Over half (57%) of online users trust a 3 – 4 star review, while only 10% trust a 5 star-rating, which Google being the most trusted platform, according to new research.
The study, from SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk also found that potential customers usually read through 4-6 reviews before trusting a product or service, with many trusting 3 or 4 stars over 5.
The below table shows the top 4 most used platforms:
|Platform||People Checking Reviews||People Leaving Reviews||Average Start Rating|
When Do We Trust a Business?
According to recent data, it takes around 4-6 reviews before 32% of customers begin to trust a business. Smallbusinessprices.co.uk have also found people trust 3 or 4-star ratings over 5-star ratings. 22% of people trust a rating of 3 stars, increasing to 35% for 4 stars and dropping to 10% for 5 stars. More interestingly, 30% of potential buyers don’t actually use the rating system to help make their decisions.
The Most Trusted Reviewing Sites
Every day, millions of people use rating and reviews to help decide whether they should purchase goods or services from businesses around the world. We’ve taken a look at the top five platforms to see how modern technology has changed the way we use our purchasing power:
- Google – The number one search engine in the world, Google processes around 3.5 billion searches per day. 64% of people use Google to check reviews before visiting a business, whilst 57.5% also leave reviews, making it the most used and trusted site. Businesses have an average of around 4.3 stars on the platform.
- Yelp – Whilst having the lowest average star rating for a business at 3.65 stars, Yelp was founded in 2004 and now has 141 million unique visitors each month. 45% of people use the site to check a business before visiting, but only 6.6% of them leave a review – the lowest percentage compared to all platforms.
- TripAdvisor – The largest travel website in the world, TripAdvisor has over 315 million reviews, with 30% of people use the site to check hotels, restaurants, and attractions before visiting. Around 8.4% of people also leave a review of their experiences, with the average star rating being around 4.25 stars.
- Facebook – With over 2.2 billion users, Facebook is one of the world’s most used social media platforms, but in recent years it has lost its grip on teen users and its recent Cambridge Analytica and fake news scandals. Despite still having a large number of users, the average star rating on Facebook is around 4.45 stars – but only 23% of people use Facebook to check a business before visiting, with 19% of those leaving a review for others.
Ratings and Reviews by Industry
Whilst it’s clear that ratings and reviews can influence purchasing habits, just how does this affect each industry? And is a review more damaging or rewarding for certain businesses?
- Auto Repair – This industry saw the highest percentage of people believing rating or reviews were important with 67% agreeing. Automotive services also saw 35% of people more likely to leave a positive review compared to 39% of negative experiences.
- GPs – Many people want to ensure they receive the best care when it comes to their health, with 66% of people believing it’s important to check reviews and ratings before receiving advice or treatment. The research found 27% of people would leave a positive review of a physician compared to a slightly higher 30% negative reviews.
- Car Dealers – 65% believe that it’s important to check public opinion before purchasing any vehicles from car dealers. 27% of people are likely to leave a positive review of their experience at a car dealership compared to 36% of negative experiences.
- Insurance Agents – Often hit with a bad rep, 61% of people think it’s important to check the rating or review of insurance agents before going ahead with any business. 23% of people will leave a negative experience compared to 18% of positive experiences.
- Restaurants – With an increasing amount of people eating out each year, more than 55% of people think checking ratings and reviews are important before visiting a restaurant. Being one of the industries that has a higher percentage of reviews after an initial experience – 45% of people were likely to leave a negative review if they had a poor dining experience.
- Banks – Around 55.2% of people think that reading reviews is important before choosing a bank, with 25% of people likely to leave a negative review after visiting their local bank branch compared to 19% leaving a positive review.
Ian Wright from SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk stated:
“From the research, we can clearly see public opinion influences people’s decision to purchase goods or services from a company. As expected, negative experiences are more likely to be written compared to positive ones – so it’s really important for businesses to understand how much impact this can have on potential customers.”
The Role of Reviews
To see how reviews affect consumer decisions, or for more statistics on each platform, you can take a look at SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk’s tool here.