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How Valuable are Online Customer Reviews to Shoppers?

Google is used the most.

When researching where to shop, consumers often turn to online customer reviews of brick-and-mortar stores. But what review aggregators and platforms do shoppers turn to the most? When asked this question, the top-five responses were:

  1. Google Maps & Reviews (51%)
  2. Yelp (36%)
  3. Facebook (35%)
  4. Better Business Bureau (22%)
  5. TripAdvisor (15%)

Instagram, Angie’s List and Yahoo Local Listings were tied for 6th place with 13% each. Yellowpages (10%) was in 7th place, followed by Foursquare (3%) and Manta (1%).

45% of shoppers have left a review online.

Forty-five percent of respondents say they have left a review online, while fifty-five percent say they have never left an online review online. When asked why they left the review, 64% say they did so because they had a positive experience at that location. Alternatively, 28% left a review because they had a negative experience, while only 8% left a response for another reason.

Customers can be amazing brand ambassadors - and this is the perfect example. The perception is that most reviews are based on negative experiences. People leave reviews because they enjoyed the experience and intend on going back and they want other shoppers to know that.

One-third of customers don’t return if a brand doesn’t respond to their review.

When asked if the store responded to their comment, two-thirds (66%) said the store did not respond while 34% said that stores did respond.

Does this change a shoppers decision based on if a store answered a review? We found that 66% of shoppers did continue to shop at said store after leaving their online review, even if the review wasn’t replied to, while 34% haven’t shopped there since.

Most customers who leave reviews will continue to shop at a location, even if their review doesn’t get a response. But one-third don’t return. Brands with multiple locations need to have a strategy in place to respond to customer reviews - regardless of whether the review is positive or negative.

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Posted by Dennis Westphal

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