From consumer trust to the impact on business, discover the growing importance of online reviews and how they shape the choices consumers and business owners make.
- 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- It can take 40 positive reviews to counter 1 negative review
- Mobile & visual reviews are most consumer favorites and growing fast
General Online Review Statistics
50% of Business Owners Have Seen Incorrect Information in Their Online Reviews
With the growing importance of online reviews, many business owners are concerned about the impact reviews with incorrect or false information will have on their businesses’ performance.
93% of Consumers Say Online Reviews Impact Their Purchasing Decisions
Business owner concerns with the previous statistic can be considered a valid worry, with more than 9 out of 10 shoppers using online reviews to inform their purchase choices.
94% of Consumers Say They Won’t Buy from Businesses with Negative Reviews
Even more worrying for business owners is the knowledge that almost 95 out of every hundred consumers say that they will never buy from a business or brand that has received bad reviews from other shoppers.
5 or More Online Reviews Increase Likelihood of Sale by 270%
When compared with a similar product with less than 5 online reviews, a product with 5 or more reviews has over double the chance of being purchased.
62% of Consumers Say They Won’t Buy from Businesses That Censor or Pay for Reviews
Authenticity is important to consumers, and close to two-thirds say that fake or censored reviews prevent them from purchasing from some brands or businesses.
85% of Consumers Say That Reviews over 5 Months Old Are Irrelevant
The fast-paced world of modern living applies to online reviews too. More than 8 out of 10 consumers regard reviews over 5 months old as outdated and irrelevant to their purchase decision.
The Average Business Needs 40 Reviews to Get an Average Star Rating
Getting good reviews from your first 40 or so customers is incredibly important since the average star rating of the business will be displayed to consumers from that point.
95% of Consumers Report Reading Online Reviews
This statistic should assuage any doubts that business owners and entrepreneurs have about the relevance of online reviews to their businesses. Reading online reviews has reached almost universal adoption shoppers.
Half of Shoppers Think Online Reviews Are as Trustworthy as Personal Recommendations
Most consumers highly regard word-of-mouth recommendations, and the data shows that around half of shoppers consider the modern equivalent (online reviews) to be just as reliable and trustworthy.
Consumers 270% More Likely to Purchase if Product Has 5+ Reviews
Products that receive just 5 reviews are 2.7x more likely to be purchased than the same products with fewer than 5 reviews.
Online Review Demographic Statistics
Gen-Z & Millennials
Gen-Z & Millennials Leave Online Reviews the Most
These two generations have either grown up with the introduction of the internet or have only ever known a world with the internet, so it should come as no surprise that members of these two generations leave most reviews online.
18 Minutes Spent Reading Reviews
With so many people from these generations leaving reviews, it follows that they are also the age groups that spend the most amount of time reading reviews.
3+ Star Rating Inspires Trust
A 3-star rating is the threshold for most age groups to start trusting a business, and 31% of Gen-Z and Millennial shoppers agree. Surprisingly, 26% say they would be willing to try a 1-star or 2-star business.
51% Post Reviews from Their Phones
If your target market is within these two generations, ensuring they can do it all from a mobile is essential. Half will only leave a review when they are able to do so through the phones.
42% Prefer Leaving Reviews on Google
With so many of these two generation’s consumers relying on Google to find and complete purchases, it makes sense that the majority prefer to leave their reviews with Google rather than directly on business sites.
Half of This Age Groups Research Local Businesses Online Every Day
This behavior underscores the importance of maintaining strong online review scores in order to build trust with these younger demographic groups.
Before Purchasing Decision Gen-X Reads Reviews for 13 Minutes
Online reviews play an important role in the shopping decisions of Gen-Xers, with the average shopper within this cohort spending 13 minutes on reviews.
37% Prefer to Leave Reviews on Business Sites (28% on Google)
While this demographic is fairly comfortable with using technology, they grew up in a time before the internet existed. Perhaps this is why their preferred location to leave reviews is directly on the business’s own website.
46% Research Local Business Online Daily
Slightly under half of this group admit to researching local businesses daily through online reviews. Gen-X is not to be discounted from valuing strong online review scores.
