These numbers are from January 2017 from an Online Research Firm that tracks online consumer behavior:
- Over 89.9% of consumers often or always check out online reviews, while only 34 percent seek out information on discounts and pricing when researching a business online.
- 36.4% of consumers agree that Google reviews, reviews on other websites, and local search rankings are the most important factors when looking for a business.
- 67.7% of consumers say that at least half of their searches result in a visit to a local business. These visits then eventually translate into sales, with at least half of local searches eventually leading to a purchase for 57.7% of consumers.
- 62.7% of consumers believe that online reviews are “important” or “very important” when choosing a local business.
- 63.29% of consumers trust businesses with overall ratings of 4.0 or 4.5 stars out of 5, while a measly 2.5 percent trust businesses with overall ratings of 2.0 stars or less.
Online reviews and ratings of businesses on websites like Yelp, Facebook, Google, and TripAdvisor have the power to shape consumer behavior. Consumers are eager to validate their purchase decisions and they attempt to do so by using social media and real-time feedback from other consumers as their key resources.
Here is some specific Industry information that shows important information on how your customers choose your business:
- 47.7% consider reviews as “influential” or “highly influential” when choosing a new local restaurant, outranking branded social media posts (17 percent) and ads (11 percent).
- 72.2% consider reviews as “influential” or “highly influential” when choosing a new local automotive repair business, outranking social media posts (16.4 percent) and salesperson information (14.9 percent).
- 65.5% consider reviews as “influential” or “highly influential” when choosing a new primary care physician, outranking salesperson information (11 percent) and social media posts (10.8 percent).
Online reviews rank highly in terms of importance for consumers looking to make a purchase decision on a local business. Across multiple business categories and industries, reviews are more influential than any paid advertising.
These findings echo the results of previous studies, which found that:
Approximately 4 in 5 American consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. 79 percent do so to make sure the product or service is good, 61 percent read reviews to make sure the product or service works, and 53 percent read reviews to make sure that they don’t get ripped off. 4 out of 5 consumers reverse their purchase decisions based on negative reviews.
Pay attention to your Online Reviews and Protect your Online Reputation. It’s the new Word of Mouth Marketing for brick and mortar businesses.
Have an awesome weekend!