Are online reviews important? What do the online reviews stats say? You might hear conflicting opinions, and perhaps your clients are on the fence. I get it—it can be easy to discredit a negative online company review, especially if it’s a one-off. But is this attitude too blasé? You might think so after you find out how many people trust a business more after reading positive online reviews! That’s why, when weighing in on the top, it’s easier to let the online reviews stats speak for themselves.
After reading these reviews statistics, you’ll want to capitalize on good reviews and minimize the damage of bad ones. Download our review response templates to make it easy!
Online reviews stats are clear: Collecting positive customer reviews is an essential, not a nice-to-have. Think about it. Your company provides a service to your customers, and those customers communicate their experience to the world through an online medium. Often, it’s via an online company review. These reviews contribute to the digital portfolio of every business. Today, it's apparent that local businesses need reviews. Aside from building customer trust and helping with SEO, Google online reviews stats contribute to a company or product’s findability in search.
So are online reviews important? Yes. More than 88 percent of online shoppers read at least three reviews before making a purchase decision (Digital). Online customer reviews are no joke… except for this classic gem:
But generally speaking, an online company review signals something positive or negative to a prospective customer. It’s overwhelming how many people trust a business more after reading positive online reviews, and it should be your mission to collect as many as possible for your clients. It is essential for the reputation of local businesses. And it goes deeper than just focusing on Google online reviews stats.
Are online reviews important?
Before jumping into the online review stats, I want to address the question “are online reviews important?” in a little more depth. Not only does an online company review matter, but the frequency and “freshness” of online reviews are also essential.
How are online reviews important for your clients’ reputation?
Let’s face it. Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) do not have the same resources, budgets, staff, and reach that big organizations do. That means that local SMBs need to leverage their other strengths, such as their ability to render exceptional customer service, embrace their local communities, and add a personalized touch.
Online review stats don’t lie: Amplifying customer voices through soliciting, managing, and responding to online reviews is essential for the success of your business clients. It will greatly affect how many people trust a business more after reading positive online reviews.
The truth is, reputation can make or break a local business. And news travels fast. That’s why reputation management software is so essential to keep up with what customers are (or aren’t) saying about your clients online.
Reviews statistics (which you will find below) prove that word of mouth is a powerful tool, both online and offline. SMBs can build a cult following organically on social media based solely Google reviews stats and raving testimonials across top business review sites.
It’s important to note that a complete absence of reviews can be just as bad—if not worse—than a negative review (Prospect Genius). Even outdated reviews, or an online company review appearing in a single location or directory, can raise warning flags for customers.
Are online reviews important to respond to?
If you want the best ROI for your marketing efforts, you should use review monitoring. Even if you haven’t been actively soliciting and managing online reviews, there could be a whole conversation happening without your knowledge. So awareness is the key to know the kind of situation you’re working with on behalf of your clients.
The next step is responding to online reviews, which is also essential to maximizing how many people trust a business more after reading positive online reviews. On a basic level, it shows customers that a business is open and active. It also demonstrates care for customers and their experiences. Great customer service doesn’t simply end after a transaction is concluded!
Responding to a positive online company review in a gracious way reaffirms a customer’s great experience. It also adds a nice personal touch that will likely build loyalty. Effectively, you’re developing a customer into an ambassador.
Responding to a negative online company review shows that a business is willing to learn and improve. Customers will then be more likely to give the business a second shot. Shouting into the void can feel super frustrating, so making customers feel heard can go a long way. Remember, it’s also a differentiator; big companies often can’t manage the same level of engagement. Consider companies with the same Google review stats. One company responds to all reviews and one company doesn’t. There will be a big difference in how customers perceive that company.
I have a few more thoughts about positive and negative reviews in one of the following sections.
Final thoughts: Are online reviews important?
Bottom line” Yes. You want your clients to build trust with their customers and prospective customers. One of the best trust-building tools a local business has in their arsenal is a wide variety of recent, quality online company reviews. It would be a shame to invest money in marketing efforts, only for prospects to find a business and be put off by a lack of reviews.
It’s a no brainer: They’ll keep scrolling to the next local business who didn’t make the same mistake.
How many people trust a business more after reading positive online reviews?
