Recently, BrightLocal released a study revealing the importance that consumers place on local reviews from other customers, in particular, reviews that have been submitted recently.
The results indicate that a vast majority – 85% – of consumers don’t even care about reviews which were left more than three months ago. In addition, 40% only care about reviews written within the past two weeks. This is a growing number which is up 18% from last year.
Below is a summary of the key findings from the study.
Searching for Local Businesses
Compared to last year, more consumers are regularly searching for local businesses this year.
- 27% searched for a local business online daily – more than double the proportion in 2017
- 56% searched for local businesses weekly – up from 41% last year
- 69% searched for local businesses online monthly – up from 54%
The study found that the 18-34-year-old demographic is doing the most searching for local businesses. More than half search every day, and 81% search every week.
The 18-34-year-olds also read the most reviews – 50% always read online reviews. In comparison, only 6% of people over 55 years old read consumer reviews.
Overall, 86% of all consumers read reviews for local businesses at least occasionally. The majority of consumers read 4 or more reviews and on average, consumers will read 10 reviews of a local business.
How Local Reviews Influence Consumers
After reading positive reviews, 50% of consumers will visit a local business website, which is up from 37% in 2017. Overall, 78% of consumers will engage with a local business after reading positive reviews.
Some other key findings on the influence of consumer reviews:
- Positive reviews make 68% of consumers more likely to use local businesses.
- 91% of 18-34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- Negative reviews stop 40% of consumers from wanting to use a local business.
- 56% of consumers value the average star rating of a business, while 49% value the number of reviews.
- 57% of consumers will not use a business that has less than 4 stars.
- An increasing number of consumers need to read multiple reviews in order to build up trust.
89% of consumers said they have or would consider writing a review for a local business. Consumers between 18-34 years old are most likely to leave reviews, and 80% say it’s something they’ve done before.
Consumers over 55 years old are least likely to have left reviews, with 22% saying they “never” will.
Fewer consumers are being asked to leave reviews; 66% have been asked this year compared to 74% in 2017. More consumers within the younger demographics are being asked to leave reviews compared to older demographics.
Asking consumers to leave reviews is one way we help our clients get more customer reviews. Is your local business struggling to stay relevant? If so, contact us today for more information!