Last Updated: March 20, 2021
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In the era of social networks and digital marketing, customers’ voices have become increasingly authoritative. According to most online review statistics, using the consumer reviews left by customers, professionals, and influencers is a very effective marketing strategy that has revolutionized the online shopping market.
This practice has transformed the way consumers make their decisions, and statistics clearly show how dependent users are on this trend. 95% of shoppers read the reviews posted on business review sites such as Yelp, Google, Facebook, and TripAdvisor before making a purchase. Additionally, according to a study on online reviews, 97% of consumers check online reviews before buying a product to get additional insight.
Furthermore, the reviews aren’t just a simple way to get information for shoppers. They are a powerful form of consumer engagement. Even Google’s official guidelines emphasize how useful reviews are when they’re honest and objective. It’s been a local ranking means for years. So here, we’ve unleashed the 26 most fascinating statistics and facts about online reviews. First, we’ll start you off with some of the most interesting stats from the article.
Online Review Statistics for 2021(Editor’s Choice)
- Customer reviews can increase conversions by 270%.
- 92% of consumers will hesitate to buy a product if there are no reviews left by customers.
- 97% of consumers report that the customer reviews they read influence their purchasing decisions.
- 95% of all travelers read online reviews before booking.
- Consumers trust customer reviews 12 times more than manufacturers’ reviews, according to consumer trust statistics.
- About 5%–10% of consumers write reviews, influencing around $400 billion of the total e-commerce sales revenue.
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends.
- 82% of shoppers specifically seek negative reviews.
- 94% of consumers refuse to patronize a business because of negative reviews.
- 75% of people online trust a business after seeing a positive review.
If you’re keen on learning more about the power of user reviews, have a look at our infographic.
What Is an Online Review?
An online review is simply an assessment made about the distinctive features of someone or something. It generally refers to the criticism, evaluation, opinion, or comments generated about an object, service, business, or experience.
Reviews have a powerful effect on audience behavior. It’s also a consequence of a brand’s image and performance. The reviews left on a service or product are like friends’ recommendations, despite being published by complete strangers.
Why Are Online Reviews Important?
Just made a new sale? Great! All your work creating content for social networks, your blog, and so on is finally bringing you more conversions. While the customer has left happy and you have your profit, there’s still a final step in the inbound marketing cycle. It’s a newfound marketing strategy giving traditional marketing a run for its money. But how do we turn our customers into our promoters?
That is why online reviews matter. Before the digital era, the best promotion technique was through word-of-mouth. Back then, lower quality products and services were driven by rudimentary marketing techniques. There was no viable public medium for consumers to express their opinions about products. The voices of dissatisfied customers reached only the ears of family and friends. But everything has become much simpler since then.
Nowadays, Google and social networks encourage reviews. The power of customer reviews is such that with one click, you can transmit opinions worldwide, allowing each consumer to see customer comments as a reference for when they decide about purchasing a product or service. Online reviews let your customers talk about you on the internet, even after closing the sale.
Hence, with these in mind, our statistics about online reviews will show that this strategy has a significant and quantifiable impact on purchasing decisions. The effect depends on many factors, such as ratings, the nature of a reviews’ content, the product price, and the source of a review. Without further ado, here are some of the most fascinating stats about the power of online reviews.
Interesting Online Review Statistics and Facts
1. 97% of consumers report that “customer reviews” influence their purchasing decisions.
(Source: Spiegel Research Center)
Do online reviews affect sales? Well, according to some studies, most consumers are heavily influenced by customer criticism—or lack thereof.
Also, online reviews have the power to significantly influence purchasing decisions, as shown by an analysis of Spiegel’s online review statistics from 2017. However, the level of this influence depends on many factors, which include:
- Product price
- The extent of insecurity or risk involved in the purchase
- The average score of reviews
- The presence of negative reviews
- The number of user reviews
2. Close to 60% of users use Google to find reviews.
(Source: bizarre insights)
How many times have we gone straight to reading other online reviews statistics besides Google to inquire about a product online? As always, the internet giant accounts for more than half of all the reviews in the world. Moreover, more than 40% go to the website of the brand they’re researching, over 20% of them use Yelp, while close to 20% of shoppers trust Facebook.
