Are user reviews important in local search? Data from the latest Kelsey Group/comScore survey presented today by Brian Jurutka from comScore seems to indicate it is critical from a user point of view as 24% of online consumers have used an online review site prior to buying an offline service in the last 3 months. In addition, more than 75% of those review-informed purchasers cited online reviews as influential in their purchase decision process.
Why are consumer reviews influential?
- They are seen as unbiased 3rd party feedback
- They are efficient
- They provide an opportunity for feedback
Who writes reviews?
- Broadband users, young professionals, 25-49. 46% of review users have contributed a review as well.
Why do consumers write reviews?
- Helps other consumers (62%)
- Gives me “consumer power” (44%)
- It’s a fun activity (33%)
- It helps me “get back” at a provider after experiencing poor service (24%)
- I was compensated to do it. (19%)
- Better reviews drive higher revenues. Consumers were willing to pay 20% more for services that were rated 5 stars vs. 4 stars.
- In addition, a significant portion of people were not willing to purchase from a 1-star place.
- 97% believed the review was accurate post-sale.
Update: the official press release.