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Consumers are reading more reviews more
consistently than ever before.
Reviews heavily influence consumer
decision-making.
Consumers are looking for review quality,
quantity, and responses along with high rating.
Local businesses need to make leaving reviews
convenient, frictionless, and necessary.
Local businesses need to be proactive about
improving their online reputations.
01
02
03
04
05
Key takeaways
Reviews have never been so important
or influential. In wake of COVID-19, the
information they provide and customer
experience they paint are closely and
regularly analyzed by consumers. In our
digital marketplace, reviews are the first
link to connecting with your business and
the first deciding factor in moving to a
competitor. To stay competitive, businesses
must proactively remove any obstacles that
prevent customers from leaving reviews.
This survey was conducted by Survey Monkey
Audiences from October 9–October 21, 2020 in the US.
Audiences surveyed included 1,543 consumers (age
18–99+, all regions), 455 SMB owners or managers, and
378 enterprise business leaders in businesses with a
local presence.
Reviews are table stakes in
winning today’s consumers.
3
Reviews used to be a nice-to-have. Now, they’re a make or
break in whether a consumer chooses to engage with your
business. Review importance, influence, and consumption
are rapidly increasing in consumer mindshare. And
customers are turning to them more quickly—and more
singularly—than ever before.
The Importance of Reviews
Reviews influence 88% of
consumers in discovering a
local business.
21% of consumers say that reviews
play a big role in discovering a local
business.
12% of consumers say that reviews do
not play a role in discovering a local
business.
The Importance of Reviews 4
How big of a role do online reviews play in you
discovering a new local business?
The Importance of Reviews 5
Reviews are 2x more likely to be an important
factor in choosing a local business than loyalty,
and 7.4x more likely to be an important factor
than traditional marketing.
What characteristics are most important when choosing
a local business? (select three)
The top characteristics
consumers say are most
important when choosing
a local business are:
Location (61%)
Price or promotions (55%)
Personal recommendation (50%)
Reviews (41%)
Most consumers have read a
review in the last week.
The Importance of Reviews 6
have read an online review in the last day.
have read an online review in the last 3 days.
have read an online review in the last week.
have read an online review in the last month.
have read an online review in the last year.
23%
46%
65%
85%
94%
Approximately half of consumers are willing to travel
farther and pay more in order to patronize a business
with higher reviews.
The Importance of Reviews 7
58% agree/somewhat agree:
“I am willing to travel farther to a
business with higher reviews.”
47% agree/somewhat agree:
“I am willing to pay more at a business
with higher reviews.”
The Importance of Reviews 8
28% of consumers say they have
looked up a business’s reviews
while standing or being parked
right outside to decide if they
should go in or not.
Consumers are not just
looking for five stars.
Review Behavior and Expectations 9
When customers search for a business online, they’re
not just looking for five stars—it’s not that simple
anymore. Consumer behaviors around finding and
choosing local businesses online have become
incredibly nuanced. Businesses need five stars and
review quantity, quality, consistency, relevancy, and
diversity to increase patronage.
Review Behavior and Expectations 10
What is typically the minimum star rating a business
needs for you to consider engaging with them?
Although they are not enough
on their own, high average star
ratings are still the baseline
required to compete.
38% of consumers require at least
a 4-star average rating to consider
engaging with a business.
Only 9% of consumers would consider
engaging with a business that had a 1-
or 2-star average rating.
Review Behavior and Expectations 11
3.4 is the average star rating consumers
require in order to consider engaging
with a business.
“Reviews must be recent and relevant for me to care
about them.”
“I don’t trust a high review rating unless there is a
high quantity of reviews.”
Review Behavior and Expectations 12
of consumers agree or
somewhat agree that reviews
must be recent and relevant in
order to care about them.
83% of consumers agree or
somewhat agree that they
don’t trust a high review rating
unless there is a high quantity
of reviews.
68%
56% of consumers say that
a business’s responses
to reviews have changed
their perspective on the
business.
Review Behavior and Expectations 13
Do businesses’ responses to reviews ever change your
perspective on the business?
Consumers consider how businesses
respond to reviews when making purchasing
decisions. Business responses offer insight
into how responsive, responsible, and caring
a business is. Responses tell the consumer
how the business is going to treat them.
Consumers use a variety
of different review sites
and search engines to
make their decisions.