Speaking of building trust, how many people trust a business more after reading positive online reviews?
Without even delving into the reviews statistics (can you tell I’m really trying to build anticipation for the big event?), ask yourself: would you trust a new dental office with a slew of bad reviews? Would you risk trying a new restaurant that had zero reviews to speak of?
In both cases, it simply makes sense that instead of risking it, you’d likely go somewhere else. Customers have more choices than ever before when it comes to how and where they will spend their money.
I’ll throw you a bone, patient readers. Here’s one of the many juicy online reviews stats I’ll let you sink your teeth into early: 74 percent of consumers cite trusting a business more due to positive reviews! (Reputationx). Nearly three out of four customers will trust your business clients more if you can grow their online company reviews as part of a small business reputation management strategy.
Reviews statistics: Positive vs negative reviews
Finally, we’re circling back to the topic of responding to positive and negative reviews.
In simple terms, when a company provides a service, the customer is either satisfied or dissatisfied. In the digital world today, customers often take their experience straight to the web in the form of an online company review. If the customer expresses a positive experience, the review can be amplified on the web and social media to encourage others. But when the experience is negative, companies need to respond quickly—and good news, Vendasta’s white-label digital marketing agency can help with that!
So why should you respond to a negative review in a professional manner instead of just ignoring it? A response is meant to reassure the customer who left the review, of course. But perhaps more importantly, the response is for everyone else reading the reviews afterwards. At least that is what the online reviews stats show.
It is always a great feeling to read and hear positive reviews of your client, but negative reviews should be considered an opportunity for the business to do better. Sometimes the Google reviews stats aren’t the be all, end all. If customers see a business is taking the time to provide a personalized response and is dedicated to doing better, it can be worth its weight in gold.
Now without further ado, let’s get to the main event: The online reviews stats!
50 online reviews stats that you need to know for 2022
1. 92% of consumers now read at least one online company review before making a purchasing decision.
Compared to 88 percent in 2014, reviews statistics show year-over-year increases that solidify online reviews as being essential, not simply a nice to have.
2. 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just one to three reviews.
The percentage was significantly lower in 2014, at 29 percent. These online review stats show that first impressions are making an increasingly big impact. Perhaps because there are so many options out there!
3. Star rating is the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business.
So count your lucky stars if your Google online reviews stats are in the 4-5 star range!
4. 44% say a review must be written within one month to be relevant. This highlights the importance of recency in reviews!
How many people trust a business more after reading positive online reviews? As we’ve already discussed, a significant number! But there’s a caveat: it’s only true if the reviews are recent.
5. 50% of consumers are more likely to be motivated by an online review than by a discount offer.
Are online reviews important? Important enough to rethink some of your marketing spend. And also cost-effective!
6. 43% of consumers search a business by reviews at least one time per month.
Compared to 38 percent in 2014, reviews statistics like this one demonstrate that customers more frequently turn to online reviews year over year. It also highlights the importance of keeping online company reviews up-to-date, at least monthly.
7. 81% of consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses.
According to Google online reviews stats, more people are turning to Google to evaluate local businesses than ever before. Consider the fact that only 63 percent did in 2020. That’s a big jump!
8. Only 2% of consumers claim to have never read an online company review.
And even though that number is so low, I’m still skeptical. Maybe it’s because I’m compiling online review stats, but it seems impossible to have never read one!
9. 62% believe they've seen a fake review for a local business in the past year.
This reviews statistic shows that the quality of the reviews received can affect the amount of trust it instills in prospective customers. People have a good eye to catch fake testimonials or hollow praise. A good reputation management strategy includes collecting and soliciting reviews from real customers.
10. According to consumers, the top sources of fake reviews are Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
What’s more, only 7 percent of consumers say they totally trust reviews on Facebook. Yeesh! It could be that these platforms are simply the most popular. I’d never discredit the power of excellent Google reviews stats, for example. So don’t think because you’ve accumulated hard-earned, glowing reviews on Google that customers are automatically suspect.
Still, online reviews stats like this one make a good case for expanding your breadth and getting reviews across a variety of business listing websites to build more credibility.
11. 54% of online shoppers read reviews for everything they purchase.
Are online reviews important? To more than half of online shoppers, it’s an essential part of the purchase process.
