Product or service reviews are powerful statements about a brand or a business. Potential customers usually base their purchasing decision on this type of content. However, around 85% of consumers think that 3-month old reviews are no longer valuable.
Based on the 2018 Local Consumer Review Survey of BrightLocal, buyers put a different value on reviews based on the date of posting. Recent reviews have higher trust rating but as reviews turn older, they lose their sparkle in the consumers’ eyes. When you think about it, it sounds logical for someone looking for feedback before purchasing a certain item.
According to the same study, around 40% of all consumers only refer to reviews written within the past two weeks. Anything beyond that is deemed to be obsolete. Such a percentage is a massive boost compared to last year’s 18%.
Demographic-wise, BrightLocal found out that 50% of local business searchers between the age of 18 and 34 will always read online reviews. But for those at the age of 55 and up, only 6% read online reviews before purchasing or availing a product/service.
Most of the reviews read are for restaurants, cafés, and other food establishments. On the other hand, reviews for clothing stores, hotels, and grocery stores also rake a large chunk of the statistics. On average, a consumer will read 10 reviews for a local business before making a decision.
Who writes the reviews?
People around 18-34 years old will write reviews, the same age bracket that will read them. In the same vein, buyers aged 55 and up are unlikely to leave reviews. Around 22% of older buyers say they aren’t considering writing reviews.
These numbers lead to a total of 89% of all consumers saying they are considering writing a review after purchasing a product or service. But even with this high number, the percentage of consumers asked to create reviews has spiraled to 66% this 2018 compared to 74% back in 2017.
The influence of reviews
It is widely known that reviews are a make-or-break aspect for businesses. This is the reason why many companies are exhausting all efforts to do damage control in the event that negative reviews start flowing in.
According to the BrightLocal survey, around 78% of the consumers who read a positive review will engage with the company or business. This includes contacting the business or, as most of the younger consumers do, visit it in person.
Positive reviews push 68% of consumers to use a local product or service. On the other hand, negative reviews discourage 40% of consumers from putting their money on the table.
Surprisingly, the younger generation or those around the age of 18-34 will trust reviews 90% of the time than personal recommendations. And most of the time, consumers won’t use a business that has less than 4 stars and fewer than 40 reviews. In the end, 56% of the consumers will trust the star ratings compared to the 49% that give more weight to the quantity of the reviews.