However, consumers are more than twice as
likely to turn to Google to discover and choose
a local business than any other site.
Nearly 68% of consumers are likely to engage
with your business using a mobile device
compared to 32% who would engage via
desktop. We asked this same question in our
2017 State of Reviews Report, and the gap
between mobile usage vs. desktop usage
has widened from the reported 59% and 41%
(respectively) in 2017.
Review Behavior and Expectations 14
Which websites are you most likely to turn to to discover
and choose a local business?
COVID-19 has created opportunities
to win new customers online, but
it has also created new consumer
expectations.
New Opportunities and Expectations 15
COVID has provided new opportunities, but has also come with
new expectations. If you tap in to customer needs and your
reviews reflect the characteristics your customers care about
now, you can edge out your competitors. If they don’t, your
customers will find another business whose reviews more fully
reflect the experience they want to have.
Since COVID-19, consumers
are on the hunt for local
businesses who will cater to
their current needs.
New Opportunities and Expectations 16
Since COVID-19, have you found a new local business
nearby your home that you didn’t previously patronize?
Are you more or less likely to look at a local business’s
Google listing before visiting it than you were prior to
COVID-19?
of consumers say they have
found a new local business
near their home during
COVID-19 that they didn’t
previously patronize.
33%
of consumers say they are
more likely to look at a local
business’s Google listing
before visiting it than they were
prior to COVID-19.
31%
Consumers want local
businesses to succeed and
are willing to show support
through review behavior.
of consumers say they are more
compelled to patronize local
businesses since COVID-19, vs. 14%
who say they are less.
of consumers would consider
refraining from leaving a negative
online review (when they normally
would have) because they want to
try to be more understanding of
businesses’ operating challenges.
of local businesses say their online
reputation has gotten better or much
better since COVID-19, vs. 7% who say
it has gotten worse or much worse.
41%
45%
42%
New Opportunities and Expectations 17
Do you feel more or less compelled to patronize local
businesses now than you did prior to COVID-19?
Overall, consumers are still
looking for the same things
as they were pre-COVID.
01.
02.
03.
New Opportunities and Expectations 18
Quality of service or
products
Good prices
Good customer
service
When you read business reviews, what are the top 3
factors you look for?
New Opportunities and Expectations 19
But since COVID-19,
almost 50% of consumers
are also reading reviews to
validate local businesses’
safety practices.
If you see a business has posted their COVID-19 safety
practices, do you check reviews to validate them as
accurate?
Consumers are much more
likely to consume reviews than
create them.
Review Creation 20
The vast majority of consumers leave a business
review once a quarter, or less. And a fifth say they’ve
never left one. While consumers read reviews
regularly, there is clearly a barrier to creating reviews
that local businesses must breach. Businesses need
to rethink how they ask for reviews and eliminate
any factors that might be preventing their customers
from leaving reviews, both positive and negative.
Many consumers (81%) leave a business review four
times a year or less. 20% say they have never left a
business review.
Review Creation 21
Approximately how often do you leave a review for a local business?
After having a good experience with a local
business, consumers are 12% more likely to leave
a review if they see a sign asking them to—and
36% more likely if they receive an email invite to
leave a review.
Review Creation 22
You’ve just had a good experience at a local business. How likely are you to
leave that business a review online in the following scenarios?
Review Creation 23
Note: Posting a sign can help. But the
most effective way to boost your review
collection rate is through text.
41% of consumers say that
text is their preferred way
to communicate, vs. 18%
who prefer email.1
23
Have you ever received a text from a business asking you
to leave them a review?
If yes, have you ever left a review for a business that sent
you a text asking for one?
of consumers say they have
received a text from a business
asking them to leave them a
review.
48%
of those consumers have left
a review based on the text
request they received.
36%
1
Taken from Podium’s 2020 State of Local Business report
When consumers do leave
reviews, having a negative
experience with employees
is the leading motivation to
leave a negative review.
Review Creation 24
Which three of the following experiences being negative
would make you most likely to leave a 1-star review:
85% of consumers say that employee
attitude is the most likely motivation for
a consumer to leave a one-star review.
Having a positive experience
with employees is also the
leading motivation to leave a
positive review.
Review Creation 25
Which three of the following experiences being positive
would make you most likely to leave a 5-star review:
Local businesses feel the
pressure and are taking
proactive measures to
compete online.
