Local Consumer Review Survey 2010 – Part 1

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Background to Survey

Online reviews, ratings and opinions left by consumers are playing an ever increasing role in helping other, anonymous consumers asses the quality & trustworthiness of businesses, products and services.

Online customer reviews put rich and subjective information at the finger tips of would-be consumers. They enable people to prejudge a business or product based on the actual experiences of other shoppers prior to deciding on which business/product to buy for themselves. In today’s interconnected world purchase decisions are based less & less on price, product information and corporate hyperbole, and more on the un-doctored opinions of friends, connections and strangers.

Online Reviews in the Local Business market

The local business market is experiencing significant development in this area with the continued growth of socialised directories (e.g. Yelp & Qype), local-social gaming (e.g. Foursquare), social network local offerings (e.g Facebook Places) and of course local-search services such as Google Places.

Online reviews, once the domain of restaurants, pubs and bars, are permeating into every type of local business sector from tradesmen & accountants to florists & driving instructors. Local consumers have a growing voice and more & more they’re documenting their experiences online, in a very public manner.

Local Consumer Survey 2010

This survey set out to answer 3 key questions relating specifically to local consumer usage & trust of online customer reviews:

  1. How regularly to local consumers consult online reviews of local businesses?
  2. How do online reviews influence trust & purchase intent of local business services?
  3. Do local consumers put as much trust in online reviews as personal recommendations?

About the Survey…

The survey polled 2,012 online consumers in the US (1,138) and UK (874). The poll was conducted between 30th September & 10th October 2010.

The results displayed below are the aggregated results for US & UK. To view specific results for either country click here -

We asked 10 questions in the survey. The following charts show the findings of 5 of these questions with results split out by age & gender to highlight any demographic differences.

We will be publishing a 2nd report in January that examines consumption & trust of reviews in relation to specific types of local businesses. If you would like to get priority access to this report prior to publication please register your details hereYes i want to see that report

 

Question 1

How many times have you used the internet to find a local business in the last 12 months?

Chart: Gender

 

Key Findings:

70% of people have used the internet to find a local business in the last 12 months.

  • 25% of women have never used the internet to find a local business vs. 19% of men;
  • Having used the internet once to find a business, most local consumers go on to use it more frequently

How many times have you used the internet to find a local business in the last 12 months?

Chart: Age

 

Key Findings:

Younger consumers use the internet more frequently to find local businesses than older consumers;

  • 29% of people aged 55+ have never used internet to find a local business;
  • 11% of people aged 16-34 use the internet almost every day to find a local business;

 

Question 2

Have you ever read online customer reviews to determine whether a local business is a good business?

Chart: Gender

 

Key Findings:

67% of local consumers have consulted online customer reviews of local businesses.

 

  • Women (68%) consult online reviews more than men (66%);

Have you ever read online customer reviews to determine whether a local business is a good business?

Chart: Age

 

Key Findings:

Younger consumers consult online reviews more regularly than older consumers

  • 60% of consumers aged 55+ have consulted online reviews of local businesses vs. 68% of consumers aged 16-34 have consulted online reviews

 

Question 3

How do online customer reviews affect your opinion of a local business?

Chart: Gender

 

Key Findings:

58% of consumers trust a local business more having read positive online reviews

  • Men (59%) are more likely to trust a business than women (57%) but are also more likely to ignore reviews

How do online customer reviews affect your opinion of a local business?

Chart: Age

 

Key Findings:

Younger consumers are more influenced by positive online reviews that older consumers.

  • 67% of people aged 16-34 say they trust a local business more after reading positive customer reviews vs. 53% of people aged 35-54;

 

Question 4

How do online customer reviews influence your decision to use/select a local business?

Chart: Gender

 

Key Findings:

Female consumers are more likely to select a local business that has positive customer reviews.

  • 52% of women are more likely to use a local business having read positive customer reviews;
  • 39% of men choose local businesses based on price & location rather than online customer reviews.

How do online customer reviews influence your decision to use/select a local business?

Chart: Age

 

Key Findings:

Younger consumers are more likely to select a local business that has positive customer reviews.

  • 51% of people aged 16-34 are more likely to use a local business having read positive customer reviews vs. 46% of 55+

 

Question 5

Do you trust online customer reviews as much as personal recommendations?

Chart: Gender

 

Key Findings:

69% of local consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

  • Women (71%) are slightly more trusting of online reviews than men (68%)

Do you trust online customer reviews as much as personal recommendations?

Chart: Age

 

Key Findings:

Younger local consumers are more trusting of online reviews than older consumers.

 

  • -79% of people aged 16-34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations vs. 62% of people aged 55+

 

Summary of Findings

  • 70% of people have used the internet to find a local business in the last 12 months
  • Younger consumers use the internet more frequently to find local businesses than older consumers
  • 67% of local consumers have consulted online customer reviews of local businesses
  • Younger consumers are more influenced by positive online reviews that older consumers
  • Female consumers are more likely to select a local business that has positive customer reviews
  • 69% of local consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations

 


 

BrightLocal specialises in building local SEO tools for local SEOs, web-designers & local businesses.

ReviewBiz is a FREE online customer review tool that enables local businesses to boost their online word of mouth and attract new customers online. Create a FREE ReviewBiz button for your business or for your local business clients today.

 

Myles Anderson Myles Anderson

About the Author

In my capacity as CEO, i get involved in all areas of the business but my 2 biggest passions are our 'Tools' and our 'Customers'. It's my job to ensure that we continue to extend and improve our tool-set to meet our customers ever-changing needs. But it's just as important that we deliver excellent customer service to match our tools - one without the other just doesn't cut it!

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