12. 39% of online shoppers say businesses need over 100 reviews to be trustworthy.
You’ve read the online reviews stats—better hop to it! It’s important to note that it’s not that customers won’t consider buying from your client without 100+ reviews. They just won’t find the business synonymous with trust.
13. In 2022, there was a 7% increase in the use of SMS messaging to request reviews.
Quite a convenient way to leave an online company review—especially since we all spend so much time texting (it can’t be just me!). It’s always a great idea to make the process as simple as possible for customers.
14. Alternatively there was only a 1% increase in reviews requested in person, during the sale or experience.
Though online review stats show that the good old-fashioned method of requesting reviews in person is not as popular, do not discount this method! Do what is right for your business clients, and mix it up.
15. Consumers read an average of 7 reviews before trusting a business.
The average number of reviews read affects how many people trust a business more after reading positive online reviews.
16. Reviews that only gave 1 or 2 stars failed to convert 86% of prospective customers.
Are online reviews important for converting prospects? Online reviews stats like these make the answer obvious.
17. 12% of consumers say they left a review every time a business prompted them to do so in the last 12 months.
Ask, and you shall receive! At least, according to reviews statistics, 12 percent of the time.
18. 89% of consumers are 'highly' or 'fairly' likely to use a business that responds to all of its online reviews.
Responding to an online company review every single time is essential, making it a no-brainer for you to offer review monitoring to your clients.
19. Americans report telling more people about poor service than about good experiences.
Maybe this is one of those online review stats that isn't surprising. The negative experiences tend to stick and be the ones that get amplified online. However, this just drives home the fact that you might actively need to request reviews from customers who’ve had positive experiences—even if they’re happy, they might remain silently happy without your prompting!
20. For every star a brand gains on Yelp, that business sees a 5-9% increase in revenue.
While Google reviews stats are important, do not discount other review sites like Yelp. Also, online reviews stats like this one clearly link reviews to revenue gains. Cha-ching!
21. 94% of local businesses who use a reputation management software at least somewhat agree that it provides enough ROI to make up for the cost.
The reviews statistics don’t lie. Hopefully this list empowers you with the data to position this solution to your local business clients.
22. Consumers believe competitors, trolls contribute to negative reviews.
Does that mean if your Google review stats take a tiny dip, you may be off the hook…? Haters gonna hate.
23. 49% trust consumer reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.
An online company review can be just as powerful as word of mouth.
24. 28% trust consumer reviews as much as professionally-written articles by topic experts.
Power to the people writing an online company review! Again, this might be a matter of a business funneling some of its resources and budget towards reviews management instead of other avenues to build trust and credibility.
25. 21% don’t trust consumer reviews as much as recommendations and reviews from friends and family, social media personalities, or topic experts.
On the flip side, online review stats show that at least some of your customers will no doubt be influenced by sources outside of reviews. It’s important to adopt a well-rounded reputation management approach.
26. 62% of consumers are more likely to purchase if they see photos and videos of other customers.
This might be back to customer concerns over fake reviews, which can affect how many people trust a business more after reading positive online reviews. If something seems fishy, the trust is broken. A picture or video adds instant credibility and shows that a real human is behind the online company review, not a bot or spammer.
27. 95% of consumers suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see bad scores.
See? There’s always a silver lining to a bad review here and there! Just don’t make it the norm.
28. Reliability (27%), expertise (21%) and professionalism (18%) remain the most important attributes to consumers.
Online review stats show these are the three targets SMBs should aim for when serving customers.
29. 53% of consumers want a fast response to negative reviews.
Though negative reviews aren’t the end of the word, when you do receive one, reviews statistics show that time is of the essence!
30. The average business on Google has 39 reviews.
Google review stats show that most businesses have built up quite a catalog. It’s a must-have location to source reviews for your clients.
31. On average, a consumer will look at over 10 information sources before making a purchase.
Reviews statistics show that consumers are big on doing their homework in 2022.
32. Over half of young people aged 18 to 34 say they trust online reviews as much as the opinions of friends and family.
The kids are alright!
33. 88% of online shoppers incorporate reviews into their purchase decision.
Online reviews stats like this one show just how normal consulting reviews have become. It’s now a key step in the customer journey. It’s second nature!
