Local Consumer Review Survey 2010, Part 2

h
18
Key 'Takeaways' From This Post
  • 51% of consumers cite Reliability as the most important trait when selecting a local business to use
  • ‘Reputation’ matters the most for Dentists/Doctors, Tradesmen & Hotels
  • However Reputation is also very important for Restaurants, Builders and Garages
  • Local consumers read most online reviews for Restaurants, Hotels and Pubs/Bars
  • Restaurants/Cafes are the most searched for type of local business
  • Male consumers search for more practical services such as Tradesmen, Garages & Builders
  • Younger consumers are more concerned with ‘Friendliness‘ in a local business while older consumers look for Expertise & Accreditations

Reviews & Reputation for Different Types of Local Business

The Local Consumer Review Survey examines the role that online consumer reviews play in the research and purchase of local business services.

The survey results have been published in 2 parts. The following findings are Part 2 of the survey which consisted of 5 questions about local consumers online behavior with regard to specific types of local businesses.

The objective of this part of the survey is to establish an understanding of the following consumer behaviour –

  • What type of local businesses do local consumers search for online
  • How consumption of online reviews differ for different types of local business
  • How important online reputation is for different types of local business
  • What is the minimum/optimum number of online reviews a local business needs to have

Please note, if you want to view the very latest findings then head over to the 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey.

Background to Survey

The survey was conducted in September 2010 via an online poll of 2,012 local consumers across the US & UK.

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 customers. 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.

RECAP – Local Consumer Review Survey – Key Findings, Part 1

  • 70% of local consumers 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

The findings for Parts 1 and 3 of the survey can be viewed here –

 


Question 1

(From the list provided) Select the Business Types you have searched for via the internet in the last 12 months?

Chart: Gender

Searching business types by gender

Key Findings:

(i) Restaurants, Clothes shops & General shops (e.g. supermarkets) are the most searched for businesses online, followed by hotels/B&Bs.

(ii) Gender stereotypes appear to be alive & kicking in modern society –

  • Female consumers are the driving force behind searches for Clothes Shops & General Shops
  • twice as many women shoppers have looked online for clothes shop than men;
  • More men search for practical services such as Tradesmen, Garages & Builders.

Select the Business Types you have searched for via the internet in the last 12 months?

Chart: Age

Searching business types by age

Key Findings:

(i) Younger consumers (16-34) appear more interested in fun, lifestyle business like Bars, Hairdressers, Clothes shops and Gyms;

(ii) Older people (55+) are more practical, seeking out Accountants, Tradesmen, Builders & Car Hire/Taxi Firms.

 

Question 2

(From the list provided) Which of these local business types have you read online customer reviews for in the last 12 months?

Chart: Gender

Reading online reviews by gender

Key Findings:

The main business types which people read reviews for are Restaurants/Cafes, Hotels/B&Bs, Pubs/Bars.

(i) However people read reviews for all types of businesses including Supermarkets, Accountants, Estate Agents and Yoga Instructors.

(ii) Driving instructors are the business type with the least reviews being read; but this is likely to be demand-led as not everyone is in the market for a driving instructor*, whereas more people need to eat, sleep and drink.

*That said, there are many drivers on our roads who could benefit from a refresher course!

(iii) The study also highlights the cultural differences between the US & UK. In the US, 2-3 times as many web users consult reviews for Doctors/Dentists and Alternative Therapies than they do in the UK; while in the UK twice as many users are interested in reviews for Pubs/Bars!

(iv) US diners appear to be more discerning than UK, with double the number of people reading Restaurant reviews than UK web users.


Which of these local business types have you read online customer reviews for in the last 12 months?

Chart: Age
Reading online reviews by age

Key Findings:

These findings support the earlier results that younger consumers (16-34) appear more interested in fun, lifestyle business (e.g. Bars, Hairdressers, Gyms).

Older consumers appear to be more discerning than younger when it comes to where they eat and holiday33% of those aged 55+ have read reviews for Restaurants & Hotels.

 

Question 3

(From the list provided) For which of these local business types does ‘Reputation’ matter the most when choosing a business?

Chart: Gender

Reputation of different business types - gender

Key Findings:

(i) Reputation matters the most for Dentists/Doctors (mainly in the US) as well Hotels & Restaurants. However reputation for Tradesmen, Builders and Garages is also very important.

(ii) In general female consumers are more concerned with Reputation than men,

  • – Significantly more women consult online reviews for Doctors/Dentists, Hairdressers and Hotels.
  • – Men are more concerned with the reputation of Garages, Specialist shops (e.g. bike shops) & Pubs!

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

Chart: Age

Reputation of different business types - age

Key Findings:

(i) Older web users are more concerned with Reputation than younger users, particularly when it comes to the services they search for online – Accountants, Tradesmen, Doctors/Dentists & Builders.

(ii) Younger people are again more concerned with Pubs, Gyms &… Cleaners (really!?)

 

Question 4

How many online reviews & ratings do you need to read before you feel that you can trust that business?

Chart: Gender
Reading online reviews by gender

Key Findings:

The minimum number of online reviews for a local business to have is between 6-10 reviews.

However the more reviews a business has the more trust a web user can place in the reputation of that business. Businesses with 50 or more reviews earn the trust of 29% more consumers than a business that has 6-10 reviews, but a business with 6-10 reviews has the trust of 71% of consumers.

9% of consumers either don’t need reviews to trust a business or dismiss online customer reviews entirely.


How many online reviews & ratings do you need to read before you feel that you can trust that business?

Chart: Age

Reading online reviews by gender

Key Findings:

Younger consumers are more trusting of businesses that don’t have reviews –

(i) Younger consumers are (potentially) more willing to take a chance and form their own opinions rather than following others;

(ii) Older consumers appear happy to trust a business having read just 2 or 3 reviews, although 12% of 55+ consumers need to read more than 50 reviews before they can really trust a local business.

 

Question 5

Which of the following ‘Reputation-traits’ is MOST important to you when selecting a local business to use?

Chart: Gender

Important business reputation traits - gender

Key Findings:

(i) 51% of local consumers believe that Reliability is the most important ‘Reputation-trait’ for a local business.

(ii) ‘Good Value’ (40%), ‘Expertise‘ (33%) & ‘Professionalism‘ (32%) are the other most important traits in a local business.

(iii) ‘Courtesy‘, ‘Accreditations‘ & ‘Localness’ (i.e. independent, non-chain businesses) are the least important traits.


Which of the following ‘Reputation-traits’ is MOST important to you when selecting a local business to use?

Chart: Age

Important business reputation traits - age

Key Findings:

(i) Twice as many younger consumers (19%) believe that ‘Friendliness‘ is a key trait in a local business, and also that ‘Localness‘ as important in the businesses they choose.

(ii) Older consumers appear more pragmatic, citing ‘Reliability‘ & ‘Expertise‘ as the most important traits.

(iii) 22% of older consumers (55+) look for ‘Accreditations‘ as a pointer to the positive reputation of a local business twice as many younger consumers (16-34)

 


The findings for Parts 1 and 3 of the survey can be viewed here –


 

manage online reviews

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *