Ten years ago, shopping was simple. People saw something they like, examined it and proceeded to pay.

Now, their very first step is checking online reviews before even deciding whether or not they like the product. Customer reviews are becoming too significant for businesses to ignore. And there are data to back that up.

Combining the findings of latest researches (2016-2019), we’re bringing you the most important statistics on online customer reviews. Even better, you’ll learn from those data to know how to succeed with reviews as a business.

But first, we’ve created this 2019 up-to-date infographic, based on BrightLocal’s 2018 Study on customer reviews. Feel free to use it on your sites with attribution to TrueProfit.

Infographic: customer review, testimonial, social proof
Customer Reviews Infographic 2019

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1. Impact of customer reviews

  • 86% of customers read local business reviews (including 95% of people aged 18-34) (BrightLocal 2018).
  • 91% of 18-34 year old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (BrightLocal 2018).
  • The probability of buying a product with five reviews is 270% higher than a product without feedback. (Spiegel 2017).
  • 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars (BrightLocal 2018).
  • Between similar products online, 35% of customers said good reviews have motivated them to fall for the higher price choice (Salsify 2018).

Learning point:

Even if right now you must focus elsewhere, at least try to gain a few positive reviews for each of your main products.

For websites, optimize the review/testimonial section so that it’s easy to find. Make review submission simple and accept feedback photos (for tangible products).

2. Number of reviews

  • The quantity of reviews is highly valued by 49% of customers (BrightLocal 2018).
  • Consumers read 10 online reviews on average before they feel able to trust a local business (BrightLocal 2018).
  • Consumers need an average of 40 reviews online before trusting the star rating is accurate (BrightLocal 2018).

Learning point:

Quantity is important! A large number of reviews typically means that you’ve been in business for a while and had time to prove your quality.

If you use Shopify, tools like Loox and Ali Reviews can help import customer reviews from your suppliers. If you’re starting out and don’t have many past customers, this is a good way to begin.

3. Review recency

  • 40% of consumers only take into consideration reviews written within the past 2 weeks (BrightLocal 2018).
  • 85% of consumers agree that reviews older than 3 months are irrelevant (BrightLocal 2018).

Learning point:

Don’t rest on your laurels even if you’ve been well reviewed in the past. Influential social proof can become outdated; and customers might well question a business without recent reviews.

4. Review sites

  • Consumers are mostly likely to leave reviews on business website (36.8%) and Google (32%) than other sites like Yelp or Facebook (GatherUp 2016).
  • Older consumers (aged over 55) prefer leaving reviews on business websites, while the 18-35 group prefer Google (GatherUp 2016).

Learning point:

Make sure your focus is on the right site. Direct past customers to where it matters most. Rather worrying about negative complaints on Yelp, spend more time building up the review section on your business website.

5. Asking for customer reviews

  • 70% of consumers having been asked to leave reviews actually went on to write ones (BrightLocal 2018).
  • Upon emailing customers a direct link to send feedback, brands may expect their average star rating to increase (Spiegel 2017).

Learning point:

Don’t be afraid to ask. Email them asking for feedback and nicely provide a link to submit review. Make the process as simple as possible, eg., allowing quick a rating.

You can automate this process by using Shopify apps like Loox.

6. Review content

  • 73% of customers appreciate written reviews over overall star ratings (Fan&Fuel 2017).

Learning point:

We did mention that an average of four-star rating is essential for many to consider using a business, but focusing solely on raising star ratings is not enough. People still prefer detailed written reviews, which bring far more insights about your product/service.

Encourage your past customers to write feedback for you, even take product photos. You can incentivize them with future discounts or loyalty points, just make sure not to bribe them into writing inauthentic reviews.

7. Response to customer reviews

  • 30% of consumers highly value when businesses respond to reviews (BrightLocal 2018).
  • 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews (BrightLocal 2018).
  • Review volume increased by 12% and ratings went up by 0.12 stars just as the business started responding to reviews (Davide Proserpio, Georgios Zervas 2016).
  • More than 55% of customers expect a company to respond to feedback within 1 day and more than 30% expect a response within 3 days (Moz 2016)

Learning point:

Use review responses to show that you truly care about customers. Even with negative feedback, your response could send a message of integrity and willingness to listen and improve.

Make it prompt – a resolved problem can turn a 1-star review upward.

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