Getting a business up and running is hard work.
It’s time-consuming and challenging because there are so many things that need to be done.
It’s increasingly difficult in the modern digital world as the barriers to starting a business have dramatically reduced.
In other words, anyone can start a business and that means there’s a lot of competition.
One area that is easy to overlook, but is surprisingly important, is online reviews.
As the following online review statistics will show, if you want your business to be successful you need to start thinking about reviews.
- 1 Why Online Reviews Matter
- 2 Key Statistics
- 3 Top Online Review Statistics in 2023
- 3.1 1. Nine Out Of Ten Consumers Look At Reviews Before Using A Business
- 3.2 2. 62% Of people Are Wary Of Businesses Which Censor Reviews
- 3.3 3. 49% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews
- 3.4 4. 59% Of people Search For Reviews On Google
- 3.5 5. On Average Consumers Read Four Online reviews
- 3.6 6. 75% Of Consumers Will Leave A Review
- 3.7 7. 53.3% Of People Expect A Response Within A Week
- 3.8 8. 97% Of Consumers Read Review Responses
- 3.9 9. Conversion Rates Are 3.5 Times Higher When Customer Reviews Are Displayed
- 3.10 10. Just 2% Of Customers Have never Read An Online Review
- 3.11 11. Online Reviews Are More Likely To Result In A Sale Than A Discount Offer
- 3.12 12. 50% Of People Have Posted At Least One Online Review
- 3.13 13. 72% Of People Feel Fake Reviews Are The Norm
- 3.14 14. Tripadvisor Has More Than One Billion Reviews
- 3.15 15. 75% Of Business Don’t Respond To Negative Reviews
- 3.16 16. 13% Of Consumers Will Consider Businesses With One Or Two Star Ratings
- 3.17 17. One Negative Article Can Cost A Business 22% Of Its Customers
- 4 Summing Up
Why Online Reviews Matter
Think about your last online purchase, specifically from a supplier that you have never used before.
Before you commit it’s highly likely that you’ll review the product and the supplier.
Good reviews will encourage you to buy from the business, bad reviews will make you think twice.
In most cases, potential customers will look at bad reviews further.
If they can live with the issue then it won’t affect the sale.
For many, it’s more important to see how the business reacted to the review.
Negative reviews can destroy the reputation of any business in minutes, creating a serious drop in sales.
As the statistics show, in many cases those customers never return.
It takes years to build a great reputation.
Bad reviews can take minutes to destroy your reputation and possibly your business.
Of course, if you think about your experience with reviews, having too many perfect ones can also be an issue.
Your business and products end up looking too good to be true!
Let’s take a look at the statistics.
- Nine out of ten consumers look at reviews before using a business
- 62% of people are wary of businesses which censor reviews
- 49% of consumers trust online reviews
- 59% of people search for reviews on Google
- On average consumers read four online reviews
- 75% of consumers will leave a review
- 53.3% of people expect a response within a week
- 97% of consumers read review responses
- Conversion rates are 3.5 times higher when customer reviews are displayed
- Just 2% of customers have never read an online review
- Online reviews are more likely to result in a sale than a discount offer
- 50% of people have posted at least one online review
- 72% of people feel fake reviews are the norm
- TripAdvisor has more than one billion reviews
- 75% of business don’t respond to negative reviews
- 13% of consumers will consider businesses with one or two star ratings
- One negative article can cost a business 22% of its customers
Top Online Review Statistics in 2023
1. Nine Out Of Ten Consumers Look At Reviews Before Using A Business
A 2021 survey by Podium found that nine out of ten consumers won’t buy a new product, or from a previously unused supplier, without checking reviews first.
This statistic tells all businesses that they need reviews and they need them to reflect the business well.
That doesn’t mean a long list of positive ones.
Consumers are surprisingly good at identifying real and fake reviews.
The best reviews tell a story, which may include how a negative experience became a positive one.
These are the types of reviews that attract customers to a business.
The survey also highlighted that nearly two-thirds of respondents see reviews as a large part of the purchase process.
An impressive 94% of respondents had read online reviews within the past year and 65% within the last week.
2. 62% Of people Are Wary Of Businesses Which Censor Reviews
Censorship has always been a dangerous topic.
The majority of people in the Western world feel that there is no place for censorship, the truth is too important to block.
This is reflected in the way people see businesses.
A 2020 Trustpilot survey discovered that 62% of respondents will not purchase products from a brand that censors reviews.
Part of the censorship issue is that a brand will only show positive reviews.
That makes them appear false which leaves consumers concerned.
After all, it’s impossible to keep everyone happy all the time.
The potentially more serious concern is that a business that hides negative reviews may be hiding other things.
That doesn’t inspire trust and will guarantee, in 62% of cases, that the consumer will look elsewhere.
The same survey found that the majority of consumers have no time for fake reviews and believe they should all be removed from the internet.
3. 49% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews
A Brightlocal survey in 2022 found that 49% of consumers are confident that online reviews are as good as personal ones.
