When you are in search of the best product within a certain category, whether you are looking for your next laptop, smartphone, or other electronic device, or maybe even something for your home and garden, you may spend quite a bit of time looking up customer reviews of those products. And if you are thinking about shopping from a local business, you may also be inclined to head online and check out some reviews about a specific company before making a purchase. If this is the case, you certainly are not alone, as 88% of consumers claim that they trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Continue reading to learn more.
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The Results of a Consumer Survey
According to the annual Local Consumer Review Survey that was conducted by BrightLocal, the typical online review website continues to grow in importance amongst shoppers who are trying to make the right purchasing decision.
This survey was conducted amongst consumers throughout the USA and Canada, and its purpose was to try to comprehend exactly how online reviews play a role in the decision making process of shoppers. After all, businesses often seek out positive reviews about themselves and their products in an attempt to advertise their products and encourage more purchases, but how much are those reviews actually being used?
A Look at the Numbers
According to the results of this survey, which was conducted in 2014, a whopping 88% of people said that they did read reviews in order to verify the quality of local businesses before shopping. In 2013, this number was 85%, thereby showing growth in the importance of reviews.
In addition to that, 39% of respondents said that they will read reviews about businesses and their products on a consistent basis. This number was only 32% in 2013.
Also, in 2014, only 12% of people who took the survey said that they never read online reviews. This number dropped from 15% in 2013, further proving the growing use of reviews.
Reading Reviews to Trust a Business More
When consumers do not know enough about a local business, they take to the Internet in order to read customer reviews about that company. If they find a lot of negative reviews, they will not make a purchase from that company. However, if there are a lot of positive reviews, they will feel more inclined to go ahead and shop from that business.
According to the survey that was conducted, 72% of people said that positive reviews made them trust a local business more. This number stayed roughly the same, as it was 73% in 2013. On the other hand, only 10% of customers did not really pay any attention to online reviews, versus 12% in 2013.
As you can see, there are many reasons why businesses should focus their attention on the types of reviews that they are receiving from customers online. Consumers not only use online reviews to determine which products to purchase, they also use them to decide which local businesses they will actually support.