Current consumer perceptions of online reviews reveal clear insights for businesses who want to understand upcoming trends in their industry.
Every business knows they now have to operate online and offline to survive and thrive in a crowded marketplace. That is why online consumer reviews are such a rich source of customer feedback.
It will come as no surprise that according to last year's online review survey results 84% of consumers read online reviews before the purchase, this means they check what other consumers think online.
Undoubtedly, navigating the online world is vital for brands who want to build strong consumer relationships and maintain a positive image that speaks volumes about their services.
Key Insights From Online Review Trends and Statistics
- 88% of consumers try to contact the company in question before posting a review.
- 16.81% share reviews because they want to help the company improve.
- 64.4% of consumers use Amazon for online reviews.
- 14.8% were threatened by a company to delete the negative review.
- 75.5% of consumers trust online reviews.
A key conclusion from a recent PissedConsumer survey is that negative reviews are a powerful force if left unresolved. It makes sense for businesses to quickly address negative reviews and offer helpful solutions to better support customers and protect brand reputation.
Michael Podolsky, CEO and co-founder of PissedConsumer.com believes that addressing negative reviews helps a company “improve efficiency and its ratings” while also “enhancing customer satisfaction.”
75% of Consumers Trust Online Reviews
Gaining trust is the golden key to more resilient success for consumer-focused businesses. Trust is built through consumer touchpoints and can be easily lost if a product or service does not meet expectations.
But it isn’t all bad news. Trust can be rebuilt with consumers if they feel a business has given helpful advice or speedily resolved issues.
In fact, 75.5% of respondents to this survey said they trusted online reviews – revealing that consumer reviews really do hold significant power.
This trust is further extended when the review is posted by a registered user – with 43.6% of respondents finding these helpful. Additionally, 18.3% preferred reviews from friends and family before making a purchasing decision.
One notable headline is that 90.6% of respondents read online reviews before a purchase and this number increased compared to last year's 84%.
Brands that thank positive reviewers, provide incentives and help those who leave negative reviews can build a compelling brand presence.
91.1% of Consumers Prioritize Consumer Experiences in Reviews
Online review survey has demonstrated that what happens to one consumer affects others. With 91.1% of survey respondents saying that consumer experiences are important to them in a review, brands can see that delivering service consistency helps generate more sales.
Instant recognition signals, such as star ratings, similarly affect how people feel as 64.4% check these in a review. Also, 51.6% like it when companies respond to reviews, showing they are nurturing consumer relationships.
Experience and visibility also come into play when consumers choose an online review platform. As many would expect, 64.4% use Amazon, 55.8% use Google and 34.2% use PissedConsumer.
89% of Consumers Claim that Negative Reviews Impact Their Buying Choices
Predictably, negative reviews do attract attention from consumers, but not always for obvious reasons. It’s true to say that 89% of consumers say negative reviews impact buying choices; however, some consumers don’t always turn away from a product with negative reviews.
Consumers may not buy after a negative review, with 72.1% commenting that they trust the review. Nonetheless, 6.3% still buy and another 6.1% ask friends for their opinion on the product, showing some consumers buy a product based on its attributes.
Negative reviews are a valuable source of information for both consumers and businesses, according to Martina Pocchiari, Assistant Professor of Marketing, who says:
Consumers sometimes seek the negative aspect of a product before even looking for the positives. Negative reviews help businesses improve on customer pain points and reduce churn.
A relatively new trend gaining pace is that of fake reviews. These can make consumers question the authenticity of online reviews. The latest PissedConsumer report reveals that 88.3% of respondents have heard about fake reviews, highlighting that these seem to be on the rise.
Jorij Abraham, Managing Director, Global Anti-Scam Alliance (GASA) found that:
78% of people encountered at least one scam last year, and the distortion of trust through fake reviews is a critical issue that fuels this. They not only mislead consumers but also harm legitimate businesses.
64% of Consumers Always Write Online Reviews, Whether Positive or Negative
Shoppers like to have each other’s back as 63.9% of respondents said they always write a product review whether it is from a good or bad perspective.
This is higher than the 20.8% who only write reviews when they have a negative experience, demonstrating that reviews can deliver a rounded view of products or services.
Interestingly, 1.2% only leave a positive review if a company agrees to a discount or gift, so the overwhelming majority complete reviews to support others.
When evaluating the reasons why customers publicly share reviews, 28.52% do so to help others avoid similar experiences, whereas 19.91% share so their issue is resolved.
According to Caroline Kennedy, a Brand Marketing Specialist at Leaf Home, reviews are incredibly important:
Whether it is to provide insight, share the customer journey or simply spread the word about an organization's business practices - review platforms help make that possible.
32% of Consumers Would Use the Company Again After Issue Resolution
It is concerning that 14.8% of respondents had been threatened by a business to take down their negative reviews. More positively, 69.2% said they had not experienced this and 16% said they hadn’t heard of these threats at all. With exposure to these practices, the hope is that incidences will be reduced.
Again, if companies resolve issues, consumers are more inclined to forgive and buy from them in the future as 32.04% said they would do so. However, 46.66% said they would not shop with a threatening company, which is a warning to brands that threatening behavior can put business at risk.
The Benefits of Nurtured Consumers
This PissedConsumer survey clearly shows that customer faith supports brands as they grow, but if threatened, support can be withdrawn, potentially with catastrophic consequences for a business.
A key takeaway from the survey is that review management enhances understanding of the customer journey and reduces consumer friction is key to brands who want to evolve their online reputation.
When businesses see the value of customer reviews, they can be leveraged as a tool to help customer service teams improve consumer support.
PissedConsumer.com, a review and reputation management platform, asked 1,681 of its website users to respond to an online survey in November 2023. The majority of respondents (84.5%) came from the United States, with 7% from Canada, 2.1% from Australia and 6.4% from the United Kingdom.
Age ranges give an insight into respondents, suggesting that older consumers are more likely to be interested in reading or leaving reviews. Nearly two thirds (62.6%) of respondents were over 65 and less than one percent (0.4%) were between 18-24.
Respondents were quite evenly split between male (47.8%) and female, with female respondents edging ahead at 51.5% and 0.7% attributed to other genders.
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