3. Customers start to trust a business only after reading ten reviews about it.
(Source: The Modern Day Agent)
According to a study on online reviews, customers will only start to feel they can trust a business after reading at least ten reviews about it. Relatively, the more expensive the products are, the more reviews they must have. So, if you want to earn your customers’ trust, ensure that your products have ten reviews or more.
4. 95% of all travelers read online reviews before booking.
Experience has taught us that our leisure-based plans can turn totally disastrous if we don’t do proper research. And according to most travel and hotel online review statistics, 95% of business and leisure-seeking travelers alike try to reinforce their choice by reading reviews about their transportation channels and places of destination before hopping on the plane.
While business travelers consult five reviews on average, leisure-seekers go through around six or seven reviews. Meanwhile, more than half (59%) of travelers say they go through reviews “very often” or “always,” according to TrustYou’s online review statistics.
5. Consumers trust customer reviews 12 times more than they trust manufacturers’ reviews.
Product descriptions are useful if you want to know about a product’s major features. However, this type of content is slowly becoming a place for ads or PR. So product descriptions won’t be replacing online reviews. Knowing that manufacturers can’t be objective when it comes to their own products, consumers rely on the product reviews left by customers a dozen times more than manufacturers’ product descriptions. So how reliable are online reviews? They can mostly be trusted.
6. 53% of consumers expect feedback for their reviews.
There are brands with representatives whose duties include monitoring and responding to customer reviews, questions, and complaints on their sales platforms. However, many businesses don’t practice this, leaving customers disappointed when their comments don’t get an immediate response. While 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to their online reviews, statistics from 2018 show that 63% have had at least one brand never respond to their comments.
7. Verified buyer reviews have a higher percentage of 5-star reviews.
Verified buyers are more likely to score 4 or 5 stars than anonymous reviewers. The average score of the reviews from verified buyers is 4.34 compared to an average score of 3.89 among reviews written by anonymous reviewers. Furthermore, verified buyer reviews contain a higher percentage of 5-star reviews.
Conversely, anonymous buyers are more likely to give reviews of 1–2 stars, according to online review statistics from 2016. What also emerges is that shoppers who’ve had a negative experience are more likely to make an effort to go to the site, create an account, and post a negative review. However, verified buyers don’t seem to look at the average rating when they publish their reviews.
8. Sales increase by 15% when consumers are “verified.”
(Source: Spiegel Research Center)
Displaying reviews written by verified buyers as identified by a Verified Buyer badge has a positive impact on sales. And this clearly demonstrates how online reviews affect business. The Verified Buyer badge shows that the reviewer is a credible, reliable consumer and not someone who’s been paid to write a review. Since verified buyers usually provide more positive reviews than anonymous reviewers, getting reviews from verified buyers provides a double benefit: having a higher score and greater credibility.
9. The first 10 reviews have the most impact and determine conversion.
(Source: Spiegel Research Center)
Are customer reviews important for a business’s growth? Well, it’s easy to say that getting more and more reviews helps grow more and more sales. Research has shown that getting more reviews helps, but only up to a certain point. Based on this research, almost all the growth in purchases occurs within the top ten reviews. And the first five reviews carry the bulk of the growth. Consumer trust statistics show that the value of additional reviews decreases rapidly for both low-priced and high-priced products.
10. High-priced products need at least five reviews to have a better conversion impact.
(Source: Spiegel Research Center)
Based on these statistics, high-priced products need at least five reviews to see a better conversion impact, while low-priced products need two to four.
11. 92% of consumers don’t immediately feel comfortable buying a product or service if it has no customer reviews.
(Source: Fan & Fuel)
Are customer reviews important in e-commerce? Absolutely! The fact is, 92% of consumers hesitate to buy products that don’t have reviews, and 32% of consumers will wait to make a purchase decision until after they’ve done more research. Moreover, 23% said they have difficulty making a purchase decision when there are no product reviews.
