Online reviews play a huge role in our business at Podium. We are constantly striving to learn how consumers interact with online reviews as part of their daily routine. Because of this, we decided to launch the Podium State of Online Reviews. Our goal was to gain a better understanding of how reviews influence the customer journey. Then use that data to help businesses better optimize their review presence. Below are some key online review stats from the survey.

Review Content is More Influential Than You Think


When building an online review program, many businesses have a laser focus on collecting a lot of reviews and improving their overall star rating. While those are worthy goals that will help improve local search ranking and make your listings more attractive, businesses shouldn’t just stop there. They should also make efforts to improve the quality of review content.

According to our survey, the content of reviews is the number one factor that determines whether a consumer engages with a business. The content of reviews was followed by star rating, total reviews, and recency of reviews. In addition, 82 percent of those surveyed indicated that the content of a review has convinced them to make a purchase.

82% of consumers say the content of a review has convinced them to make a purchase.Click To Tweet

Reviews are Integral to the Shopping Experience


We also found that consumers are using online reviews more and more frequently to help them make purchase decisions. The survey showed that 58 percent of respondents looked at online reviews at least once a week. It also showed that 93 percent of respondents said online reviews had an impact on their purchase decisions.

58% of people look at online reviews at least weekly. Click To Tweet

Businesses Should Focus on Familiar Review Sites


Another interesting bit of information we learned is that most customers (66%) don’t trust review sites they’re not familiar with. As a result, we recommend focusing your review program on commonly used review sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp, along with popular industry specific sites.

66% of consumers would not trust online review sites they are unfamiliar with.Click To Tweet

That is because customers use those sites on a regular basis. For example, only 13 percent of consumers surveyed don’t have access to at least one of the big three review apps (Google, Yelp, or Facebook) on their smartphone, so it makes sense to make those sites a priority.

Consumers Are Looking for Answers on the Go


Nearly 60 percent of consumers indicated they are most likely to look up reviews on a mobile device (smartphone or tablet). This is consistent with information reported by Google that found that searches on mobile devices now exceed searches on desktops. To take advantage of this trend, businesses should continue to optimize for mobile searches and focus on winning micro-moments in their industry.