Reputation Management 26
Although 67% of local businesses report an average
review rating of 4.0+, local business leaders are feeling
the need to improve their online reputation as the
market becomes increasingly competitive.
79% of local businesses say
they are at least somewhat
proactive about their online
reputation, with 30% saying
they are very proactive.
Reputation Management 27
Local businesses are 1.4x more likely
to have an average star rating of 4.5 or
higher if they are proactive about their
online reputation vs. if they are passive
about it.
45% of local businesses say that online
reviews are “very important” to their
business’s success.
How proactive is your business about managing and
improving your online reputation?
Reputation Management 28
In 39% of SMB local
businesses, the Owner/
CEO is held most
responsible for their
online reputation.
Even in enterprise local businesses, 18% said
the same, although Marketing Manager was the
most common role held responsible in those
larger orgs (24%).
Which role in your business is held most responsible for
your online reputation?
Businesses are more
likely to say they respond
to positive reviews than
negative reviews.
Reputation Management 29
How many negative and positive reviews do you
respond to?
of local businesses say they
respond to all or most reviews.
54%
of local businesses say they
rarely or never respond to
reviews.
16%
Local businesses are employing varied strategies to
try to improve their online reputation.
No one strategy is being used by a majority of local businesses. However, offering incentives to
leave reviews is the most common strategy, and only 19% are asking customers to leave reviews
by text.
Reputation Management 30
Which strategies does your business employ to improve your online reputation?
Reputation Management 31
Almost all local businesses
using a reputation
management software say
that the software pays for
itself.
Agree or disagree: Your business’s reputation
management software provides enough ROI to make up
for the cost.
94% of local businesses who use a
reputation management software at
least somewhat agree that it provides
enough ROI to make up for the cost.
32
As you read this, people are searching for a
business like yours. The question is, will they find
and choose you? Unless you have a competitive
star rating with an impressive number of reviews,
the answer will likely be “no.”
Become the top-rated option in your area by
automatically sending review invites to customers
via text, managing your reviews efficiently, and
providing a modern customer experience. And do
it all from one place with Podium.
Dominate your
local market.
Watch a demo here
Site Ratings
Month To Date
4.8
Review Invites
Month To Date
102
Total Reviews
Month To Date
79

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2020 Reviews.pdf

  • 1.
  • 2. 2 Consumers are reading more reviews more consistently than ever before. Reviews heavily influence consumer decision-making. Consumers are looking for review quality, quantity, and responses along with high rating. Local businesses need to make leaving reviews convenient, frictionless, and necessary. Local businesses need to be proactive about improving their online reputations. 01 02 03 04 05 Key takeaways Reviews have never been so important or influential. In wake of COVID-19, the information they provide and customer experience they paint are closely and regularly analyzed by consumers. In our digital marketplace, reviews are the first link to connecting with your business and the first deciding factor in moving to a competitor. To stay competitive, businesses must proactively remove any obstacles that prevent customers from leaving reviews. This survey was conducted by Survey Monkey Audiences from October 9–October 21, 2020 in the US. Audiences surveyed included 1,543 consumers (age 18–99+, all regions), 455 SMB owners or managers, and 378 enterprise business leaders in businesses with a local presence.
  • 3. Reviews are table stakes in winning today’s consumers. 3 Reviews used to be a nice-to-have. Now, they’re a make or break in whether a consumer chooses to engage with your business. Review importance, influence, and consumption are rapidly increasing in consumer mindshare. And customers are turning to them more quickly—and more singularly—than ever before. The Importance of Reviews
  • 4. Reviews influence 88% of consumers in discovering a local business. 21% of consumers say that reviews play a big role in discovering a local business. 12% of consumers say that reviews do not play a role in discovering a local business. The Importance of Reviews 4 How big of a role do online reviews play in you discovering a new local business?
