New research shows that 79% of us will do a search online when it comes to looking for a new business, product or service and 71% will read reviews before choosing a business. With so many businesses to choose from, more and more consumers are turning to online review sites, social media and forums to read about the experiences of other customers before making their decision.
Online customers reviews are a valuable tool for consumers, because it’s a great way for them to get insights to businesses, which then allows them to make informed and faster decisions on whether to use that business.
A study conducted by The Local Consumer Review Survey in 2012 of around 2800 local consumers in the USA, Canada and the UK found that:
- 75% of people read online reviews of local businesses
- 72% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 64% of consumers read between 2-10 reviews before deciding to use a business
- 52% of consumers are more likely to use a local business if they have positive reviews online.
The study also highlights the growing importance of online reviews in influencing a customers decision to use/choose a business. The shift is that customers appear to be less swayed by location and price, which does not guarantee reliability and quality of the service or product.
Similar findings have been made in Australia. A 2011 Nielsen Survey of 5000 people found that 71% of them read online reviews, discussions or comments about businesses before purchasing. Also, a 2012 study by Sensis found that on average, people read between 5-10 reviews before making a decision.
What does this mean for your business? With changes in technology and increasing use of mobile phones, more and more people will be searching online for a business. The study shows that businesses don’t only need to think about getting found online, but the most effective way to build the brand and trust with consumers searching for your business.
For businesses who have listings on WOMO.com.au, make sure to claim your listing and respond to any customer reviews you have. For those looking to build their brand and online reputation through customer reviews, have a look at Happy Customers Program!