Spend Less than 10 Minutes Reading Online Reviews
The most trusting of the demographic groups studied, Boomers claimed to spend less than 10 minutes reading other consumer reviews to aid in their buying decisions.
50% Prefer Leaving Reviews on the Business’s Own Website (24% on Google)
Just like Gen-X, Boomers also prefer to leave their reviews with the business rather than Google.
6% Research Local Businesses Online Daily
The Boomer age group tends to perceive recommendations and reviews from people that they know more highly than those of strangers online. Perhaps this (along with their difficulties in using technology) explains why so few research local businesses online.
Negative Online Review Statistics
1 Negative Review Is Worth 40 Positive Reviews
This statistic can vary, but it’s based on the knowledge that consumers are less likely to leave positive reviews. In fact, studies show that only 1 in 10 happy customers leave a positive review.
Negative Reviews Can Increase Time Shoppers Spend on Site by 400%
Negative reviews aren’t all bad, as studies have shown that they can cause shoppers to spend up to 4x longer on a website.
People Prefer to Leave Negative Reviews
Consumers are slightly more likely to leave negative reviews than any other kind, with between 46% and 49% of online reviews sharing negative experiences.
Consumers 21% More Likely to Leave Review After Negative Experience
Humans are driven by negative emotions more than positive ones, and this can be seen quite easily in this statistic where positive experiences are 80% less likely to be mentioned than negative ones.
45% of Shoppers Say COVID-19 Affected Their Decision Whether to Leave a Negative Review
Almost half of the consumers who say they would normally have left a negative review report feeling more hesitant to do the same post-pandemic. This is because during the pandemic they became more aware and understanding of “business operating challenges.”
86% of Shoppers Will Reassess Their Purchasing Desires After Reading Negative Reviews
While it may be tempting for businesses to ignore negative reviews, only 14% of consumers say that they don’t let negative reviews affect their buying decisions.
1 Negative Review Can Cost 30 Customers
In some cases, a single bad review can cause a business to lose as many as 30 potential customers. This is particularly true with younger generations who hold online reviews in high regard.
75% of Business Never Respond to Negative Reviews
This shocking statistic shows that despite the overwhelming data showing the importance of online reviews, business owners and leaders are still not adequately addressing negative reviews. Businesses that respond to 25% of their negative reviews earn 35% more than those that don’t.
63% of Shoppers Say That Businesses Never Respond to Negative Reviews
Almost two-thirds of consumers claim that their negative reviews have never received any kind of response.
Shoppers Are More Likely to Visit Businesses That Respond to Negative Reviews
While you may think that responding to negative reviews won’t win you customers, 45% of shoppers admit to being more likely to visit a business that does respond.
53% of Shoppers Want Negative Reviews Responded to Within 1 Week
Another indication of the importance of online reviews is the survey data that shows over half of people think companies should respond to negative reviews within 1 week. One-third of consumers think businesses should respond within 3 days.
9% Revenue Loss from 1-Star Rating Decrease
If a business or product receives enough negative reviews, it can drop the average star rating of that business or product. Depending on the niche that you occupy, that 1-star rating decrease has been shown to impact your revenues between 5% and 9%.
96% of Consumers Specifically Look for Negative Reviews
Most shoppers seek out negative reviews as a way of reassuring themselves. If the issues mentioned in negative reviews are minor, then they feel happier about completing a purchase.
3 Negative Review Articles Can Cost a Brand up to 60% of Its Customers
Recently collected study data shows that just 3 negative review articles can erode consumer trust in your product or brand and can potentially cause up to 60% of shoppers to look elsewhere.
Half of Consumers Trust Software Products with Negative Reviews More
Negative reviews aren’t always bad for software products: 52% of shoppers think negative reviews make the software more trustworthy than those that have only positive reviews.
Businesses That Respond to Negative Reviews Are 70% More Trustworthy
Although it can be unpleasant to receive negative reviews, they are an opportunity. Responding to negative reviews in a sincere manner can lead shoppers to believe that your business is 1.7x more trustworthy than those businesses that fail to respond.
