Over the past seven years, ReviewInc conducted strategic yearly studies of U.S. Consumers asking them what they sought out most before selecting a business, service or product. With over 20,000 respondents in total: Review Sites are still the most critical to the purchase decision. In fact, between 2013 and 2019, a huge leap of 10% proved that more and more consumers are looking towards online reviews and a company’s reputation than ever before.
Your business reputation is proving more valuable than any other factor. The study asked consumers to provide only one answer to the following simple question:
When choosing a service or professional (such as a doctor, mechanic, plumber, attorney, etc.) what is most important?
Each respondent was provided with a multiple-choice list from which they could only choose one answer. While multiple answers could have been allowed, ReviewInc wanted a more discerning answer so that could pinpoint exactly what was most influential to the consumer. This method has been applied to all the surveys from 2013 through 2019.
The Seven Year Trend
Year over year, the greatest influence are review sites. The importance of review sites continued to increase by over 20% from 2013. The company website‘s influence decreased slightly as the “other” category increased by the use of social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. It’s interesting to note that the influence of the traditional yellow pages increased slightly compared to past years. Online advertising appears to have taken a small hit as well as advertisements on tv/radio/newspaper.
Gender is a Factor
In the last 4 years, women have continued to outpaced men in choosing review sites as their most influential source. It’s safe to say, women tend to research and purchase majority of the “family” gifts, therefore having majority responsibility of purchases for the household.
The Generation Gap
For those that are spending and contributing to the economy, Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers have shown a steady increase in the choice of review sites. Millennials on the other hand have shown a decrease in review sites. This decrease could be the result of social media in their purchase decision.
For those that are spending and contributing to the economy, Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers have shown a steady increase in the choice of review sites. Millennials on the other hand have shown a decrease in review sites. This decrease could contribute to the fact that other factors such as social media may influence their purchase decision.
Yellow Pages Are Not Dead
Although the Traditional Yellow Pages has seen a decline in its use by consumers, there was a spike in engagement by Millennials so the value of Yellow Pages should not be dismissed entirely.
- The importance and influence of Online Reviews is critical to your business (much more than your website)
- If you’re neglecting the investment in your online reputation, you could be missing out on big revenue growth opportunities.
- Make sure your reputation management solution integrates and leverages social media.
- Make sure to respond to reviews and create a “conversation” especially if you serve those under the age of 35.
Interested in a free consultation on how to improve your online reviews and overall reputation management? Give us a call at 877-973-8439 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.