When I’m looking for a new local business to try, the first thing I do is ask my friends and family for their opinions. If they don’t have any good suggestions, the next place I turn is (of course) the internet.
For example, I won’t even buy a sweater that doesn’t have good online reviews! With womens’ sizing constantly changing, I need to know I can trust a purchase that could change my whole look!
And most consumers are the same way…
The beauty of online reviews is that they foster a community of people helping one another pick the right brands. Online reviews are there for you to “phone a friend” even if there’s no one in sight as you online shop or book an appointment.
Online reviews are at the heart of any small business digital strategy. We’re going to dig into some data on online reviews broken down by:
- Reputation management statistics
- Positive online review statistics
- Yelp review statistics
- Google My Business statistics
- Facebook review statistics
- Industry-specific online review statistics
What is reputation management?
Before we get into the meat and potatoes of our stats, let’s talk about reputation management. Reputation management is the practice of monitoring sites across the web to ensure that your business, products, or services are portrayed accurately.
A healthy dose of reputation management in your small business marketing routine means you’re actively growing and maintaining your online reviews to shine a positive light on your business.
This includes things like responding to all your online reviews—regardless of whether they’re good or bad. Fostering high ratings and new reviews from happy customers are also tasks that fall under reputation management.
Why are online reviews important?
Okay, we know that reputation management can impact how new customers view your business. But check out these online reputation statistics that drive home just how important online reviews can be:
- 93% of people read online reviews before making a purchasing decision.
- 84% of people weigh online reviews the same as they would a word-of-mouth recommendation from friends or family.
- People are willing to pay 22% more for a product or service if the company has a good online reputation.
Reputation management statistics
Remember how we mentioned responding to both good and bad reviews? Unfortunately, getting a mix of both might be inevitable. However, bad reviews can actually be good for business. In fact, 82% of people look for bad reviews specifically so that they may get a better look at the full picture of what to expect from your product or service.
How you handle those customer complaints, though, is what matters—making your reputation management all that much more important. Here are a few more statistics that explain why all your online reviews are vital to your business:
- 97% of the people reading reviews will also read your review responses.
- Nearly 40% of people say they’re simply looking for an apology from a business after leaving a bad review.
- People spend nearly 50% more money with businesses that respond to their online reviews.
- People are 21% more likely to leave a review after a negative experience than a positive one.
- It takes about 40 positive experiences to undo the damage of a single negative review.
- 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews.
- Consumers can spend up to 5x longer on a site once they’ve interacted with bad reviews.
- Allowing consumers to dig into your bad reviews can lead to an 85% increase in conversion rate.
- 96% of unhappy customers won’t bother to leave a bad review.
- 67% of customers who leave bad reviews will return if their review gets a speedy response.
- More than half of customers expect businesses to respond to their negative reviews within a week.
Positive online review statistics
Don’t let the previous section scare you away from attempting to build a good online reputation! When it comes to online reviews, it’s not all bad. Positive reviews can flow in just as much as neutral or negative ones, and here are a few stats that show how great positive reviews can be:
- Customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with “excellent” reviews.
- 72% of people say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
- 92% of consumers will use a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating.
- 72% of consumers will convert to customers only after reading a positive review.
Yelp online review statistics
82% of users visit review sites when they intend to buy a product or service. When it comes to small business review sites, Yelp is a household name. It’s no secret that Yelp can help your small business thrive.
After you claim your business on Yelp, make sure you pay attention to your reviews there! Here are some Yelp stats that show why it’s so important:
- Yelp has more than 224 million cumulative reviews.
- 77% of Yelp reviews are three stars or higher.
- 48% of Yelp reviews give the full five stars.
- 79% of Yelp searches are done on a mobile device.
- 65% of Yelp reviews are conducted on a mobile device.
- The top three industries to receive reviews on Yelp are shopping, restaurants, and home or local services.
- A one-star increase on Yelp can increase a business’s revenue by up to 9%.
- Almost 100% of Yelp’s visitors have made a purchase from a business listed on the site.
- Out of five major review sites, 45% of consumers choose Yelp to check before visiting a business.
Google My Business online review statistics
Along with Yelp, Google My Business makes it easy for small businesses to get discovered. On top of this, providing reviews is one of the many benefits of Google My Business. In order to create your Google My Business account, you’ll first want to get familiar with these statistics:
- About 64% of people are most likely to check Google My Business for online reviews first before visiting a business.
- If you have over four negative reviews in your Google My Business listing, you can lose up to 70% of your potential customers.
- 56% of actions on Google My Business listings are website visits.
- 16% of businesses receive more than 100 calls each month from Google My Business.
- Customers care most about ratings when viewing a Google My Business listing.
- Google My Business listings with photos are 2x as likely to viewed as reputable, and pull in 35% more clicks.
- When it comes to local search ranking factors, online reviews weigh in about 10% of how high up Google will display your business.
