10 Facts You Need to Know About Online Reviews That Can Keep You From Going Crazy

February 27, 2018

Online reviews play a huge part in the perception of your business as well as your online rankings.

In order to make informed decisions about online reviews, don’t let your emotions get the best of you. It’s important to understand how consumers interact with reviews and the increasingly large role they play in the customer’s journey.

Here is what you need to know…

10 Important Insights About Online Reviews

#1 Even bad reviews can help.

Ok, we’re not saying that having terrible reviews overall is a good thing, but it’s been found that customers spend five times as long on a site if they interact with bad reviews, they trust those reviews more, and they convert 85% more often.

A diversity in reviews tend to be trusted more than 100% five-star reviews, especially if those reviews give more specific information about a product or service, since every buyer has different tastes / needs.

#2 Most people don’t leave reviews.

According to a study done by the Pew Research Center, 38% of people “never” leave reviews on products or services, and 48% don’t leave them on restaurants. Only about 10% “always” or “almost always” leave reviews on products or services.

These stats reinforce the importance of asking for reviews and encouraging customers to leave reviews in some way.

#3 More consumers look at reviews than for discounts.

More than 50% of consumers look at reviews, while only 34 percent are focused on deals. One reason for this could be that when shopping online, even if you get a good deal on a product, if it is going to break the next day, you’d actually waste more money than getting the product with better reviews.

When it comes to trusting online reviews, 88% of consumers trust them just as much as they trust personal recommendations.

#4 Responding shows you care.

On most platforms where reviews can be left for products or services, businesses have a chance to reply to negative (or positive) reviews.

According to a TripAdvisor survey, 78% of consumers felt that businesses care more about their customers if they respond to online reviews versus if they don’t respond.

#5 Adding reviews can boost conversions.

A study from Spiegel Research Center and PowerReviews found that adding reviews can improve conversion rates by an average of 270 percent and that higher priced items see even better improvements, up to 380 percent.

#6 The recency of reviews matters too.

How recent your reviews are can make a difference in their perceived value. 44% of consumers will not consider a review to be relevant if it was written more than one month ago.

This just serves as a reminder than gathering reviews is an ongoing process.

#7 Stars in search can increase clicks.

A study conducted by BrightLocal found that star ratings in the search engine results page can increase click-through rates by 25%.

In order to get your star ratings to show up in the search results, you will need to include the appropriate schema markup and actual customers must provide the reviews for them to show up reliably.

#8 Reviews affect search rankings.

A study by LocalSEO Guide, the University Of California Irvine, and PlacesScout recently confirmed that online reviews, and specifically keywords used within them, influenced local search engine rankings more than any other factors that they looked at.

#9 People tend to care about quantity over quality.

Again, we’re not saying that having a low star count is good, even if you have thousands of reviews. However, according to a study published in Psychological Science, people tend to choose products based more on the number of reviewers than on the average rating of the review.

So don’t worry about only getting reviews from your best customers, and strive to get reviews from more customers overall – while still avoiding the rotten eggs.

#10 Consumers who check reviews are ready to buy.

According to a Nielson survey, 82% of Yelp users typically visit Yelp because they intend to buy a product of service. Then, 89% of those users typically purchase within a week.


While you might have already known that online reviews were important, we hope you found some facts in here that helped further your understanding of how consumers navigate through reviews and how they’re perceived.

For example, you may have not been surprised to learn that consumers are more influenced by online reviews than they have been in the past, but would you have guessed that negative reviews can actually improve conversions, or that consumers are more interested in product reviews than prices?

Now that you’re aware of these stats and insights, it’s time to get started on your reviews strategy! Give Sales & Marketing Technologies a call today at (407) 682-2222 or contact us online for a free strategy session to learn how we can help.

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