How Online Reviews Can Either Make Or Break Your Business?

Online reviews help us decide where/what to eat, what to watch, what to buy and what to sell which means your online reputation is at stake. They have become an integral part of who we are as a consumers and business owners. They have a huge impact on how well businesses do or don’t do. They have become the go-to way to make decisions about places we have never been and with the seemingly endless amount of options we have as consumers nowadays, they are one of the only ways to narrow down our choices as consumers. The infographic below shows how consumers read and use online review sites in numbers.

Facts: 68% of millennials trust online reviews most, as opposed to 34% who trust television advertisement and on average they produce an uprise of 18% in sales. In addition, 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business which means these decisions being made are made quickly, without much hesitation.

Impact of reviews: Online reviews have a huge impact on both businesses and consumers. The impact can be positive or negative. For example, for every star a business gets in their rating, their sales revenue will increase from approximately 5-9%. At the same time, 22% of consumers will not purchase a product after reading just one negative review about it. Finally, 63.6 percent of consumers say they are likely to check online reviews on Google before visiting a business. 

Impact of reviews by industry: The top five industries to be affected negatively by online reviews are: restaurants, hotels, doctor’s offices, hospitals and hair salons.

Fake reviews: A common misconception about online reviews is that they are all genuine reviews. This is simply not the case. Only 27% of consumers will trust an online review if they think it is authentic even though a whopping 30% of online reviews may be fake. In fact, New York regulators settled with 19 companies for $350,000 in total fines in a crackdown on fake reviews.

Travel, Health, Restaurants & Jobs: User reviews are used widely by travelers and 59% of consumers say that review sites have the most influence on their booking decisions. Another industry where online reviews are extremely present is the health industry. A whopping 84% of patients say that they use online reviews to evaluate doctors. In addition, restaurants are another industry where online reviews are highly prominent. 61% of consumers have read online reviews about restaurants. This is more than any other business. Lastly, when people are searching for a job, it has been found that 83% of these job seekers are likely to base their decision on where to apply on company reviews and 76% of professionals claim to research a company online before considering a job opportunity.

Best online review sites by industry: There are tons of online review sites in the internet world but they are not all created equal. The best online review site is also different depending on what is being reviewed. For jobs, Glassdoor is in the top spot. For tech, CNET Radio is best. For hotels and motels, Trip Advisor is your best bet. For movies, IMDB. For restaurants, Yelp is number one and for health, Zocdoc comes in first.

Case study analysis: Through some case study analysis we found out just why some of these websites are the best. We found that restaurants that boost their Yelp rating by one star can increase their revenues by 5% to 9%. Furthermore, 98% of consumers found that TripAdvisor hotel reviews accurately reflected their actual experience and 61% of Glassdoor users report that they week company reviews and rating before making a decision to apply for a job. 

Influence of social media on online reviews: It has become quite apparent that social media now has a huge influence on consumers nowadays. In fact, 55% of consumers use Facebook as a place to learn more about brands and when retailers replied to negative reviews on social media and online ratings sites, a third of customers either deleted their original negative review or even replaced it with a positive review.

“Given the importance of online reviews, it might be worth considering using reputation management software to monitor what people are saying about you.  Check out this article for more information about what could be your best options.”


Special thanks to for insights on user reviews.

  1. Great infographic. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great article and infographic with nicely summarized facts for all businesses to consider. Loved the tip on – I installed the browser extension and use it on all Amazon products before I buy. Thanks!

  3. How we do business has certainly changed with the opinions of strangers carrying so much weight in the buying decision. Really interesting facts you have compiled.

  4. Decent work! Very informative. We’ll share this valuable compilation to educate our clients.

    Thank you for sharing,

  5. In essence, today’s user reviews are an up-teched variation of ‘word of mouth’ which humanity has used probably before spoken language. Good write up and a killer graphic.

  6. This is a very informative infographic. Online reviews are very important now as Google now uses them in the search results.

  7. Great information – reviews are so important to all businesses, brands, schools, etc. Thank you.

  8. AWESOME, content and infographic for any level business owners or decision makers and marketers as well.

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    But as being a bonus professional web marketing team can establish to suit your needs your review website,
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  10. True. Negative business reviews can severely damage your business performance.

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