Positive Online Review Statistics
Positive Reviews Can Increase Consumer Spending
Positive reviews can have just as big an impact as negative reviews, and data shows that consumers will often spend up to 31% more with a business after reading a positive review.
49% of Shoppers Place Positive Reviews in Their Top 3 Purchasing Influences
When it comes to deciding whether to make a purchase or not, half of the world’s consumers say that positive reviews feature in their top 3 most important influences.
Positive Reviews Help Build Credibility
40% of consumers agree with the statement “positive reviews help build product or brand credibility.”
Positive Reviews Create Trust in Local Businesses
Approximately three-quarters of consumers say that they are more likely to trust a local business if it has positive reviews vs. a business with only negative reviews or none at all.
Majority of Shoppers Don’t Believe Very High Review Scores
Although a 5-star rating might seem like a great thing to have, roughly 70% of shoppers don’t believe the review score is genuine.
72% of Shoppers Will Only Make a Purchase after Reading a Positive Review
The majority of shoppers (72%) won’t even consider making a purchase until they have read at least one positive review.
48% of Shoppers Will Visit a Business’s Website after Reading Positive Review
Maintaining a positive online reputation helps drive more customers to your business, with roughly half of consumers saying that they are more likely to visit a company’s website after they’ve read a positive review.
Fake Review Statistics
62% of Consumers Think Fake Reviews Should Be Removed
Unsurprisingly, given the impact reviews have on consumer purchasing decisions, the majority of shoppers state that they strongly dislike fake reviews and think that companies should try to remove them.
93% of Consumers Are Suspicious of Fake Reviews on Facebook
Facebook has struggled with declining consumer trust for a number of years, and this can be seen in figures showing that fewer users are turning to the platform for reviews than ever before.
82% of Consumers Have Read a Fake Review in the Last Year
Most consumers say that they can recognize a fake review, and more than 8 out of 10 have seen at least 1 in the past year.
Google Has the Most Fake Reviews
Approximately 1 out of every 10 reviews left on Google are fake reviews, making it the platform with the largest percentage of fake reviews.
Fake Reviews Cost $125 per Year per American
Fake reviews lead to shoppers buying products and services that aren’t fit for the intended purpose, which results in an average cost of $125 per average American per year.
50% of Shoppers Claim They Wouldn’t Buy a Product if They Found a Fake Review
Half of shoppers state that finding a fake positive review would stop them from buying a product. This is true regardless of the number of reviews.
Exclusively Positive Reviews Makes One-Third of Consumers Suspicious
If a business has only positive reviews, approximately 33% of consumers will assume that the reviews must be fake.
56% of Fake Reviews Share the Same Wording
Studies of fake reviews show that more than half of them share the same or similar wording. This similarity in wording and comment choice is a strong indicator that the reviews are in fact fake.
4 Factors That Make Consumers Suspicious of Reviews
There are 4 main factors that can lead to consumers being suspicious of the veracity of a review. Typographical errors, reviews that don’t include photographs, an overabundance of 5-star reviews, and review content that doesn’t match the product.
Customers Don’t Believe Reviews that Don’t Include Descriptions
A star rating is less believable to 52% of consumers if it doesn’t come with a description or photos to back it up.
Consumers Think Companies Use Fake Reviews to Manipulate Their Reputation
Almost half of consumers (47%) believe that a large percentage of businesses are creating fake reviews of themselves to artificially boost their reputation.
54% of Shoppers Will Cancel Their Order if They Think Reviews Are Fake
A little over half of shoppers claim that they will cancel their entire order with a business if they suspect any of the reviews aren’t legitimate.
Online Review Trend Statistics
Transportation Sector Receives Most Negative Reviews
28% of consumer reviews within the transportation industry are negative. This makes it the industry with the highest ratio of negative to positive reviews. Other industries with high negative reviews are the property management sector (22%) and hospitality (16%).