12. Customer reviews can increase conversions by 270%.
(Source: Spiegel Research Center)
E-commerce statistics indicate that conversion rates for the top 1,000 e-commerce companies are at 2.5%. Customer reviews can undoubtedly increase this figure, as the availability of reviews makes a consumer more inclined to buy a product. Evidently, the power of customer reviews shapes customers’ behavior. Once products start showing reviews, conversion rates increase rapidly. The probability of buying a product with five-star reviews is 270% greater than the probability of buying a product with no reviews at all.
13. Reviews increase the conversion rates of higher-priced items by 380%.
(Source: Spiegel Research Center)
One study analyzed the impact of reviews on product sales within categories such as cereals and organic grains. The online review statistics showed that reviews have a significant impact on increasing the sales of higher-priced products.
Based on retailer data, when online reviews appear for low-priced products, the conversion rate grew by 190%. For high-priced products, the conversion rate increased by 380%. The higher the price, the greater the risk for the consumer. Having more information through reviews helps reduce risk.
Additionally, the latest live chat statistics show that the live chat functionality can further boost conversions by 20%. So apart from displaying online reviews, make sure to provide live chat support to your customers. It adds to their pleasurable customer experience, which results in a positive review.
How Reliable Are Online Reviews?
Sometimes, one has to look beyond the ratings or the negativity attached to a review. What you read online on review sites isn’t usually representative of the product. According to Forbes and other relevant websites, a few unwholesome black hat strategies in online reviews have been emerging, such as those made by robots or even those made to down a competitor. So are customer reviews reliable, and if so, how much?
14. Reviews with 5-star ratings aren’t always 5-star.
More stars equate to more conversions, right? It’s assumed that higher ratings from 4 out of 5 stars or more lead to more sales. Research has shown that this assumption is true—but only to a certain extent. Across product categories, it emerged that it’s less likely that products with an average rating of 4.5–5 stars will be purchased when compared to those with 4.2–4.5.
That shows why you shouldn’t trust online reviews with excellent ratings. Shoppers consider the ratings at the end of the spectrum to be “too good to be true.” In fact, not once was the “optimal” score of 5.0 considered ideal among the categories analyzed in the study.
15. Around 20% of the reviews you see online aren’t real!
(Source: Reputation X)
Yep, you read it right! The fake online reviews statistics reveal that brands, especially hotels and restaurants, try to undermine or harm their competitors by sponsoring fake reviews of their products on business review sites.
16. 61% of reviews on electronic products on Amazon are fake.
(Source: Marketing Land)
Amazon has always been one of the places e-commerce customers go to read customers’ reviews about products even when they aren’t ready to buy. However, Amazon reviews statistics from a study published by Fakespot via Marketing Land show new findings. According to this study, the percentage of fake reviews far outweigh the real ones. Electronics products have one of the largest shares (61%) of fake reviews, but beauty products (63%), sneakers (59%), and supplements (64%) also have some trouble here.
Besides, according to the latest email marketing statistics, four billion people have email accounts. They can instead promote their products by sending emails to their customers instead of publishing fake reviews.
Online Reputation Statistics on Negative Reviews in E-commerce
17. 94% of consumers refuse to patronize a business because of negative reviews.
When the reviews are negative, 94% of a business’s prospective clients dissuade from using it. What happens when you want to buy merchandise online and there are two vendors to choose between—one has a 2.8/5 rating and the other 4.7/5? Instinct tells us to choose the one with the higher rating, right?
18. 82% of shoppers specifically look for negative reviews.
Negative reviews establish credibility. Research by PowerReviews showed that 82% of shoppers specifically look for negative reviews. Most online reputation statistics are in line with Spiegel’s research theory, in which almost perfect ratings in reviews undermine the credibility of the reviews themselves. Readers are skeptical of overly positive reviews, and in many cases, negative reviews appear to be more credible.
19. Consumers don’t trust businesses with 4 stars or less.
It doesn’t matter if the product or service is Nike sneakers, an Apple OEM accessory, or an order for Chick-fil-A. When the user reviews go below 4 stars, according to an online reviews study, prospective customers steer clear. The fact is, the ratings trusted most by eight out of 10 consumers are 4/5, 4.5/5, and 5/5, although many customers will be skeptical of the authenticity of a perfect 5/5 review.