34. 80% of consumers say they would be ‘likely’ or ‘highly likely’ to leave a review if they first had a negative experience that was turned into a very positive experience.
Online reviews stats like this one demonstrate the power of a redemption arc. If you can flip a bad situation into an exceptional one, you can build customer loyalty and gain an ambassador.
35. Reviews are especially important for local searches as they influence up to 17% of the ranking.
Google review stats show that if you want to appear on the first page of Google or get into the local 3-pack, reviews are a key ranking factor.
36. 17% of consumers say they haven’t been prompted to leave a review by a business in the last 12 months.
Hopefully this online review stat will light a fire under you if your clients fall into this percentage! Prompt reviews from customers and they will deliver.
37. Fewer consumers are reading Facebook online company reviews every year.
It could be due to Facebook’s decline in consumer trust, but reviews statistics show that consumers who consulted Facebook reviews fell eight percent between 2020 and 2021. Online review stats show the percentage continues to decline in 2022.
38. 88% of all online reviews are contained on just four sites: Google, Yelp, Facebook, and TripAdvisor.
Google review stats reign king: Google contains six times more online reviews than its closest competitors.
39. 58% of consumers said they have recently (within the past five years) began leaving more and more online reviews based upon customer service.
Online review stats show that customers are more and more willing to leave online reviews based on customer service, so ensure your clients have the right tools to focus their efforts on creating exceptional experiences.
40. 31% of consumers say they are more likely to look at a local business’s Google listing before visiting than they were prior to 2020.
Chalk Google reviews stats like this up to the pandemic, but in 2022 having reviews on Google equals more foot traffic in stores for local businesses.
41. 31% must be a lucky percentage; customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with “excellent” reviews.
If a business goes above and beyond for their customers, customers will go above and beyond with their reviews.
42. 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews.
A website with zero reviews seems to raise red flags for customers, according to reviews statistics.
43. Two-thirds (63%) of users said that at least one business has never responded to their online review.
Given the importance of interacting with customers, that number seems quite high.
44. Reviews produce an average of 18% uplift in sales.
Are online reviews important for ‘softer’ results like increased trust and credibility? Yes. But they also have a direct impact on sales, too.
45. Better Business Bureau is the most trusted review site, with only 29% of its users are ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ suspicious of their reviews.
Better Business Bureau is synonymous with trust, so ensure your clients are being listed there.
46. Customers spend more than five times as long on a site when they interact with bad reviews.
A win is a win? A poor online company review can at least get folks to stick around. Just don’t make it a habit.
47. Customer churn can increase by 15% if you do not respond to feedback.
How many people trust a business more after reading positive online reviews? Significantly less if your client does not respond to positive reviews and learn from the valuable feedback their customers provide.
48. 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews.
It should be reiterated that, though one or two negative reviews are par for the course, if it becomes a trend an SMB will start feeling the unpleasant effects.
49. Number of reviews posted every minute by Yelp users is 26,380.
Yelpers are a productive bunch! Even though Google review stats are important, do not discount other players in the customer reviews game.
50. 72% of consumers will take action only after reading a positive review.
And we hope that after reading these 50 online reviews stats, you will take action on behalf of your clients!
All online review stats sourced from BrightLocal, Digital, Business2Community, Exploding Topics, Reevoo, Invesp, Trust Mary, World Financial Review, and Reputation X
How many people trust a business more after reading positive online reviews? Online reviews stats are clear: lots and lots of people! Reviews are increasingly important, both to consumers and businesses. Help your clients manage their online reputation and monitor their online company reviews to stay ahead of the competition. More and more consumers are adapting to consulting reviews before making any purchasing decisions. In the olden days, personal recommendations were the key to influence a buyer’s decisions, but because we now live in a digital world, today these decisions are influenced by business reviews. Google reviews stats now reign supreme.
People trust online reviews as closely as personal recommendations, and as the stats have revealed, sometimes more. Online reviews play a huge role in getting customers to research a product or service, and research is the first step toward a buying decision. Online reviews stats don’t lie: I hope you’ve found this list enlightening!
Note: Original post by Khusbu Shrestha, updated in 2022 by Domenica Martinello