online reviews

Social proof is not just a marketing buzzword.

Before buying a new product, visiting a store or even choosing a doctor, today’s consumer goes in search of online reviews. It’s become an integral part of the buying process and an important contributor to the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), the instance when a person has decided to buy – often well before actually purchasing online or visiting a store. The ZMOT makes the active management of online reviews essential and one of the most impactful forms of marketing a business can do.

Customer reviews are also a numbers game. Consumers have caught on to the power of reviews and no longer hesitate to assign a 1-star rating to a business after a negative experience; chances are they will add a comment too. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to collect, manage, answer, and leverage your company’s online reviews.

Let’s look at the data and 10 reasons why your business must manage its online reviews – plus the key takeaways:

1. Online reviews establish credibility.

85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

2. Consumers want timely information about your business.

44% of consumers say a review must be written within one month to be relevant.

3. The number of online reviews matters.

88% of consumers form an opinion by reading up to ten reviews vs. 84% in 2014.

4. Online reviews need to be consistent.

Overall rating/score is the most important factor when a consumer is looking at online reviews.

5. Consumers look for businesses with 4-star and 5-star reviews.

49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business.

It’s more important than ever to collect, manage, answer, and leverage your company’s online reviews.

6. Positive online reviews on third-party sites can help your search ranking.

Google uses structured data to include extra information in the search results…. Potential customers will get a good idea of the quality of your business, right in the search engine.

7. The top 5 review sites see almost 400 million unique visitors monthly.

The top five online review sites measured by average monthly U.S. traffic (unique visitors) are Google My Business (158 million), Facebook (86 million), Amazon (85 million), Yelp (40 million), and TripAdvisor (28 million).

8. Consumers seek out product reviews.

In 2017, 74% of consumers consulted review sites like Amazon, Bestbuy, Wayfair, Target, and Walmart.

negative online reviews

9. Negative reviews turn potential customers away.

A business can lose 70% of potential customers if four or more negative articles about the company or product appear in Google search results.

10. Millennials and Gen-Xers actively rely on online reviews.

Reading online reviews is common across a wide range of demographic groups, but those under 50 are especially likely to incorporate them into their shopping experiences.

Because there are so many facets to leveraging customer reviews – from maintaining consistency and quality to giving timely responses – don’t leave your company’s reputation to chance. Make online review management a key component of your digital marketing strategy.


Originally published on the Resourceful Business blog, February 25, 2018


  1. BrightLocal, Local Consumer Review Survey, 2017
  2. OMG National, 50 Stats That Show the Importance of Online Reviews, 2017
  3. Vendasta Blog, 50 Important Stats You Need to Know About Online Reviews, 2018
  4. Statista, Most important aspects and features of online reviews in the U.S. 2017
  5. BrightLocal, Local Consumer Review Survey, 2017
  6. Yoast, Grow your business with ratings and reviews, 2016
  7. Vendasta, Top 10 Review Websites to Get More Customer Reviews On, 2018
  8. Statista, Leading types of online review sources in the U.S. 2017
  9. Moz Blog, New Study: Data Reveals 67% of Consumers are Influenced by Online Reviews 2015
  10. Pew Research Center, Online Reviews, 2016