BrightLocal just revealed its latest findings on where online reviews fit into the purchasing processes of consumers.
Oh yes, this is big.
What does the release of this 4th annual Survey mean, exactly? It means it’s Christmas in July. It means an excellent elucidation of the who, what, when, where, and why of online consumer reviews and why we are passionate about pushing those reviews to the forefront for businesses.
Among their sample size of 2,104 individuals from the United States and Canada, BrightLocal found that an impressive 88% put their trust in reviews they read on the Web — as much trust as they put into advice from personal contacts.
Just as fascinating is the “No” category, down 8% in the last year and a whopping 20% from the foundation of the Survey in 2011. These numbers are undoubtedly further proof of the times we’re in and how the times are shifting market dynamics.
Where do those trusted and noticed online reviews lead potential new customers next? Well…
With 57% of consumers saying they go to a business’s website after reading good reviews they’ve decided are trustworthy and verifiable and only 6% of consumers reporting they take no further action/don’t pay attention to online reviews at all, we get back to why reading BrightLocal’s insightful annual report feels like unwrapping that gift you’ve been waiting for.
Actually, the best part comes after the unwrapping, when my colleagues and I have opportunities (like today’s post) to help local businesses answer the “So What?” of online review and reputation marketing with results like those outlined above. The focus on online reviews is increasing — and that’s a fact — so take advantage of the tools you have for generating that feedback and attracting prospects. After all, online reviews are not the only major evolution in today’s online marketplace, and staying ahead of the shifts is a very bright idea.