  • 5. The Importance of Reviews 5 Reviews are 2x more likely to be an important factor in choosing a local business than loyalty, and 7.4x more likely to be an important factor than traditional marketing. What characteristics are most important when choosing a local business? (select three) The top characteristics consumers say are most important when choosing a local business are: Location (61%) Price or promotions (55%) Personal recommendation (50%) Reviews (41%)
  • 6. Most consumers have read a review in the last week. The Importance of Reviews 6 have read an online review in the last day. have read an online review in the last 3 days. have read an online review in the last week. have read an online review in the last month. have read an online review in the last year. 23% 46% 65% 85% 94%
  • 7. Approximately half of consumers are willing to travel farther and pay more in order to patronize a business with higher reviews. The Importance of Reviews 7 58% agree/somewhat agree: “I am willing to travel farther to a business with higher reviews.” 47% agree/somewhat agree: “I am willing to pay more at a business with higher reviews.”
  • 8. The Importance of Reviews 8 28% of consumers say they have looked up a business’s reviews while standing or being parked right outside to decide if they should go in or not.
  • 9. Consumers are not just looking for five stars. Review Behavior and Expectations 9 When customers search for a business online, they’re not just looking for five stars—it’s not that simple anymore. Consumer behaviors around finding and choosing local businesses online have become incredibly nuanced. Businesses need five stars and review quantity, quality, consistency, relevancy, and diversity to increase patronage.
  • 10. Review Behavior and Expectations 10 What is typically the minimum star rating a business needs for you to consider engaging with them? Although they are not enough on their own, high average star ratings are still the baseline required to compete. 38% of consumers require at least a 4-star average rating to consider engaging with a business. Only 9% of consumers would consider engaging with a business that had a 1- or 2-star average rating.
  • 11. Review Behavior and Expectations 11 3.4 is the average star rating consumers require in order to consider engaging with a business.
  • 12. “Reviews must be recent and relevant for me to care about them.” “I don’t trust a high review rating unless there is a high quantity of reviews.” Review Behavior and Expectations 12 of consumers agree or somewhat agree that reviews must be recent and relevant in order to care about them. 83% of consumers agree or somewhat agree that they don’t trust a high review rating unless there is a high quantity of reviews. 68%
  • 13. 56% of consumers say that a business’s responses to reviews have changed their perspective on the business. Review Behavior and Expectations 13 Do businesses’ responses to reviews ever change your perspective on the business? Consumers consider how businesses respond to reviews when making purchasing decisions. Business responses offer insight into how responsive, responsible, and caring a business is. Responses tell the consumer how the business is going to treat them.
  • 14. Consumers use a variety of different review sites and search engines to make their decisions. However, consumers are more than twice as likely to turn to Google to discover and choose a local business than any other site. Nearly 68% of consumers are likely to engage with your business using a mobile device compared to 32% who would engage via desktop. We asked this same question in our 2017 State of Reviews Report, and the gap between mobile usage vs. desktop usage has widened from the reported 59% and 41% (respectively) in 2017. Review Behavior and Expectations 14 Which websites are you most likely to turn to to discover and choose a local business?
  • 15. COVID-19 has created opportunities to win new customers online, but it has also created new consumer expectations. New Opportunities and Expectations 15 COVID has provided new opportunities, but has also come with new expectations. If you tap in to customer needs and your reviews reflect the characteristics your customers care about now, you can edge out your competitors. If they don’t, your customers will find another business whose reviews more fully reflect the experience they want to have.
  • 16. Since COVID-19, consumers are on the hunt for local businesses who will cater to their current needs. New Opportunities and Expectations 16 Since COVID-19, have you found a new local business nearby your home that you didn’t previously patronize? Are you more or less likely to look at a local business’s Google listing before visiting it than you were prior to COVID-19? of consumers say they have found a new local business near their home during COVID-19 that they didn’t previously patronize. 33% of consumers say they are more likely to look at a local business’s Google listing before visiting it than they were prior to COVID-19. 31%
  • 17. Consumers want local businesses to succeed and are willing to show support through review behavior. of consumers say they are more compelled to patronize local businesses since COVID-19, vs. 14% who say they are less. of consumers would consider refraining from leaving a negative online review (when they normally would have) because they want to try to be more understanding of businesses’ operating challenges. of local businesses say their online reputation has gotten better or much better since COVID-19, vs. 7% who say it has gotten worse or much worse. 41% 45% 42% New Opportunities and Expectations 17 Do you feel more or less compelled to patronize local businesses now than you did prior to COVID-19?
  • 18. Overall, consumers are still looking for the same things as they were pre-COVID. 01. 02. 03. New Opportunities and Expectations 18 Quality of service or products Good prices Good customer service When you read business reviews, what are the top 3 factors you look for?
