69 Online Review Statistics To Know: The Complete List (2023)
No matter which industry you’re in, or what products you sell, getting online customer reviews is important.
Just as you are likely to purchase a highly-rated product on Amazon, your customers will purchase your services if you have a dedicated online community touting the benefits of using them.
As Chris Anderson, head of TED and curator of TED Talks, says, “your brand isn’t what you say it is – it’s what Google says it is.”
That’s why online reviews are important. Online reviews are influencing your customers' purchase decisions and spending habits, but how much? What percentage of your customers read reviews? How many businesses are responding to those reviews?
You’re about to find out.
Here is a comprehensive guide to online review statistics in 2023 to help you discover the impact they have on your business, while also considering how negative and fake reviews influence your customers.
What are online reviews?
Online reviews are an effective digital age word-of-mouth marketing strategy, providing the perspective of customers who’ve already used a particular product or service. These reviews shape your business in the digital landscape, attract new leads, increase customer footfall, increase revenue, and improve your business.
- 95% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase. According to a study, reviews are transforming the way customers make purchase decisions.
- 97% of customers read reviews of local businesses. Of these, 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- Nearly nine out of ten customers worldwide make efforts to read online reviews before making a purchasing decision. For 49% of global customers, positive reviews were one of their top three purchase influences.
- 94% of customers avoided a business after reading their reviews. Negative customer reviews make customers question the credibility and quality of a business.
- 72% of customers don’t make a decision to buy unless they read a review. Online reviews are the building blocks of trust because 15% of people don’t trust a brand without a review.
- 30% of customers under the age of 44 look at reviews before making a purchase. Many customers look at reviews when making major purchase decisions: 19.7% of older customers over 45 read reviews, while 18.4% of 60+ year-old customers will do so before making a purchase.
- 68% of customers don’t trust a five-star rating. They require between one to six reviews in order to trust the company.
- For every one-star increase a company gets on Yelp, they see a 5-9% increase in revenue. Online reviews are changing the landscape of how customers make a purchase decision.
- Nearly half of all internet users post online reviews every month. As of writing this article, the number of online users stands at a whopping 5.03 billion.
Why does your business need online reviews?
Quite simply, reviews are a deciding factor for most customers, irrespective of whether they make online or offline purchases. A large number of online reviews, coupled with positive reviews and comments, helps build immediate trust that ultimately converts casual online shoppers to paying customers. Digital customers are interested in dissecting the nitty gritty details of previous customers’ experiences with a brand. That’s why online reviews are a must-have for businesses.
- Businesses with a free listing on four review sites earn 58% more revenue. A priority for every business is creating a listing on popular review sites, such as Google Business, Yelp, and Facebook. Other review sites include G2, Capterra, Trustpilot, TripAdvisor, and Better Business Bureau.
- 62% of customers are likely to make a purchase after seeing photos and videos from other customers. Feedback and reviews from others are paramount for making a customer trust a brand. Photos and videos provide an extra layer of credibility and make your business come across as a trusted brand.
- Star rating is the number one factor that helps a customer judge a business. Only 3% of customers consider using a business with one or two stars, whereas 96% choose a brand with a four or five-star rating.
- Businesses with 4-4.5 star ratings earn the most revenue. In an ideal world, companies with a 5-star rating would make the highest revenue, but customer surveys suggest this isn’t the case. While customers reject low-rated businesses, excellent ratings can have the same effect: customers perceive them as fake.
- Businesses with more than nine reviews in the past 90 days earn 52% more than the average. Your customers are looking for fewer than 50 or 100 reviews weekly: they only require nine. They are more interested in knowing the experience of current customers and want to hear it from more than one person.
How effective are online reviews?
Think about the last time you made an online purchase from Amazon. Chances are, one of the first things you checked was the reviews. For customers, online reviews are about building trust. And that’s true for B2B and B2C companies. From validating expertise, expanding reach, confirming authority, and increasing E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness), online reviews distinguish you from other businesses.
- One review increases the number of internet users clicking the buy button by 65%. When a business receives its first review, the purchase button click increases. Monitoring, managing, and tracking online reviews help businesses compete effectively.
- Online reputation accounts for 60% of a company’s current market value. When a business calculates its market value, reputation is prime. As online reviews contribute to the reputation, they’re more important than you think.
- Businesses with positive reviews witness a 31% increase in their customer spending. Every online review reassures customers who feel more secure and confident about using the product.
