Online Reviews Almost as Trusted as Personal Recommendations
October 24, 2019 | Contributed by: Charles Laughlin
A new report that mined GMB profile data from 64,000 businesses across four countries (US, UK, France, and Germany) is adding to the growing conversation about the critical importance of reviews, including how reviews can level the playing field among brands and small businesses.
The report, “The Reputation Management Revolution” was published this week by Uberall, the listings and reputation management company that now describes itself as “The NearMe brand experience experts.”
The report makes the case that managing reviews is a critical driver of business performance. Not an entirely new proposition but the report offers precise metrics showing how even very small improvements in ratings can make a very big difference in business results. For example, a 0.1 increase in a business’s star rating produces as much as a 25% improvement in conversion.
Here are some other nuggets from the report we found interesting.
- 90% of consumers are not certain about the brand they will select when they begin researching a purchase online
- 95% of consumers say online reviews influence their purchase decisions.
- 88% of consumers now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- Reviews have to some degree leveled the local playing field between brands and local businesses. However, once an enterprise business and global brand hits a 4.4-star rating, it begins to outperform SMBs.
The report also reinforces the case for responsiveness to reviews as a key local differentiator. The report found that businesses with a 32% reply rate had an 80% higher conversion rate than businesses with a 10% reply rate.
And review responsiveness is an area where SMBs have a distinct advantage over both enterprise businesses, defined as having 10 or more locations, and global brands, defined in this report as businesses with more than 740 reviews. SMBs have a response rate of 25%, compared with just 12% for enterprise and 9% for global brands.
The full report includes ample detail from its mining of 64,000 GMB accounts, including reviews performance by vertical and more. We encourage you to download the full report.