- Google accounts for 58% of all reviews worldwide.
Facebook online review statistics
You may already be successful at having your business show up in the Facebook News Feed. However, getting Facebook recommendations for your business also takes some finesse. Here are a few reasons why:
- 1 in 3 people on Facebook worldwide use the platform to look for recommendations and reviews.
- Facebook accounts for 50% of total social referrals.
- Facebook online reviews influence 52% of both online and offline purchases.
- 49% of U.S. internet users said they have visited Facebook to check online reviews for local businesses.
- Nearly 50% of B2B decision-makers use Facebook for research when selecting a vendor.
- Next to Google and Yelp, Facebook is the third most popular review site.
Online review statistics by industry
If you’re looking to dig a little deeper into how online reviews impact your industry specifically, look no further!
Online review statistics for sales
Whether your small boutique, a startup e-commerce shop, or a small business retailer, these stats are for you:
- 40% of shoppers will make a purchasing decision after just reading one to three reviews.
- When reviews are displayed for higher-priced products, their conversion rate increased by 380%. In contrast, reviews shown for lower-priced products increased by 190%.
- Reviews bring in an average 18% sales uplift.
- 90% of shoppers read at least one online review before visiting a business.
An example of online reviews on a product page.
Online review statistics for service-based businesses
When it comes to running a service-based business, online reviews are your bread and butter. Check out these numbers to see if they resonate with your own experiences:
- 82% of consumers consult online reviews for local small businesses.
- Reviews are 2x more likely to be an important factor in choosing a local small business over loyalty, and 7x more important than traditional marketing.
- 87% of people say that quality of service is the most important detail when looking at online reviews for service-based businesses. 78% also say cost is equally as important.
Online review statistics for more industries
Here are some online review statistics for more industries:
Software and product business review stats
- Showcasing reviews on product pages brings in about 5x the conversions.
- For software, online reviews influence 98% of B2B buyers.
- Online reviews on products are trusted 12x more than a manufacturers’ description.
Healthcare review stats
- 49% of potential patients look for reviews on healthcare providers on Google, and 32% look on WebMD.
- 59% of people state that online reviews contribute to their decision when choosing a doctor, dentist, or any other type of healthcare provider.
Personal services review stats
- 36% of people seek online reviews when selecting a salon, whereas 25% of people also look at reviews from fellow professionals in the field.
- 91% of event planners measure the success of their events based on attendee satisfaction reviews.
Automotive review stats
- High prices and an inability to perform are the two top reasons behind bad online reviews for auto repair shops.
- 80% of automotive retailer reviews are done on Google.
- When researching online reviews, 46% of car shoppers use multiple devices.
Restaurant review stats
- 70% of diners are willing to write a review if asked by a restaurant server or manager.
- 59% of people read online reviews when choosing a restaurant.
Lawyer review stats
- Nearly 60% of people use online reviews when choosing a lawyer, and only 19% of millennials would even consider a lawyer without any online reviews.
- 90% of people said they would still hire a lawyer that had mostly positive reviews even if they had a negative review.
Travel and hospitality review stats
- Business travelers read an average of five reviews, whereas leisure travelers usually read a minimum of six or seven online reviews.
- Travelers also focus on the most recent online reviews, with 78% of them focusing on the newest review listed.
Real estate review stats
- 96% of customers value online reviews when selecting a residential home services provider.
- For renters, 51% of potential residents expect management to respond to all online reviews.
Recruitment and hiring review stats
- In recruitment, employers with bad online reviews end up spending 10% more per hire.
- 57% of job candidates avoid companies with negative online reviews.
Even more online review statistics
Didn’t soak up enough reputation management statistics just yet? We’ve got you covered with even more data regarding online reviews:
- 50% of business owners have seen incorrect information on their online review listings.
- 73% of consumers won’t trust a local business unless their online listing information is correct.
- On average, a business needs to have about 40 reviews before they achieve an average star rating.
- However, a few reviews are still better than none as the likelihood of a product getting purchased increases by up to 270% if it gets at least five online reviews.
- Authenticity matters as 62% of consumers say they won’t buy from brands that pay for, fake, or otherwise censor reviews.
- Nearly 50% of all internet users claim to post online reviews at least once per month.
- 85% of people think that if an online review is older than three months then it’s no longer relevant.
- 45% of review requests were sent through text messages in 2020.
- Emails requesting reviews had an average open rate of 69% in 2020.
- 31% of people claimed to have read more reviews during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to get more online reviews for your business
Wanting to know what others have experienced is called social proof, and it’s at the core of all the online review statistics we shared here. Let your current customers help your future customers by inviting them to leave you online reviews.
It’s clear that reputation management and growing your online reviews should be at the center of your small business marketing strategy. Getting set up on review sites is free—which is the best part! However, if you feel like the staggering online review statistics make online review management impossible, leverage a marketing partner to help you get more reviews ASAP!