Online Review Statistics in 2021
How Online Reviews Affect Businesses
As a business owner, it’s essential to monitor online review statistics every year. If you aren’t on top of your online reputation, you may be losing customers and leads. Reviews allow your customers to engage with your company as well as other patrons.
More than 50% of Americans reported that reviews were the most critical part of online shopping. With all the scams on the internet, consumers want to hear from other buyers before making online purchases.
Common consumer questions include:
- Is this seller trustworthy?
- Will this product do what the description says?
- Is this business worth the money?
- Will my item arrive on time?
Consumers want to know if your product or service is genuine. Or, they may have questions that they cannot find answers for on your website. Reading reviews is one of the best ways to find these answers.
Online reviews help customers make decisions, affect your bottom line, and can impact your employees. Each year, the number of people who read and write reviews increases across age groups.
The following online review statistics illustrate the impact of reviews on businesses. There are several benefits to increasing, monitoring, and responding to online reviews.
Top Statistics for Online Reviews
- The fastest-growing platform for reviews is Google
- 90% of review-readers form an opinion after reading less than ten reviews
- 82% of consumers read local business reviews online.
- A single review can increase conversions by 10%, while 100 reviews can lead to a 37% increase
- 15% of consumers don’t trust businesses that don’t have any reviews
Top Sources for Reviews
- Other sources
What do you want to know?
- 57.5% of all reviews worldwide come from Google
- The Yelp website contains over 192 million reviews in total.
- Trip Advisor is the largest travel review platform
- Facebook reviews affect over half of users’ purchase decisions
- 60% of all customers post Amazon reviews.
The internet is full of review sites. Some sites, such as TripAdvisor, only focus on one niche area for reviews.
According to online review statistics, more than 60% of consumers visit Google to check reviews. Although Facebook has the second-highest number of reviews, it ranks below Yelp and TripAdvisor for customer visitation.
As a business owner, you can claim a free Yelp business page. Yelp reaches over 142 million consumers monthly. On Yelp, you can get a 5 – 9% revenue boost from a one-star increase in rating.
Other sources for reviews include Instagram, Twitter, Angie’s List, Amazon, and FourSquare. You must monitor and increase your reviews on as many relevant platforms as possible. You want your ratings to be consistent to gain consumer trust.
- 84% of shoppers read reviews online
- 80% of shoppers look up product reviews on their phones while shopping in-store
- 30.1% of consumers between the age of 18 and 44 check reviews before making any purchase
According to online review statistics from Collective Bias, people value the opinions of their peers over television ads, print ads, and digital ads. Millennials make up the largest demographic of review readers and writers.
Social media reviews are twice as likely to influence men as women. Additionally, 70% of millennials are likely to purchase a product after reading a blogger’s review.
The majority of millennials read reviews about restaurants, clothing stores, and grocery stores. Older people read those types of reviews as well, and medical and healthcare-related reviews.
Most consumers use their phones to view reviews. This phenomenon may stem from people looking up places and products as they encounter them. For example, many consumers will look up a restaurant on their phone right before they enter it.
Laptops and tablets come in second and third places for viewing reviews. According to Martech Zone data, mobile users are 137% more likes than desktop users to make purchases.
In terms of gender, the distribution of reviewers is consistent. Men and women are equally likely to review a product.
In 2017, reviewers’ age distribution was:
- 47% aged 16 – 24
- 52% aged 25 – 34
- 45% aged 35 – 44
- 34% aged 45 – 54
- 28% aged 55 – 64
- 72% of consumers only patronize a business after reading reviews
- Over two-thirds of consumers trust companies more if they have a mix of negative and positive reviews
- 19% of consumers completely trust online reviews, but 6% do not trust them at all
- 73% of consumers believe in a local business more if it has positive reviews
- Prior to trusting a company, 70% of consumers look at no less than four reviews first
- Customers are willing to spend more money on a product with great reviews.
Today, most consumers are reading reviews, and reviews influence them. Your rating can drive or plummet your business. In fact, many consumers will accept slower shipping for a well-reviewed product.
Consumers trust user reviews more than the manufacturers’ product descriptions. Consumers know that you want to sell to them, so they won’t just take your word about your product.
When people read online reviews, they look at more than the numbers and stars. Consumers want to see real, written reviews from customers. Written reviews give valuable information and lend authenticity to your online review statistics.
Counterintuitively, negative reviews can lead to an 85% increase in conversions. People will spend longer on a website when they see negative reviews. However, your sales can significantly decrease if you get over four disparaging reviews.
- Reviews shared to Twitter have an average conversion rate of 46%
- 52% of consumers say they would not book a hotel without reviews
- Online product reviews can increase your conversion rate by 270%
When it comes to online review statistics, both quantity and quality matter. Almost 50% of consumers pay attention to how many reviews a service or product has.
Google, Yelp, and Yahoo offer free business listings for local businesses. If you do not have a listing, it will be hard for people to share their experiences. Local businesses have an average of 39 reviews on Google.
However, the average number of views varies by industry. Bars average 213 reviews, restaurants average 220, and hotels average 309. According to Brightlocal, professional services (such as accountants) barely receive reviews.
To improve your website’s SERP ranking, you want about 40 reviews. Reviews are the third most important factor for Google’s local ranking. Businesses that rank in first, second, or third on Google have a 47-review average.
- 78% of travelers focus on the most recent reviews
- 70% of consumers visit business websites after reading helpful reviews
- Written evaluations are more useful than stars to 73% of consumers
- 60% of US consumers find information on product performance to be the most helpful
Users pay attention to many aspects of reviews. They see the average star rating, the length, and the time since the review. According to online review statistics from Statuslabs, 77% of consumers don’t heed reviews over three months old.