This statistic means people generally trust personal reviews more, that’s not surprising as a personal recommendation is given by someone you trust.
However, the fact that nearly half of consumers trust online reviews reflects the importance of monitoring and responding to them.
The survey also showed that 37% of respondents trust online reviews as much as social media recommendations.
Slightly fewer people, 28% trust reviews as much as articles written by experts.
An interesting additional fact is that 57% of people feel online reviews are very important in relation to care services.
Just 15% feel the same way when looking at retail services.
4. 59% Of people Search For Reviews On Google
There are many different sites offering reviews.
Some are dedicated to reviewing specific products, while others simply list the reviews supplied by users.
One thing is certain, a consumer won’t just look at the reviews on your site, they want to see what others have to say.
After all, if they aren’t on your site it will be difficult to influence the reviewer.
The most popular place to find reviews is Google, 59% of people will use Google.
Amazon comes a close second as 57% of respondents said they would use it.
It’s not surprising, these sites are extremely well-known and trusted.
It’s natural to trust their reviews as well.
You should note that only 20% of customers fully trust reviews on your own site, they need to see good reviews elsewhere.
That’s why you need to monitor all reviews posted.
5. On Average Consumers Read Four Online reviews
One review is rarely enough for shoppers, no matter how good or bad it is.
A 2018 survey by Bizrate Insights found that 54.7% of consumers will read at least four reviews and responses before deciding if the business is okay to shop with.
A further 44% would read at least three reviews, confirming that it’s rare for someone just to read one.
It’s worth noting these figures as they show you don’t need hundreds of reviews on display.
What you do need is a reasonable number.
The same survey showed that most customers are happy if a company has between 11 and 50 reviews.
This evokes trust.
Unless they are global corporations, businesses with over 500 reviews are generally viewed as suspicious.
That makes people less likely to purchase from them.
6. 75% Of Consumers Will Leave A Review
Because most consumers look at reviews before buying they are increasingly aware of the importance of reviews.
As such, it’s becoming more common for customers to leave reviews.
A 2022 survey by Brightlocal found that three out of four consumers will leave a review for others.
In many cases, customers will leave a review regardless of whether the experience was good or bad.
However, in 34% of cases, they will only leave a review after a positive experience.
Interestingly, just 7% of consumers will only leave reviews for bad experiences.
The biggest reason for customers to leave a review is customer service.
An impressive 61% of customers will leave a positive review if they feel the company has done more than necessary to keep them happy.
An important statistic, illustrating the need to reply to negative reviews is that 37% of people will leave a positive review if a negative experience becomes a positive one.
This is the kind of review that wins customers.
It’s worth noting that 16% of respondents will leave a review if they are asked to by the business, whether by the staff or in an email.
7. 53.3% Of People Expect A Response Within A Week
In most cases, people don’t expect you to respond to a positive review.
After all, they are praising you and don’t need a response.
However, negative reviews are a different story.
If you have a good customer support team then negative reviews should be fairly rare.
Even if they were not happy with the product or service, people are more likely to leave a good review if they have been treated fairly and promptly by your customer support team.
Any customer who does leave a negative review generally sees it as the last chance for the business to fix things.
In 53.3% of cases, they expect a reply within a week. Sooner is better.
A fast and fair response can turn a negative review into a positive experience and recommendation to others.
The problem is, that 63% of negative reviews are never answered!
8. 97% Of Consumers Read Review Responses
You already know that most consumers read reviews before committing to a purchase.
In addition, many of these will read reviews to find out how a business has reacted to reviews, particularly negative reviews.
What may surprise you is that a 2019 review by Brightlocal found 97% of consumers will read the responses to negative reviews.
This gives them an idea of how any issue by them will be handled and is instrumental to their decision whether to use your services or not.
In short, it’s essential to be seen to deal with all negative reviews promptly and fairly.
You don’t need to turn every customer into a happy one, that’s almost impossible.
You just need to be seen to be fair.
9. Conversion Rates Are 3.5 Times Higher When Customer Reviews Are Displayed
A 2018 survey by Bazaarvoice found that visitors are 3.5 times more likely to become customers when they see customer reviews featured on a product page.
The reason is simple, a good customer review tells the visitor they are in the right place to make a purchase.
Naturally, the reviews need to be genuine and too many perfect reviews are suspicious.
Interestingly, the survey also discovered that sites that include customer reviews on product pages develop 4.5 times more revenue per page visit than sites without customer reviews.
That’s a compelling reason to add reviews to your product pages.
Alongside this, customer reviews on product pages also look good to search engine providers.
This can help you appear closer to the top of the search results page.
10. Just 2% Of Customers Have never Read An Online Review
Using the internet is the norm for approximately five billion people.
That’s over half the world’s eight billion population.
Yet, despite the ease with which anyone can access sites, a 2021 Brightlocal study found that 2% of internet users had not yet read an online review.
This is amazing but actually an improvement.
In 2020, the same study found that 13% of people had never read a review.
The study didn’t go into detail regarding why.
Potentially these two percent only purchase products they already know.
