Consumers Trust in Online Reviews Skyrocketing!
Myles Anderson of BrightLocal just released the 2013 Local Consumer Review Survey at SearchEngineLand. What is eye-catching within the study is that there are precise and undeniable results that we can see.
Four major takeaways from the study:
- Far more individuals are stating that they trust online reviews as much or more versus personal recommendations. A full 79 percent (up from 72 percent merely a year ago!) responded by saying online reviews carry the same importance if not more than a recommendation from people they know or trust.
- The trust in online reviews is building. A stunning 72 percent are of the opinion that genuine, positive customer reviews make them trust a business more. This is up from 58 percent in 2012! It's very apparent that buyers are looking and taking note more than before and are placing their trust in reviews. At the same time, just some 12 percent of consumers said they pay no attention of online reviews, down from 17 percent in 2012.
- Also, people are viewing far fewer reviews before making their buying decisions. Remarkably, 67 percent of consumers read 6 reviews or less, up from 52 percent in 2012. Consumers are also reading less than 7 reviews - 22 percent now vs. 35 percent in 2012.
- It's now more significant than ever before to successfully manage your online reputation. Because the number or reviews read are shrinking, and the impact of those reviews increased, it's crucial that you make sure you are monitoring your online reputation for all recent activity. As the newest reviews are swinging the buying decisions, you'll want to find out if anything negative shows up and act on it. Develop a policy for handling negative reviews in an open manner, and a system for generating new, positive reviews that will send those less than desirable reviews further down the page and out of sight. Ensure that these are genuine, as consumers are getting better and better at ferreting out fake and corporate-generated "reviews".
Take this and run with it!
This is the type of information that can make a big difference, both positively and negatively, for your business. Many thanks to Myles Anderson and the people at BrightLocal for this well-timed and enlightening study.