In the era of social networks and digital marketing, customers’ voices have become increasingly strong. 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.
More than 50% of consumers check online reviews before buying a product, which is why customer reviews currently have significant value. 95% of shoppers read the reviews posted on business review sites such as Yelp, Google, Facebook, and TripAdvisor before making a purchase. This practice has transformed the way consumers make their decisions—in the case of online reviews, statistics clearly show how dependent users are on this trend.
Furthermore, the reviews aren’t just a simple way to get information for shoppers. Reviews 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 26 of the most fascinating statistics about online reviews. First, we’ll start you off with some of the most interesting stats from the article.
Online Review Statistics (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.
What Is an Online Review?
A review is simply an assessment that’s made about the distinctive features of someone or something. In the online world, it generally refers to the criticism, assessment, opinion, or comments generated about an object, service, business, or experience.
Reviews have a powerful effect on the audience’s behavior and, as a consequence, on a brand’s image and performance. The reviews left on a service or product work much 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?
This is why online reviews matter: Before the digital era, the best way for our clients to become promoters was through word of mouth. Products and services of lower quality in the past could be driven by rudimentary marketing techniques. Before, there was no viable public medium for consumers to express their opinions about products. In addition, the voices of dissatisfied customers only reached 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 around the world, allowing each consumer to see customer comments as a reference for when they make decisions about purchasing a product or service. This lets 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. However, the level of impact depends on a number of factors such as ratings, the nature of the reviews’ content, the price of the product, and the source of the review online. 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.
(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 level of insecurity or the risk involved in the purchase
- The average score of reviews
- The presence of negative reviews
- The number of user reviews
2. Google has 57.5% of the total number of reviews on the internet.
(Get More Online Reviews)
How many times have we gone straight to a site 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. It’s followed by Facebook at a distant 19%. TripAdvisor, Yelp, and others follow next at 8.4%, 6.6%, and 8.6%, respectively.
3. More than 63% of all consumers check for reviews of businesses on Google.
(Convince & Convert)
According to the online review statistics for 2019, before making any commitment, consumers go to Google to check the reputation of a potential business before closing a deal. According to this stat, 63.6% of online consumers read google reviews, 45% read Yelp reviews, TripAdvisor, 30%, and the fourth was Facebook, at 23%.
4. 95% of all travelers read online reviews before booking.
So many events have taught us that our leisure-based plans can turn totally disastrous when proper research isn’t made. 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 and trust the product reviews left by customers a dozen times more than manufacturers’ product descriptions, according to online review statistics.
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, hence leaving customers disappointed when their comments don’t get an immediate response—sometimes they don’t get one for a long time. 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 the 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.”
Displaying reviews written by verified buyers—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 greatest impact and determine conversion.
(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. When it comes to online reviews, the 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 5 reviews to have a greater conversion impact.
(Spiegel Research Center)
Based on these statistics, high-priced products need at least 5 reviews to see a greater conversion impact, while low-priced products need 2–4.
11. 92% of consumers don’t immediately feel comfortable buying a product or service if it has no customer reviews.
(Fan & Fuel)
How important are online reviews in e-commerce? According to this stat, 32% of consumers will wait to make a purchase decision until after they’ve done more research. Also, 23% said they have difficulty making a purchase decision when there are no product reviews.
12. Customer reviews can increase conversions by 270%.
(Spiegel Research Center)
E-commerce statistics indicate that conversion rates for the top 1,000 e-commerce companies are 2.6%. Customer reviews can undoubtedly increase this figure, as the availability of reviews make a consumer more inclined to buy a product. According to the statistics about online reviews provided by a luxury goods retailer, once products started showing reviews, conversion rates increased 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%.
(Spiegel Research Center)
One study analyzed the impact of reviews on higher-priced products compared to lower-priced options within categories such as “normal” cereals and organic grains. The online review statistics showed that reviews had a greater impact on the purchase of higher-priced products than the cheaper ones.
Based on retailer data, when online reviews were displayed for a low-priced product, the conversion rate grew by 190%. For a high-priced product, the conversion rate grew 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 to make their buying journey more enjoyable.
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 true 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 just 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!
Yep, you read right! While it’s still a bit difficult to know precisely what percentage of customers leave reviews that are untrue, ReputationX has revealed how 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.
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.
The Effect of Negative Reviews in the E-commerce Chain
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 are dissuaded from using it. This is according to recent online review statistics from 2018. 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, a negative review is seen as more credible.
19. Consumers don’t trust businesses with 4 stars or less.
It doesn’t really 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. In fact, the ratings trusted most by 8 out of 10 consumers are 4/5, 4.5/5, and 5/5, although many customers will be skeptical of the veracity 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 amount of time 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.
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.
In essence, 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, and the products or pages with bad reviews can be hidden from customers through site algorithms.
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 age 50 typically read online reviews, and 55% have watched videos reviewing products.
(Pew Research Center)
Today, American consumers can access several review resources before they add an e-commerce product to the cart. According to the consumer trust statistics from Pew, these have a major impact over 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. 70% of customers will write a review if a business asks them to.
Every business should make it a practice to ask customers for feedback after a successful purchase. Fortunately, the majority 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.
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 important 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, 52.2% of internet traffic is 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 5 reviews have the greatest impact on purchasing decisions, according to 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 greater influence over high-priced, highly regarded products. There’s more risk in buying an expensive item, something from a new brand, or a product that relates 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 several are left by 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%.
List of Sources:
- Spiegel Research Center
- Get More Online Reviews
- Convince & Convert
- Fan & Fuel
- Reputation X
- Marketing Land
- Pew Research Center
- USA Today
If you’re keen on learning more about the power of user reviews, have a look at our infographic.