Customer reviews can be tricky. These online review statistics will show that negative reviews can be very damaging. However, all-perfect reviews may raise alarm bells.
Let’s now dive into the ten statistics that online reviews are essential for business owners in 2021.
1. Before making a purchase, consumers should consult reviews online
The first statistic will help you to understand the importance of reviews in a consumer’s purchase journey.
Nearly nine out of ten (89 percent) consumers worldwide make the effort to read reviews before buying products (Trustpilot, 2020).
This does not only mean that Overeview is an integral part of consumers’ buying process but also indicates that buyers trust other consumers’ opinions.
It doesn’t appear that there is a significant difference in the number of reviews read by women and men. Only slightly more women (90%) read reviews than men (88%)
It is interesting to note that reviews with minor imperfections seem to have more influence. More than half of customers believe that reviews with lower than perfect scores are more authentic.
Six out of ten customers say that they will continue to research products with five-star reviews.
2. Authenticity of online reviews
How many people are more likely to trust a business after reading positive reviews online?
It turns out that it depends.
Reviews should be authentic and transparent. Reviewers with high scores can do more harm than good, as shown in the previous statistic.
Ecommerce sellers should not manipulate their customers’ reviews. This includes censoring negative reviews.
This practice could severely impact business sales, as online reviews statistics indicate. Brands that engage in review censorship are said to be disapproved by as many as 62 percent of consumers (Trustpilot 2020).
The same goes for fake reviews, which are present in countless websites including major review sites like Google and Amazon. According to statistics, 62 percent of customers don’t tolerate fraudulent reviews and think they should be removed.
3. Review Sites are Trusted by Buyers
Online reviews are still less powerful than personal recommendations from friends and family, but they continue to have a lot of influence on consumers, with the exception of older generations.
According to the latest online review statistics, nearly four in five (79 percent) consumers say they trust the reviews they read online as much as personal recommendations (BrightLocal, 2020).
This is three percentage points more than the previous year – an indication that increasingly more people are starting to trust online reviews as much as word-of-mouth.
It is important to remember that different industries have different levels of influence on reviews.
As many as 87 percent of consumers think that reviews are important in choosing restaurants, cafes, or hotels to stay at. Only 66 percent, however, consider reviews important for clothing stores.
4. Review Sites for Consumers
There are many review sites online, so you can be certain that customers aren’t just looking at reviews on your website.
Also, they can read reviews from other customers anywhere else.
Google is by far the most popular channel people turn to for reviews, with approximately 59 percent of shoppers using it (Bizrate Insights, 2021). Amazon is next with 57 percent.
Featuring reviews on your own eCommerce website is clearly not sufficient to convince customers to purchase from you. One in five consumers trusts reviews posted on brand websites. A staggering 70% say they trust them “somewhat”.
It is hard to deny the importance of customer reviews. These online review statistics prove that it is important to diversify the locations where customers can leave reviews about your products or business. You’ll also want to make sure you’re actively responding to external review sites to manage your brand image.
5. Average number of reviews consumers read online
Online reviews aren’t limited to one review. Statistics from online reviews show that 54.7 percent of shoppers read at least four product reviews before purchasing a product. 44% of online shoppers read 3 or fewer reviews before purchasing a product (Bizrate insights, 2002).
However, this does not mean that your product or company will get more reviews. In fact, consumers trust products based on how many reviews they have received.
According to the most recent ratings and reviews statistics, 26.8% of consumers believe products with between 51 and 100 reviews give them a greater sense of trust. Only five percent feel they can trust products with between 501-1000 reviews.
6. What percentage of people leave online reviews?
Consumers are not only reading online reviews before they make a purchase but many are also leaving reviews.
Almost half (47 percent) of all internet users worldwide say they post reviews about a product, company, or service each month (GlobalWebIndex, 2019).
This is a common behavior for all online shoppers, but it’s more prevalent in the younger generation.
For example, 53% of internet users between 25-34 years old post reviews at least once per month, while only 39% of those aged 45-54 years old do this. Comparatively, less than a third (30%) of internet users between 55 and 64 post monthly reviews online.
7. Customers expect businesses to respond to their reviews quickly and to address any issues promptly
Online reviews are a major factor in deciding which products and businesses to support, as the statistics from previous years have demonstrated.
Online reviews are not just for the benefit of others. According to statistics, most shoppers also leave online reviews in the hope of getting a reply from the company. They want answers fast.
In fact, 53.3 percent of customers expect businesses to respond to their negative reviews within a week (ReviewTrackers, 2018). Most customers are disappointed, with 63.3 percent saying they have not heard from the business regarding their negative reviews.
We’ll discuss why businesses might not respond to reviews in the next statistic.
8. It is important for businesses to respond to online reviews
Consumers are not only affected by reviews left by others but also how businesses handle their reviews when evaluating a business. BrightLocal, 2019, estimates that 97 percent of online shoppers read business reviews.
Responding to negative reviews is part of providing good customer service to your clients and it results in benefits for your business. Your business should respond to their concerns.
It also helps to placate any angry customers, which increases the chances of retaining them. Additionally, up to 45 percent of customers are more likely to support businesses if they have received negative reviews.
Don’t overlook the simple act and responsibility of responding to reviews. It could hurt you in the long run as a bad experience with customer service is often shared with others.
9. For local businesses, online reviews are important
Local businesses also need to have reviews. According to BrightLocal 2019, 82 percent of local customers say that they have used their reviews to learn more about their local shops.
This is slightly lower than the 86 percent recorded in the previous year. Industry experts hesitate to attribute the decrease in online reviews to a decline in trust and predict that they will continue being important for both local businesses as well as shoppers.
The older generation is more likely to read reviews online. Only one in ten people over 55 claims to consult local business reviews online.
29 percent of over-55s say they have never read customer reviews online about local stores. This compares to 17 percent for consumers aged 18 to 34 and seven percent for consumers 35 to 54 years old.
10. Customers who leave reviews on-page can increase their sales
These statistics should give you a clear idea of how important reviews are for businesses. You can’t rely solely on review sites to reap the benefits of reviews. Consider incorporating them onto your website and, in particular, your product pages to drive sales.
The latest online review statistics show that the conversion rates of product pages with reviews are up to 3.5 times higher than those that don’t (Bazaarvoice, 2018). This is independent of whether the reviews were actually read by shop visitors. These product pages also have nearly 4.5x more revenue per visitor (RPV).
Online reviews can boost your SEO and help you rank higher on search engine results pages.
You have it! These are some of the most eye-opening online review statistics to help you understand the importance of online reviews and how to best manage and implement a reviews system for your dropshipping business.