92% of Consumers Only Trust Local Businesses with a 4-Star Rating or Higher
A 4-star or higher rating is essential for local businesses, as more than 9 out of 10 consumers say that they won’t consider using any local business that has a lower rating.
20% of B2B Companies Use Reviews in Their Marketing
Despite more than 90% of businesses agreeing that reviews are extremely important to their business, only 1 out of 5 actually use them in their marketing materials.
Consumer Products & Services Category Has 94% Positive Reviews
The consumer goods and services and the finance categories have the best positive-to-negative review ratios with 94% of reviews within each category being complimentary.
96% of Unhappy Customers Won’t Leave a Review
This eye-opening statistic would seem to suggest that for every 1 negative review you receive, there are potentially another 19 that you don’t receive.
FTC Cracks Down on “Own-Dorsements”
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) coined the term and is cracking down on “own-dorsements.” This is a practice of companies using employees to leave reviews that pretend to be happy customers.
Younger Age Groups Able to Locate Fake Reviews Faster
Data shows that the 18 – 34 years age group has the easiest time locating fake reviews, with 89% saying that they have spotted a fake review before.
83% of Shoppers Say Reviews Are Only Relevant if They’re Recent
As important as reviews can be, an overwhelming majority of consumers only consider them relevant if they have been left within the last 3 months.
62% of Consumers Strongly Dislike Negative Review Censorship
Some businesses try to edit or remove negative reviews, but the data shows that they shouldn’t. 62% of shoppers say that they would stop shopping with any business or brand that censored reviews.
Millennial & Gen-Z Travel Reviews Dominated by Sustainability Keywords
An Expedia study of the reviews left on its website and similar travel sites found that sustainability and other “eco-words” featured more often in reviews left by travelers under the age of 34.
80% of Consumers Only Post Hotel Reviews if Asked
Just 22% of travelers leave reviews for the hotels they stay in without receiving a prompt. If asked to leave a review, this jumps up to 80%.
Consumers Reluctant to Admit Writing Negative Reviews
A survey of consumer behavior found that 74% admit to leaving reviews online. Only 7%, however, admit to leaving negative ones. As the majority of reviews left online are negative, this would imply that consumers are reluctant to admit they leave negative reviews.
9 of 10 Consumers Look for Review Responses from the Business
For approximately 90% of consumers, checking how the business responded to reviews from past customers is an important part of the purchasing journey.
Consumer Trust in Online Reviews is Falling
Around half of all consumers trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a family member or friend. This is significantly lower than in previous years and is likely due to shoppers getting better at spotting real vs. fake reviews.
B2B Sales More Likely After Consumer Reads Trusted Review
More than 90% of shoppers agree that reading a trusted review makes them more likely to complete a B2B purchase.
Most Shoppers Use Rating Filters During Online Searches
This statistic highlights another reason businesses should try to maintain a good review rating. If your rating drops below a certain level (typically 4-stars) then 70% of consumers won’t even see your business.
Average American Shopper Reads 10 Reviews
Across all age groups in America, the average consumer needs to read 10 online reviews before they trust the business. For a small group (31%), that trust isn’t formed until reading over 50 reviews.
Average Global Consumer Reads 4+ Reviews Before Purchase
55% of consumers globally agree that they need to read a minimum of 4 reviews before making a purchase. This difference with the American average is likely driven in large part by emerging economies with developing internet infrastructure.
Online Reviews Are Getting Shorter
Over a decade the average length of an online review has fallen by roughly 400 characters. The average length of an online review is now approximately 200 characters.
Mobile Devices Are Preferred Reading Device
Maintaining a good review score on mobile-friendly review sites is going to continue growing in importance as more people use mobile devices to read online reviews. Currently, around 60% of all online reviews are viewed through a mobile device.
Businesses That Respond to Reviews Faster Have Higher Average Rating
Businesses that respond to reviews within 24 hours typically have a higher average rating than businesses that take longer to respond.
Online Reviews with Video Content Have 30% More Engagement
The increasing importance of video content in the online space plays a role in online reviews too. Online reviews that contain video receive 30% more interactions from other consumers than text-only reviews.