You want to have fresh and relevant reviews at all times. Customers who only see old reviews may wonder why people are no longer discussing your product or service. Try to monitor the quality of your online reviews at least quarterly.
Most consumers read reviews at the beginning of their buying process. Consumers want information about client satisfaction, quality over time, and product function. More than two-thirds of customers say that online reviews impact their purchase decisions.
- A business conversion rate increase 25% from a 0.1-star increase.
- 50% of Yelp reviews are five-stars.
- The average rating is four to five stars for 61% of local businesses.
- According to Finances Online, only 13% of consumers consider patronizing a business with one or two stars.
- 49% of consumers only patronize businesses with a four-star rating or higher.
Your star rating can lead to an increase in leads and conversions. On Google, a rating increase of 1.5 stars could lead to 13,000 more leads. If you can move a three-star rating to five stars, you could see a 25% increase in clicks to your website.
Only about 5% of local companies have less than three-star ratings. If your business hovers around three stars, it’s time to reconsider your strategy before you go any lower. However, most people find perfect five-star ratings suspicious, as few authentic businesses can retain a flawless rating.
According to online review statistics, most conversions happen for products with a 4.2 to 4.7 rating. BrightLocal research shows that the average Google review rating is 4.42 stars. The places with the lowest ratings include hotels, car dealerships, and senior living centers.
- Online reviews influence search engine rankings
- 77% of customers will leave a review if you ask them
- 80% of millennials left a review in 2018 after a company asked
If you don’t ask your customers to leave reviews, you may be missing out. The online review statistics show that people tend to write reviews for positive experiences more than negative or neutral experiences.
Over a third of customers would leave a review to tell others about their experience. Some reviewers (24%) would prefer to direct their comments to the company. After you gain a customer, be sure to ask them what they think.
In 2018, companies asked for reviews from only 66% of their customers. That number decreased from 74% in 2017. Businesses commonly ask for customer reviews in person, via email, on receipts, or over the phone.
- According to Brightlocal, 58% of businesses have fake reviews.
- In 2019, fake reviews cost US shoppers an average of $125
- 61% of the Amazon electronics reviews are fake
Fake reviews can pop up for many reasons. Some consumers leave reviews for products or services they have never tried. These consumers may leave reviews just for fun, at the request of peers, or to help or hurt the business.
On websites such as Amazon, TripAdvisor, and Airbnb, fake reviews are common. Businesses and product developers post false positive reviews to increase their visibility and encourage consumers to buy from them. Such practices make consumers wary of trusting online review statistics.
Businesses can also buy or solicit reviews from consumers. They may offer gift cards or other rewards in exchange for positive reviews. This system for getting disingenuous reviews can make it difficult for sellers who play by the rules.
When consumers spot dishonest reviews, they may not trust your company. Additionally, false reviewing is against many policies for review websites, and it could cause you to lose your platform. As a business owner, it is important to find and delete fake reviews.
- According to Google, businesses that answer reviews are 7 times more trustworthy to consumers than those who do not
- 97% of consumers who read reviews also read the company’s responses
- 88% of small business owners monitor their online image at least four times a year
- 95% of unhappy customers will return if a company fixes their issue quickly
- Local marketers spend about 17% of their time managing their online reputation
Customers who feel appreciated are more likely to stick around. For this reason, you should respond to your online reviews—and not just the positive ones. You can turn a negative review around by offering a solution to the customer’s complaint.
According to online review statistics, companies do not answer 63% of their negative reviews. However, most consumers expect companies to reply, and they read the replies. The majority of millennials will read the response a company gives to their review.
Star ratings may also affect potential employees. Review statistics from Career Arc show that 90% of job seekers look at company reviews before applying.
There are several ways to manage your reputation online. Many small businesses use public relations companies or in-house employees to monitor their data. However, online tools exist to make the process easier.
- In 2018, the most-read reviews were for restaurants and cafes
- In 2017, 88% of Americans ranked product reviews as influential for buying home electronics
- 71% of millennials search for reviews before hiring professional services
- 46% of consumer reviews are related to electronics
According to BrightLocal, the top five local industries for online reviews were eateries, grocery stores, medical suppliers, clothing stores, and hotels. However, consumers read and post reviews for all types of businesses.
Many shoppers share their experience when they get a new laptop, TV, phone, or other electronic devices. Only 12% of shoppers post reviews for garden, home, and pet products.
In 2019, restaurants were the most reviewed businesses on Yelp, followed by home and local services. If you are in either of those industries, getting a Yelp directory listing could be a vital awareness tool.
- An average of 19% of the total reviews for a business are negative
- It takes about 40 positive reviews to combat the effects of one negative review
- Companies with a lousy reputation spend more money on new hires.
- 9% of shoppers would not pick a negatively-reviewed insurance provider
When you get one bad review, you don’t have to start panicking. The sweet spot for negative reviews is about 15 – 20% of your total reviews. Businesses with negative averages in this range make 13% more money per year than businesses with 5 – 10% negative reviews.
If a customer leaves a complaint, that may be a good sign. Online review statistics show that complaints can signal that a customer wants to try to improve their experience with you. For this reason, you want to address people who complain and gain their trust back.
The way you treat your customers can also affect your employees. Businesses who work hard to improve customer experiences see increases in employee engagement.
Online Review Statistics Wrap-Up
Online reviews do a lot more than tell you how customers feel about a product or service. Paying attention to your online reputation can increase clicks and conversions. Also, having a substantial number of reviews can improve your search engine ranking.
After a consumer reads reviews, they will most likely visit the business’ website.
Other actions consumers take include:
- Searching for more reviews
- Visiting in person
- Searching for other businesses
- Contacting the business
The average consumers spend 13 minutes reading reviews to decide on a purchase. Don’t neglect your online review statistics. Instead, dedicate time to strengthening your online presence.