Online product reviews are vital to any store doing business in the digital age. In place of brickand-mortar stores stocked with helpful employees, reading reviews from other customers has become the most trusted way for consumers to research any product or service they’re interested in buying. Based on Salsify, reviews are the number 1 most desired element that consumers need to make a purchase.

In fact, as customer reviews have become a driving force of the industry, they’ve changed the face of online shopping faster than you may have even realized.

Below are 10 important statistics that not only illustrate the need to present customer reviews on your site but illustrate the correct way to utilize them:

1. 97% of Consumers Use Online Reviews to Research a Product or Service

In case there was any doubt of the enormous role online customer reviews play in most consumers’ purchasing decisions, this staggering statistic should erase it. Nearly every single person interested in buying a product checks out what other people are already saying about it. It’s a sensible method of quality testing when the customer can’t see, touch or sample something in person, and it adds up to a statistic that can’t be underlined enough. (source)

2. 91% of Adults 18-34 Trust Reviews As Much As A Friend

In the vast digital space, there’s a whole lot of goods and services out there. In the old days, word of mouth spread quickest amongst friends, but these days there’s simply too much to view. In many cases, a consumer could be spurred to buy something most of their friends don’t even know exists, let alone have tried & can recommend (or not). Customer reviews fill a critical gap here, giving this kind of consumer the only lifeline they really have to real human opinions. This statistic proves it’s a lifeline they trust. (source)

3. 95% of Consumers Get Suspicious If There Are No Negative Reviews

In other words, people trust reviews they don’t just think are real, but reviews they think are also curated accurately. If you fake your reviews, or only select the positive ones, people tend to get suspicious, and can see right through the act. In fact, this leads directly into our next statistic. (source)

4. Purchases Peak at Ratings of 4 - 4.7/5 for Most Products

Products reach peak popularity between ratings of 4 - 4.7 out of 5, before actually dropping in buying power. Again, this goes to show you’re only conning yourself if you misrepresent customer feedback, so make sure that however you’re curating your reviews, even if it’s through a partner, you’re getting real feedback. Revioly is a newer site, but it’s already providing big innovation. When you work with them, they handle direct rewards, and ensure all your reviews are totally real - and ones your customers will feel safe trusting. (source)

5. Once A Product Gets 5 Reviews, A Purchase Becomes 270% Likelier

Customer confidence explodes at the 5 review mark, meaning 5 reviews can be considered the minimum threshold to hit when ensuring popularity for whatever you’re selling. Customers of course are even more likely to buy products with more reviews than that, but the jump in confidence between 4 reviews and 5 is too significant to go unmentioned here. (source)

6. 56% of Consumers Read 4 or More Reviews Before Buying A Product

This statistic might be the quickest way to understand the last one. On average, customers read 4 or more reviews in depth before buying anything, which prompts hesitation if four reviews are all there are to go on. It seems most customers like to compare four different voices before quickly browsing the overall picture of your product’s feedback. Without extra reviews to scan, it’s more difficult to trust the reviews they’ve just read. Or to put it another way - if the customer isn’t in control of the specific four reviews they choose to read, they’re far less likely to trust them. (source)

7. Between 2 Similarly-Rated Products, The One With More Reviews Wins

This statistic only furthers the proof of power in numbers. When two products have similar ratings across the Internet (even if they’re each featured on separate sites), the product with more reviews almost always edges out the other. In fact, in many cases, a product with a slightly lower rating will outsell the one rated slightly higher. After all, a product rated 4.5 from 200 reviews is a lot more attractive than one rated 4.7 from 20. For most consumers, it’s not just about how much people love what you’re selling, it’s about how many people love it too. (source)

8. Reviews Boost Search Engine Rankings by 6.5%

Even Google recognizes the importance of customer reviews. If you want a quick way to boost any of your selling pages up the rankings, add reviews. It’s the kind of statistic that doesn’t just tell you something, but reinforces the “why” behind it. Google’s constantly evolving algorithm prioritizes what’s important to its users, so if it thinks something’s important enough to warrant a higher ranking for your page, it probably is in many ways. (source)

9. 75% of Businesses Don’t Respond to Their Reviews

This one’s a very different kind of statistic, meant not just to encourage popular policy, but to give you a big opportunity. Only 1 in 4 businesses actually respond to their customer reviews, which gives you instant credibility if you decide to do so. As a bonus statistic, most consumers surveyed only need to see you respond to 30% of the reviews to trust you actually care about feedback. That makes responding a very easy way to stand out from the crowd, encourage customer loyalty and give plenty of visitors more confidence to purchase from you. (source)

10. 92% of B2B Buyers Are More Likely to Buy After Reading

Reviews It’s not just consumers who love to read reviews. If your company sells to other businesses, reviews are still an essential part of your marketing strategy. In many cases, reviews are more essential to the B2B buyer than your average consumer, since it’s not just their money they’re spending, but the company’s at large. No matter what you’re selling - or to whom - nothing tops the power of presenting customer reviews. (source)

To Wrap Up

From any angle you look at it, reviews are a necessary part of your customers’ experience. If you want the easiest way to authentically boost your reviews (and reward your customers in the process), check out what Revioly can do for you. It’s a partnership that supports future positive stats of your very own.

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