- According to Google, online customer reviews have a weight of 6.47% in local search results. What your customers say in their reviews matters, as they can now lend a helping hand in boosting your SEO efforts.
- Product pages with customer reviews result in a 354% increase in conversion than those without reviews. If you want the complete advantage of online reviews, don’t just stick to external review platforms. Embed customer reviews or testimonials on your product pages for higher conversion.
- Businesses that display online reviews increase conversion by 270%. The probability of your product selling increases when a review accompanies it.
- The first five customer reviews have the biggest impact on your sales. The financial impact tends to level out when the number of reviews increases to 10, 15, and 20. So, make your first five reviews count.
Do customers really read reviews?
For customers, reviews open up a never-ending world of opportunities, helping them to make smart decisions, and they are instrumental in helping companies know what purchasers think about their products. In this age, with so many options available for a single product, customers get bombarded with choices, making even the easiest decision seem tiring and time-consuming. So, your customers read reviews for guidance and use the wisdom of the general public to make informed decisions when making a purchase.
- 58% of customers are willing to pay more or dig deeper into the company's good reviews. For these customers, reviews are one of the most critical considerations when browsing for local businesses.
- Two out of three customers are more likely to purchase after watching a video review. When customers see testimonial videos of how a product or service has had a positive reaction from a previous customer, they feel encouraged to purchase that particular product.
- 37% of customers consider testimonial videos to be more effective., Video testimonials offer more credibility to a brand than its business pitch. Videos activate the human brain's emotional center, educating your target audience and increasing their trust in your brand. They help customers visualize how a product or service works.
- 61% of B2B customers who purchase your brand like to read between 11-50 reviews. A business cannot win customers based only on its sales pitch and product information: positive and negative reviews play an important role.
- 82% of B2B customers find review websites extremely useful during their search. Customers who search for software to solve their problems prefer to visit software review websites. Besides helping customers find the right product, they also increase visibility and enhance SEO.
- 9 out of 10 B2B customers are likely to make a purchase after reading a positive review. Positive product reviews play a crucial role in today's customer journey. Apart from highlighting the product's or service's benefits, these reviews become the unfiltered voice for your brand.
- During the consideration stage, 71% of B2B customers read online reviews. This number is the highest because reviews help them understand how a product works, ensuring they make the right decision.
- 68% of customers develop an opinion after reading six or less reviews. For small businesses, every review counts because five or six negative reviews can jeopardize all your marketing efforts, even if your product is revolutionary. That’s why it’s essential to encourage customers to read reviews and monitor them.
What kind of customers read online reviews?
According to Sucharita Kodali, Principal analyst at Forrester, “Reviews are just table stakes now. If you have to sell online, you have to have them - and the more, the better.” Knowing the demographics, income, and gender of customers reading and consuming reviews, brands can cater to their needs. For instance, brands targeting affluent income groups need to track their online reviews to drive this sector toward the most valuable and relevant reviews.
- 79% of women continuously or regularly read reviews compared to 74% of men. Based on this research, men are slightly more trusting when finding and using local businesses because they don’t monitor every review about a particular product or service.
- Customers in every age group leave a positive review when a business provides a superior customer experience. When you provide seamless service, customers leave a review when they feel the lower ratings of a brand are unjustified.
- When buying expensive products, 70% of Baby Boomers and 93% of Gen Z read product reviews. Gen Z is the most influential customer category because they easily make decisions based on the review they read. For this group, the credibility and trust factor increases exponentially when someone recommends a product or service.
- 89% of customers with a household income of $80,000 or more read online reviews before making a purchase decision. This number drops to 74% for customers with a household income of less than $40,000.
Which review platforms do your customers use?
- 88% of all reviews come from just four review platforms. Most customers leave reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and TripAdvisor. Google accounts for a monstrous chunk taking 73% of online reviews. Businesses with limited bandwidth should focus on these platforms for collecting, tracking, and monitoring online reviews.
- The average review is only 200 characters on Google and Facebook. Alternatively, the average is 600 characters on Yelp and TripAdvisor. Even with a short review size, Google houses far more reviews than the other three review platforms.
- Yelp sees 26,380 new reviews every minute. Although Yelp only has a 6% share of total reviews, businesses should keep an eye on this platform for relevant mentions. It can help a business understand what other brands are doing and provide information highlighting what customers think about them.
- 7 out of 10 customers consult Google reviews when searching for a local business. With Google enjoying a mammoth share of reviews, it’s natural for customers to look here for reviews about a local business.
