New Study: The Consumer-SMB ‘Conversational Divide’

There’s no longer any debate about whether reviews influence consumer purchases across categories and industries. And while most local businesses understand the general proposition, to what degree do they act in accordance with that idea?

A new report from LSA (commissioned by SOCi), “The Great Conversational Divide: What SMBs Don’t Understand About Reviews and How It’s Hurting Their Business,” features two parallel surveys that revolve around consumer usage of ratings and review and local business perceptions of those consumer’s evaluations.

The report sought to understand the differences between each group’s attitudes and behavior through two parallel surveys of consumers and local business owners. Among the questions we sought to answer were the following:

  • How much emphasis do businesses place on their online reputations?
  • Where might there be blind spots?
  • What’s at stake for small businesses (and franchisees) in not actively managing reviews?

A few findings from the report include:

  • 66% of consumers perform research every time or almost every time before buying a product or service
  • Positive reviews is the most important purchase consideration vs. other types of information such as discounting or business location
  • 77% of consumers leaving reviews expect a business to respond within 24 hours or less
  • 89% of consumers were willing to change a review, depending on the business’ response to their criticism
  • 50% of local businesses have no reviews strategy

Here is a table of contents for the report:



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