The 2012 Local Consumer Review Survey (2012), an online survey conducted in the first quarter of 2012 in the U.S., Canada, and United Kingdom, revealed a positive shift in consumer trust and appreciation of online reviews. Approximately 72 percent of consumers surveyed trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Fifty-two percent of consumers felt positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business.
Key findings of the survey included that there has been a significant jump in the number of consumers using the Internet to find local businesses, and the regularity of their ‘searches’ has also increased. More consumers are reading online reviews now than 15 months ago, with 27 percent regularly reading online reviews when looking for a local business to use.
The survey showed a decline in the number of reviews being read by consumers. Consumers are forming opinions faster and trusting reviews more, leading to lower consumption of reviews. It was observed that the total quantity of reviews a business has remains important.
“What does this mean for your business?” InGroup / WebSwagger.com concurs that positive reviews can establish greater trust in your business and customers can be swayed by location and price. It is truly notable that today’s consumer values and trusts online reviews as much as personal recommendations and they are doing it faster than ever before due to the convenience of their mobile devices. When speaking to your customers, ask them to note their positive experiences online whenever possible.