  • 19. New Opportunities and Expectations 19 But since COVID-19, almost 50% of consumers are also reading reviews to validate local businesses’ safety practices. If you see a business has posted their COVID-19 safety practices, do you check reviews to validate them as accurate?
  • 20. Consumers are much more likely to consume reviews than create them. Review Creation 20 The vast majority of consumers leave a business review once a quarter, or less. And a fifth say they’ve never left one. While consumers read reviews regularly, there is clearly a barrier to creating reviews that local businesses must breach. Businesses need to rethink how they ask for reviews and eliminate any factors that might be preventing their customers from leaving reviews, both positive and negative.
  • 21. Many consumers (81%) leave a business review four times a year or less. 20% say they have never left a business review. Review Creation 21 Approximately how often do you leave a review for a local business?
  • 22. After having a good experience with a local business, consumers are 12% more likely to leave a review if they see a sign asking them to—and 36% more likely if they receive an email invite to leave a review. Review Creation 22 You’ve just had a good experience at a local business. How likely are you to leave that business a review online in the following scenarios?
  • 23. Review Creation 23 Note: Posting a sign can help. But the most effective way to boost your review collection rate is through text. 41% of consumers say that text is their preferred way to communicate, vs. 18% who prefer email.1 23 Have you ever received a text from a business asking you to leave them a review? If yes, have you ever left a review for a business that sent you a text asking for one? of consumers say they have received a text from a business asking them to leave them a review. 48% of those consumers have left a review based on the text request they received. 36% 1 Taken from Podium’s 2020 State of Local Business report
  • 24. When consumers do leave reviews, having a negative experience with employees is the leading motivation to leave a negative review. Review Creation 24 Which three of the following experiences being negative would make you most likely to leave a 1-star review: 85% of consumers say that employee attitude is the most likely motivation for a consumer to leave a one-star review.
  • 25. Having a positive experience with employees is also the leading motivation to leave a positive review. Review Creation 25 Which three of the following experiences being positive would make you most likely to leave a 5-star review:
  • 26. Local businesses feel the pressure and are taking proactive measures to compete online. Reputation Management 26 Although 67% of local businesses report an average review rating of 4.0+, local business leaders are feeling the need to improve their online reputation as the market becomes increasingly competitive.
  • 27. 79% of local businesses say they are at least somewhat proactive about their online reputation, with 30% saying they are very proactive. Reputation Management 27 Local businesses are 1.4x more likely to have an average star rating of 4.5 or higher if they are proactive about their online reputation vs. if they are passive about it. 45% of local businesses say that online reviews are “very important” to their business’s success. How proactive is your business about managing and improving your online reputation?
  • 28. Reputation Management 28 In 39% of SMB local businesses, the Owner/ CEO is held most responsible for their online reputation. Even in enterprise local businesses, 18% said the same, although Marketing Manager was the most common role held responsible in those larger orgs (24%). Which role in your business is held most responsible for your online reputation?
  • 29. Businesses are more likely to say they respond to positive reviews than negative reviews. Reputation Management 29 How many negative and positive reviews do you respond to? of local businesses say they respond to all or most reviews. 54% of local businesses say they rarely or never respond to reviews. 16%
  • 30. Local businesses are employing varied strategies to try to improve their online reputation. No one strategy is being used by a majority of local businesses. However, offering incentives to leave reviews is the most common strategy, and only 19% are asking customers to leave reviews by text. Reputation Management 30 Which strategies does your business employ to improve your online reputation?
  • 31. Reputation Management 31 Almost all local businesses using a reputation management software say that the software pays for itself. Agree or disagree: Your business’s reputation management software provides enough ROI to make up for the cost. 94% of local businesses who use a reputation management software at least somewhat agree that it provides enough ROI to make up for the cost.
  • 32. 32 As you read this, people are searching for a business like yours. The question is, will they find and choose you? Unless you have a competitive star rating with an impressive number of reviews, the answer will likely be “no.” Become the top-rated option in your area by automatically sending review invites to customers via text, managing your reviews efficiently, and providing a modern customer experience. And do it all from one place with Podium. Dominate your local market. Watch a demo here Site Ratings Month To Date 4.8 Review Invites Month To Date 102 Total Reviews Month To Date 79