Influencer Reviews Growing in Importance
Influencer reviews affect the purchase decisions of approximately 49% of consumers. This is likely to become more important over time since younger generations are more likely to listen to the opinions of their favorite influencers.
Online Review Platform Statistics
Most Consumers Turn to Google to Read Reviews
Almost two-thirds (64%) of consumers look to Google for online reviews before visiting the business.
Google Is the Most Popular Platform for Reviews
More online reviews are left on Google than any other online review platform. Google reviews makeup 58% of all reviews left online.
33% of Facebook Users Read Reviews
Facebook has become an important tool for businesses looking to promote themselves, and today 1 out of 3 Facebook users is using the platform to look for reviews.
American Users Check Local Businesses on the Platform
Around 50% of users based in the U.S. use the platform to check out their local businesses’ reputations.
45% of Consumers Choose to Check Yelp for Reviews
Yelp is one of the oldest and biggest online review platforms around and with almost half of consumers using the platform as a trusted source of reviews, it has the power to shape purchasing decisions.
Yelp Visitors Nearly Always Make a Purchase
Consumers who go to Yelp for reviews almost always make a purchase with a business that’s listed on the site, making it a vital place for businesses to be featured.
9 – 15 Reviews Can Increase User Views 20x
Businesses on Yelp with 9 – 15 reviews can receive up to 20x more user views than businesses that have 5 reviews or less.
Online Review Industry Statistics
18% Sales Uplift from Online Reviews
Sales businesses that make online reviews a prominent part of the purchase process typically enjoy an 18% improvement in sales over businesses that don’t include online reviews.
Quality of Service Is Most Important
Close to 90% of consumers say that the quality of service is the most important factor they are looking for in a review of a service-based industry. Approximately 80% say they are using reviews to look at cost.
Product & Software
Online Reviews Are More Reliable
Most shoppers in this category believe that online reviews are up to 12x more reliable than the manufacturer’s own description.
Using Reviews on Product Pages increases Conversion Rates
When product and software businesses highlight customer reviews on the product page, they typically enjoy a 400% increase in conversions.
Travel & Hospitality
Reason for Travel Affects the Number of Online Reviews Consumers Read
Business travelers read an average of 5 reviews before committing to a destination, whereas leisure travelers usually prefer to read at least 7.
70% of Restaurant Diners Are Ready to Leave Reviews
A large majority of restaurant diners are willing to leave reviews online, but they will only do so if they are asked.
60% of People Use Online Reviews for Healthcare Choices
The healthcare industry is one of the most reviewed, and it’s understandable why. Most people use online reviews as part of their process for choosing what doctor, dentist, optician, or other healthcare provider to use.
1 in 5 Millennials Wouldn’t Use a Lawyer That Has No Online Reviews
Approximately 20% of millennials say that they wouldn’t even consider a lawyer who didn’t have any online reviews. Across generational divides, 60% of people say they use online reviews to aid in finding a lawyer.
Renters Check Management’s Response Rate
When searching for a new home, renters look at how management responds to positive and negative online reviews as a gauge for how well any future issues are likely to be dealt with. 51% of renters say that they want to see management respond to all reviews.
Bad Online Reviews Increase Hiring Costs
Employers and recruiters that have bad online reviews and/or ratings typically end up needing to pay 10% more in order to attract the right workers.
57% of Workers Will Avoid Employers with Negative Reviews
Employers can soon find themselves struggling to attract appropriate talent if they allow negative reviews to build up. Almost 6 out of 10 workers say that any negative online reviews of an employer would cause them to look at other employers first.
Frequently Asked Questions
Online reviews are extremely important as most customers use them to help them make informed purchasing decisions.
All age groups use online reviews during their purchasing journey; however, younger generations usually need to read more reviews.
The most popular online review platform is Google. Other popular platforms are Yelp and Facebook.
In the U.S., 74% of consumers are thought to have left an online review in the past year.
Up to 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend. People from younger age groups are less trusting of online reviews than their older peers.
Harvard Business School, Statista, Expedia, Pew Research Center, Google, Facebook.