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.