- A one-star increase in Yelp rating increases revenue by 5-9%. Maintaining a star rating on these review platforms is the key to success because even a small change can seriously affect a business’s bottom line.
- The average number of reviews for a local business ranking that ranks among the top three ranking positions is 47, and the average rating is 3.6 stars. For brands with a Google ranking position of between 4 to 6 pages of SERP, it is 40, and the average rating is 3.4 stars.
- Reviews shared on Twitter have a conversion rate of 6.46% compared to 2.58% of reviews shared on Facebook. For social media customers, reviews are a powerful source of contemporary proof. This is especially true when it comes to ecommerce businesses that have ignored the power of Twitter.
- 98% of customers have purchased from a business they found on Yelp. As Yelp is a community-driven platform, customers trust the reviews and this can make a significant difference in your business’s bottom line.
- On average, Google Reviews give a star rating of 4.42 for local businesses. For local businesses, Google reviews are a blessing, as more than 61% have a review rating between 4 and 5 stars.
Why do customers leave reviews?
We’ve explored people who read reviews and the platforms on which they do so, but these reviews have to come from somewhere. Although your customers might need a nudge or push to write reviews, there are many reasons customers write them. The top three reasons for writing online reviews are: helping others make better buying decisions, sharing an experience with others, and rewarding a company for its excellent customer service and experience.
- 67% of customers write a review for a positive experience they had with a brand. The same study revealed that 40% of customers review a negative experience. Customers write reviews when a business strikes their emotional chord, positive or negative. When customers have a poor experience, they leave reviews to vent their frustration and anger.
- 80% of customers are likely or highly likely to leave a review if a business turned their negative experience into a positive one. For many customers, reviews serve as a way to feed the ego. When companies successfully turn negative experiences into positive ones, customer loyalty increases. So, for brands, it’s imperative to give weightage to negative customer experiences.
- 53% of customers are likely or highly likely to leave a review when they receive an email or text message from the business requesting a review. Companies need to take the initiative to ask customers to leave reviews. They can do it in person, over the phone, through email surveys, social media, or through thank-you pages. Though businesses might feel intimidated, this helps increase their online presence is practical.
- 77% of customers leave reviews when they know a business is fairly new. Customers feel empathetic toward new businesses and provide reviews to help the new business improve its products and services. These reviews help new businesses ensure their product or service meets customer expectations, solves problems, and fulfills requirements.
How many reviews should your business have?
Customer reviews help your business sell products and services more effectively than your award-winning sales copy. Reviews are the difference between winning and losing customers to competitors. So, every business should review acquisition as a part-and-parcel of their marketing strategy rather than making it an afterthought. Reviews are so important that you should treat them with similar importance as PR and advertising.
- Businesses with more than 200 reviews earn 82% more in annual revenue when compared with businesses with below-average review counts. TThe number of reviews or review counts significantly impact local businesses more than star ratings. Businesses should request that customers leave online reviews.
- For one in every four customers, reviews influence their purchase decision, when they’re no more than two weeks old. Recency matters when it comes to online reviews, and brands require a continuous inflow of reviews to stay afloat and influence customers to make a purchase.
- Only when a business has 40 online reviews, do customers start trusting their average star rating. Businesses should request customers to leave reviews because when searching for new products or services, veracity of reviews matters. This is great news for new and small businesses because bad reviews don't dissuade customers.
- 50 or more reviews per product mean a 4.6% in conversion rate. Businesses should display product reviews on websites to eliminate potential customers' doubts about a product. It can even help in product selection when customers are confused between two similar products.
Do negative reviews impact your business?
Every review is an excellent opportunity to improve experiences, build customer trust, strengthen relationships, and increase sales. Negative reviews are a golden opportunity to correct misconceptions, improve perceptions and build a loyal customer base. The answers that help a brand develop products that cater to the customer’s requirements are hidden within these negative reviews.
- One negative review can cost a business 30 customers. Negative reviews stop your customers from using your business. When negative reviews appear on Google, a business can potentially lose up to 70% of all its customers. Online reviews have the power to drive away or deter customers from your brand.
- One negative review requires 40 positive reviews to outweigh the damage it has caused. While great customer experiences are priceless, a single negative review can dent a business’ reputation. This good-to-bad review ratio is high because happy customers are less likely to leave a review, whereas unhappy customers are more likely to leave a review.
- When 15-20% of a business’s reviews are negative, its revenue is 13% higher than a business with 5-10% negative reviews. Businesses with higher negative reviews make more money. So, businesses shouldn’t feel let down when customers leave a negative review. Instead, they should respond to them.
