Consumers Take Action After Reading Positive Reviews

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 07 Aug, 2014

A new BrightLocal study is shedding light on the power of online business recommendations and reviews, revealing that 72 percent of consumers will take some sort of action after reading a positive review online.

The BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey 2014 proves that review reading is one of the final stages in the path to purchase and that reviews have a big influence on consumers' purchasing decisions. Moreover, the study offers insights into how consumers read and use online reviews. The survey analyzed data from 2,104 respondents, with 90 percent of respondents coming from the U.S. and 10 percent coming from Canada.

According to the study, 57 percent of consumers search online for a local business more than six times a year, while 15 percent of consumers search for local businesses online almost every day. Moreover, 88 percent of consumers read reviews to determine the quality of a local business.

When it comes to the trustworthiness of reviews, 72 percent of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. Additionally, 67 percent of consumers say they read up to six reviews before they can trust a business, while 85 percent of consumers say they read up to 10 reviews. The study also notes that 92 percent of consumers will use a local business if it has a 4 star rating, however, only 27 percent of users will use a business if it has a 2 star rating. This data shows just how valuable a good online reputation is for local businesses, as it has a direct impact on consumers' decisions on where to shop.

One of the more surprising stats from the study found that online reviews are just as trustworthy as personal recommendations for most consumers. In fact, 88 percent of respondents said they trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. It is also important to note that 61 percent of consumers have recommended a local business to someone they know by word of mouth, while 37 percent have used Facebook to recommend a business, 12 percent have used Twitter and 10 percent have used Google+.

The study also gave insight into what factors influence consumers to recommend businesses online. The data shows that 68 percent of consumers say they are more likely to recommend a local business if it is reliable and professional, while 44 percent are likely to recommend a business that is friendly and welcoming. Plus, 9 percent would recommend a local business if asked, which means that asking can go a long way in terms of increasing a business's online reviews. That said, it is important to note that some review sites, like Yelp, advise businesses against directly asking consumers for reviews.