Online reviews have become an essential part of not only ecommerce, but buyer behavior in general. Before visiting a restaurant, booking a hotel, or even seeing a doctor or buying a car, consumers want to know about other consumers’ experiences. While the use of online reviews varies across industries and across different review sites, these online review statistics do clearly show the impact online reviews have on both customers and businesses.

These online review statistics were sourced from studies conducted by Harvard Business School, and SEO, SEM and brand management companies, like Bright Local’s 2018 Local Consumer Review Survey, Moz, Search Engine Land and One Local.

2018 Online Review Statistics You Need to Know

How useful are online reviews? How many customers actually read them? How much to reviews really impact buying decisions? These online review statistics give important insights into how consumers feel about online reviews and how they are used day to day.

  • 78% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • 86% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
  • 70% of online shoppers say online reviews are the most useful source of information.
  • 68% of consumers are more likely to buy from a business with positive reviews.
  • 40% of consumers will not use a business with negative reviews.


Business Owner's Guide to Online Reviews
Download the Business Owner’s Guide to Online Reviews and for tips and tools to request, collect, and manage online reviews.


Should you respond to reviews?

Businesses are not powerless against negative online reviews. With the right response to a negative review, business owners can change a customer’s perception. But do customers really read these responses? Online review statistics say yes.

89% of customers read a business’s responses to online reviews at least sometimes.

30% of consumers read review responses all the time.

96% of adults under the age of 34 read review responses.

95% of negative reviewers said they would return to the business of their complaint was resolved.

Do star ratings matter?

There are many elements of online reviews. A star rating, the content of the review itself, who is posting it, where it is posted, and whether the review is trustworthy or not. It turns out that star ratings are important, and can actually have a measurable impact on a business’s revenue.

  • A business’s average star rating is the decisive factor for 56% of consumers.
  • A star rating lower than 4 will turn away 57% of consumers.
  • Every 1 star change to a Yelp rating indicates a 5 – 9% change in a business’s revenue.
  • On average, consumers want to see at least 40 reviews before thinking a star rating is legitimate.

How many online reviews do you need?

How many online reviews does it take to make an impact on the buyer experience? How many reviews do consumers need to see to be convinced that the overall assessment is trustworthy? How many reviews do other businesses have? These numbers vary, but some of these online review statistics can help you get a better idea of how many reviews you need and why.

  • On average, businesses have about 39 reviews on Google.
  • The top three search results have an average of 47 reviews on Google.
  • On average, consumers read about 10 online reviews.
  • 70% of consumers read at least 4 online reviews.


Business Owner's Guide to Online Reviews
Download the Business Owner’s Guide to Online Reviews and for tips and tools to request, collect, and manage online reviews.


How do you get customers to leave reviews?

So online reviews are important, but how can you get more reviews? Well, there’s no magic formula, but the clearest way is also the simplest; ask. Keep in mind however that not all review sites allow you to solicit reviews from customers. Yelp, for example, explicitly forbids the use of review solicitation, and only allows reviews submitted from customers unprompted.

  • 70% of consumers asked to leave a review did so.
  • 66% of consumers have been asked to leave a review.
  • 59% of consumers have left an online review for a business before.
  • 80% of adults under 34 years old have left an online review for a business before.

Whether you’re a brand new business or you’ve been around for decades, you can change your online reputation and start making these online review statistics work for you right now. Where appropriate, ask your customers for online reviews. You might be surprised at how many customers are willing to give their support.


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