year-olds even expect 51 reviews, while the 55+ age group is already satisfied with 31.
Consumers read an average of 10 reviews before they trust a company.
Here the figure in 2017 was still 7. 70% read 4 or more reviews, 20% even look at more than 11.
- users trust more recent reviews than outdated ones.
85% of respondents do not consider reviews older than 3 months to be relevant.
40% of respondents only consult reviews that are not older than 2 weeks, and among 18-34 year olds this figure is as high as 64%. 41% of the 55+ age group are only influenced by reviews that are not older than 1 month.
It also became clear in the comparison with the previous year that there is a strong tendency to only consider very recent reviews. For shop operators, this means that it is becoming increasingly important to constantly collect up-to-date reviews.
- 89% read the responses of the companies to the reviews
29% always read the companies’ responses, 26% do so regularly and 34% occasionally.
Only 11% are not interested in the companies’ responses. It is clear that this is especially important to the younger target group: 96% of 18-34 year olds read the responses/reactions of the companies.
- 86% of consumers consider writing online reviews
59% have already left an online review, of the 18 – to 34-year-olds even 80% .
27% do not rule out leaving reviews in the future and only 14% say they will never do it.