Please see the results of Local Consumer Review Survey 2013.
This survey is provided by the BrightLocal and is an annual exploration into how consumers consume (aka ‘read’) reviews and how their opinions and behaviour are affected by the reviews they read. The survey is specifically concerned with reviews & purchase of local business services and not wider product reviews.
Consumption of online reviews
Qu 1. How many times have you used the internet to find a local business in the last 12 months?
This question sets the scene for the survey and identifies how regularly respondents use the internet to find local businesses. The frequency of usage is on the up (no surprise there) with infrequent users becoming more regular in their use of the web to locate their right local business to use.
- Just 5% of consumers had not not used the internet to find a local business in the last 12 months ( down from 15% in 2012)
- 37% of consumers used internet to find local businesses at least once a month (up from 34% in 2012)
Qu 2. Select the Business Types you have searched for via the internet in the last 12 months
Most popular categories of business are:
- Restaurants – 67% of consumers searched for restaurants (up from 57% in 2012)
- Doctor / Dentists – 35% (up from 27%)
- General Shop – 35% (35% in 2013)
- Hotel/B&B/Guest House – 30% (down from 35%)
- Clothes Shop – 28% (down from 34%)
Qu 3. Do you read online customer reviews to determine whether a local business is a good business?
- 85% of consumers say that they read online reviews for local businesses (up from 76% in 2012)
- Only 15% of consumers say that they don’t read online reviews
Qu 4.Which of these business types have you read online customer reviews for?
The findings on this chart show a clear, positive correlation between how many consumers search for a business online and how many read reviews for those businesses. (compare with chart 2 above)
Top 5 local business types by review consumption:
Restaurants – 61% (up from 46%)
Doctors/Dentists – 32% (up from 21%)
Hotels/B&B/Guest House – 27% (up from 22%)
General shop – 18% (up from 9%)
Hair/Beauty Salon – 17% (up from 9%)
Trust & influence
Qu 5. How many online reviews do you read before you feel that you can trust that business?
- 67% of consumers read 6 reviews or less* (up from 52% in 2012)
- Less consumers reading more than 10 reviews – 22% vs 35% in 2012
*Statistic ignores those who answered ’0′ reviews.
Qu 6. How do online customer reviews affect your opinion of a local business?
- 73% of consumers say positive customer reviews make them trust a business more (up from 58% in 2012)
- Only 12% of consumers said they take NO notice of online reviews (down from 17% in 2012)
Qu 7. How do online customer reviews influence your decision to use/select a local business?
- 65% of consumers prefer to use a business which has positive online reviews (up from 52% in 2012)
- Just 24% of consumers said they select a business based on other factors (down from 28%)
Qu 8. Do you trust online customer reviews as much as personal recommendations?
- 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (up from 72% in 2012)
- Only 21% said they do not trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
Qu 9. For which of these local business types does ‘Reputation’ matter the most when choosing a business? (select up to 3)
Restaurant – 51% (up from 31%)
Tradesmen – 33% (up from 23%)
Garage/Car Dealer – 31% (up from 18%)
Hotel/B&B/Guest House – 28% (up from 22%)
Builder/Roofer – 27% (up from 19%)
Qu 10.Which of the following ‘Reputation Traits’ is most important to you when selecting a local business to use? (select 3)
- 71% said that ‘Reliability’ was most important trait in a local business (up from 64% in 2012)
- 45% said that ‘Good Value’ is most important (up from 44% in 2012)
- Less than 10% said that ‘Friendliness’, ‘Courtesy’ or ‘Localness’ were important traits
Incentive to Recommend
Qu 11. In the last 12 months have you recommended a local business to people you know by any of the following methods?
- 72% of consumers have recommended a business by Word of mouth (down from 78% in 2012)
- 37% of consumers have recommended a business on Facebook (up from 32%)
- Just 8% of consumers have recommend a business on an Online Directory (down from 11%)
Qu 12.Which of these factors would make you more likely to recommend a local business to people you know?
- 78% of consumers said that ‘Reliability’ & ‘Professionalism’ are most important when recommending a business
- 46% said that being ‘friendly’ & ‘welcoming’ was important
- Only 12% said they would recommend a business purely because they were asked to
Qu 13. Would you be more likely to recommend a local business to people you know if they had a good value offer or discount?
- 54% of consumers would definitely recommend a local business if they had a good offer or discount
- 84% would do it or consider doing so
Qu 14. Would you be more likely to promote a local business to people you know if you could benefit personally from doing so?
30% of consumers would for sure recommend a local business if they benefited directly (down from 35% on 2012)
45% would consider recommending a business if they benefited directly (up from 40% in 2012)