- Four or more negative reviews can cost a business to lose 70% of its potential customers. Negative reviews drive away potential customers. Keeping track of negative reviews is more essential than ever.
- Customers are influenced by both negative and positive reviews. 82% of customers specifically search for negative reviews. Such customers spend five times more time on a website when interacting or reading a negative review.
- A company risks losing 22% of customers when a single negative article or product review pops up when customers search. It’s essential for companies to have a positive review and a clean image on all the first-page search results.
Do fake reviews impact your business?
Fake reviews are dangerous because they don’t help you or your customers get the information they seek. Malicious reviews destroy your credibility, and customers might not trust your brand. When a customer successfully spots a fake one, positive reviews may be considered more reliable. As a brand, having a strategy to spot and remove such reviews is the key to success.
- 62% of customers don't like businesses that censor their reviews. Customers turn to reviews to learn about the experience of other customers. Censorship can do more damage than any number of negative reviews or comments. Businesses that censor reviews end up losing a significant chunk of potential customers.
- 47% of customers believe businesses fake their reviews to increase their online reputation. 40% of customers believe businesses do this by removing negative reviews from their website, Google, and other review platforms. When customers feel a business is not hearing their voice, this creates a bad image for the company.
- American customers waste $125 annually due to reading fake reviews on review platforms. As a result, most customers prefer purchasing from businesses with many reviews, but average ratings over businesses with small numbers of excellent reviews.
- 54% of customers don't buy a product if they suspect reviews are fake. When a business has fake reviews, it leads to mistrust in the product. Fraudulent reviews are just one way a business loses trust and customers. Every business needs to make negative reviews accessible to purchasers, as they are important when making a decision.
- 62% of customers globally have a zero-tolerance policy against fake reviews. Fake reviews are the most undesired behaviors on the internet; they are considered unacceptable . Interestingly, politically biased insults and advertising are less problematic than fake reviews.
Why is it essential to respond to your online reviews?
Responding to reviews paves the way for building a strong foundation with your customers. Rather than downplaying and skipping reviews, responding helps with customer retention and signals to prospective customers that the business is reliable, trustworthy, and responsible. Without a response, customers won’t think twice about switching to your competitor.
- 41% of customers feel valued when businesses respond to their reviews. 22% of customers feel a brand is trustworthy, and 14% believe that products are high quality. Responding to reviews is an excellent way to build positive brand associations.
- 64% of customers prefer purchasing from a company that is responsive to reviews over one that appears perfect. When a company responds, it indicates it’s ready for open dialogue with customers, thus building credibility. While customers are happy to believe that mistakes happen, brands that acknowledge and respond to reviews are the ones that customers will frequent for a long-time.
- Customers spend 50% more time with businesses that regularly respond to customer reviews. Whether a customer leaves a positive or negative review, they expect a business to reply. It shows that you’re listening, that you care, and that you’re invested in providing a seamless customer experience.
- 7 in 10 customers change their perception about a brand after receiving a response to their review. Being responsive to a customer’s review means being conversational and using language that fits the brand’s voice. When replying to a customer, avoid copying and pasting generic responses to customer reviews - this is equivalent to not responding.
- 52% of customers expect a business to reply to their online review within seven days. One in four customers expects a response within 3 days, whereas 21% expect a brand to reply within 24 hours or less. Timely response to customer reviews, especially negative reviews, increases the customer’s lifetime value.
- 22% of customers are unlikely to do business with brands that don’t respond to any reviews. Customers prefer a brand to respond to both positive and negative reviews. Responding to reviews can help a business convert a negative experience to a positive one.
How have reviews changed online?
Since the pandemic, the way customers consume information and reviews has seen a landmark change. Paying attention to customer reviews can give a business edge over its competitors. Understanding the changing dynamics of this field is essential to remain up-to-date about how your customers consume online reviews.
- The review interaction has increased by 50%. Changing review interactions indicate the dying need of customers to know the ins and outs of the brand with which they’re likely to engage.
- The length of online reviews has become shorter. Even digital customers understand the need for crisp and to-the-point reviews. They know humans have an attention span of less than a goldfish.
It’s time to make reviews an integral part of business strategy
So, there you have it - a deep dive into online review stats and how reviews change the buying landscape and influence customers.
We hope our statistics helped you get the gist of the power of online reviews and what your brand is missing, especially if you’re hesitant to consider that online reviews are the building blocks for a successful business.