Brightlocal did discover that 98% of respondents read online reviews occasionally and 77% read them all the time.
The trend illustrates the importance of reviews, it seems likely that all consumers will be looking at reviews within the next year or two.
11. Online Reviews Are More Likely To Result In A Sale Than A Discount Offer
This statistic is a sign of how important online reviews are, even compared to saving money.
It proves that consumers generally still prefer quality over price.
The survey by Bizrate Insights found that 50% of consumers would be more likely to purchase a product or use a business if they read good reviews on the item/service.
That’s compared to being offered a discount.
The survey also discovered that the driving factor in any purchase is, in 32% of cases, the quality of online reviews.
In comparison, 24.5% of respondents rated free shipping as important and just 22.1% felt a discount would encourage temp to buy a product.
Loyalty schemes, which often don’t appear to offer many benefits, fared the worst.
Just 6.5% of respondents would be persuaded to buy thanks to a loyalty bonus or reward scheme.
12. 50% Of People Have Posted At Least One Online Review
A 2022 survey by GWO found that approximately 50% of all internet users posted an online review monthly.
The report found those aged between 25-34 were the most likely to post reviews, an above-average 53% of this group were found to have posted a review online within the last 30 days.
Impressively, 45% of respondents aged over 55 had posted an online review within the last six months.
In most cases, it was a result of good service and the need to share their experience with others.
13. 72% Of People Feel Fake Reviews Are The Norm
Fake reviews are increasingly common.
A study by Invesp showed that 72% of respondents see fake reviews as the norm.
A staggering 82% of people believe they have read a fake review within the last year.
The study found that younger people were better at spotting fake reviews compared to the older generations.
It discovered that 92% of people between 18-34 have read a fake review within the last year.
The number drops to 74% of people aged 35-54, and just 59% of buyers over 54 saw a fake review within the last year.
These figures are likely to be influenced by how aware people are of fake reviews and how to spot them.
Google has the largest number of fake reviews, it estimates that 10.7% of reviews on its site are fake.
That’s why it deleted 55 million reviews last year.
Yelp reported 7.1% of fake reviews and Tripadvisor detected 5.2% of its reviews as fake.
14. Tripadvisor Has More Than One Billion Reviews
Tripadvisor is one of the best-known review sites in the world.
It specializes in travel-related reviews and, in February 2022, announced that it had reached one billion reviews on its site.
Any business in the travel and tourism industry should be checking reviews on Tripadvisor, you can almost guarantee potential customers are doing the same.
Interestingly, one of the biggest themes on TripAdvisor is sustainability.
Many travelers, but particularly Generation Z and Millennials, will choose a place to stay based on its environmental credentials.
Businesses need to ask for reviews as Tripadvisor also disclosed that 78% of reviews are posted after the hotel asks a customer to do so.
Just 22% of reviews are unsolicited.
It’s worth noting that long reviews are better received, 68% of people say they are more likely to book after reading a detailed review of the place.
15. 75% Of Business Don’t Respond To Negative Reviews
Unfortunately, many businesses are failing to see the potential in negative online reviews.
A staggering 75% of them never respond to negative reviews.
The reasons are likely to be because they don’t feel there is anything that they can do and they’ve already lost the customer.
While it’s possible, this isn’t the only business that comes from a review.
Potential customers read reviews, and when they see unanswered negative ones they are likely to shop elsewhere.
Businesses that respond to negative reviews are likely to see an increase in revenue.
The key is to reply to a negative review by pointing out your reasons for the issue and what you can do about it.
Even if you can’t do anything, customers will see you have been fair and this will encourage them to trust you and use your services.
16. 13% Of Consumers Will Consider Businesses With One Or Two Star Ratings
The biggest and best-known review sites, such as Google, Amazon, and Tripadvisor all rate businesses via a star system.
Users post their comments, rate different features of a business on a sliding scale, and the answers are averaged to create a star rating.
The higher the number of stars the better the business is perceived.
In general, the survey found that consumers will only engage with businesses that have a 3.3-star rating or higher.
Just 13% of respondents would purchase products or services from a business that has one or two stars.
With this in mind businesses need to pay careful attention to reviews and their rating, dropping below 3.3 stars can have a serious impact on sales.
17. One Negative Article Can Cost A Business 22% Of Its Customers
A 2022 review of customers by Trustpilot found that a business will, on average, lose 22% of its customers after one negative article is posted online.
This illustrates the importance of dealing with negative reviews promptly.
The situation gets worse if three negative articles appear online.
This can result, on average, in 59% of customers being lost.
It’s essential not to underestimate the power of negative reviews and articles.
For example, losing just half a star on your rating has been shown to decrease the likelihood of a restaurant being fully booked by 19%.
These online review statistics may be eye-opening.
Many businesses don’t realize how important reviews are.
Specifically, businesses often miss the fact that negative reviews can be a good thing.
It’s all about how the issue was handled.
As a business owner, you need to start monitoring reviews, responding when necessary, and ensuring the reviews help customers see your business in a positive light.
Start managing your reviews today and let us know how it affects your sales and profit!