20. Consumers remain on a site 5 times longer when they come across negative reviews.
A study conducted by Revoo’s stats lab indicates that consumers stay on a site for a notably longer period when they interact with negative reviews, with an 85% conversion rate growth.
What Percentage of People Read Reviews?
In the world of electronic commerce, reviews are the best sign of success or failure. How many times have we needed to go shopping, but before we left, we looked for a review online about the item we wanted? These stats reveal how many e-commerce customers are fond of this practice.
21. 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends.
(Source: Inc. / best4businesses)
This is one of the more surprising online review statistics because it suggests that a 50-word review by a stranger may have as much impact as a positive recommendation from someone you’re close to. It looks like tables have turned, as, according to research, recommendations from friends and family used to be the most credible type of advertising.
The exposure and the advantage that companies receive from good reviews is a powerful e-commerce formula. Well-managed companies can easily eclipse their competitors, as a site’s algorithms can easily hide the negative reviews of their products and services.
22. 75% of people online trust a business after seeing a positive review.
How many people trust a business more after reading positive online reviews? With three out of four potential customers putting this much value in the reviews they see, it’s clear your business needs to leverage its good reviews.
23. Half of the adults under 50 typically read online reviews, and 55% have watched videos reviewing products.
(Source: Pew Research Center)
Today, American consumers can access several review resources before they add an e-commerce product to the cart. Reading a review online is now a norm across a wide range of demographic groups, with people under 50 being the majority. According to a study on online reviews from Pew, these have a major impact on whether someone will select one product over another.
24. 68% of consumers make an opinion after reading 6 online reviews or less.
The way you strategize your online reputation management determines what opinions are formed about your business online. Maintaining happy customers is a priority, especially for businesses with a relatively small base, so pay attention to your customers’ reviews.
What Percentage of Customers Write Reviews?
While it’s challenging to find out exactly how many users write reviews after making a purchase, here’s some good news to all e-commerce businesses looking to build a reputation around their store:
25. 72% of customers will write a review if a local business asks them to.
Every business should make it a practice to ask customers for feedback after a successful purchase. Fortunately, most of those who receive these requests will oblige, according to a local consumer review survey. This implies that a well-thought-out reputation strategy will effectively bring in new customers.
26. About 5%–10% of consumers write reviews, commanding about $400 billion of e-commerce sales revenue.
(Source: USA Today)
5% of all customers writing reviews may seem like a small number compared to the remaining 95% who don’t. However, that number already commands 20% of the total sales in today’s market. If you want to know how online reviews affect business, here’s your answer: international e-commerce sales are worth around $2 trillion, leaving $400 billion in sales revenue that’s derived from reviews.
We end with some critical recommendations that retailers should follow based on the statistics in this article. Take advantage of these strategies and incorporate activities into your marketing plan to promote and manage your customers’ online reviews.
- Show reviews and ratings on the product site. Displaying reviews can increase sales by 270%, according to our statistics about online reviews. Retailers that don’t display them run the risk of losing customers to the sites that do. Make sure you have a mobile-friendly version—according to mobile marketing statistics, 91% of the global internet traffic comes mobile.
- Accept negative reviews. Negative reviews can have a positive impact because they establish credibility and authenticity.
- When requesting reviews, prioritize products with a low volume of reviews. The first five reviews have the most significant impact on purchasing decisions, based on Spiegel’s online reviews study. Make sure that all products have at least a handful of reviews.
- Prioritize getting reviews for products with high prices and high consideration. Reviews have a more substantial influence over high-priced, highly regarded products. There’s more risk for buying an expensive item, something from a new brand, or a product related to a user’s personal health. Retailers can help consumers overcome this risk by providing additional reviews for these products.
- Increase verified reviews. As our online review statistics show, having the most reviews isn’t always helpful if they are from anonymous reviewers. Retailers should incentivize verified buyers to post reviews by sending post-sales emails.
- Identify the verified buyer reviews. Finally, identifying those who buy with the Verified Buyer badge increases a review’s credibility and the chances of a customer buying by up to 15%.