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What local consumers and customers think and how they find local services.

The Local Consumer Review Survey aims to assess how local consumers engage with local businesses and how they go about leaving reviews, purchasing goods and utilising local services. The report also helps business owners understand the impact reviews have on decision making. Below are some interesting statistics about local businesses and online businesses and how consumers function.

Key Consumer Statistics

  • 93% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 34% searching every day

  • 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020 - up from 81% in 2019

  • 31% of consumers say they read more reviews in 2020 because of Covid-19, while 34% read fewer

  • 67% of consumers say they wouldn’t use a business if reviews said it didn’t have Covid-19 health and safety measures in place

  • The industries in which consumers are most likely to have read reviews: 1) Restaurants, 2) Hotels, 3) Medical, 4) Automotive, 5) Clothing stores

  • The most important review factors: 1) Star rating, 2) Legitimacy, 3) Recency, 4) Sentiment, 5) Quantity

  • Only 48% of consumers would consider using a business with fewer than 4 stars

  • 73% of consumers only pay attention to reviews written in the last month

  • 72% of US consumers have written a review for a local business – a big jump from 66% in 2019

  • When writing a review, 20% of consumers expect to receive a response within one day

  • Consumers are most likely to look at Google My Business for local business reviews, but trust the Better Business Bureau the most

How do consumers feel about online reviews?

79% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family. These days, word of mouth can come from outside a consumer’s social circle, with an online review having a ripple outside of a happy (or unhappy!) customer’s peers.

How different industries use customer reviews

The industries for which reviews are most important

  1. Medical / Healthcare

  2. Restaurants / Cafés

  3. Hotels / B&Bs

  4. Automotive

  5. Dentists

Reviews for medical and automotive businesses are also very important to consumers when choosing a business, likely due to the higher stakes involved in picking a trustworthy provider for you, or your vehicle’s health. Likewise, reviews play a key role in whether consumers feel able to trust a dentist.

Reviews for restaurants and hotels play an incredibly important role for consumers – not only are they used by many, but they are highly important to choose a business. And no wonder: many heavily rely on reviews to choose businesses in these industries, with entire big-name sites such as Tripadvisor and having sites dedicated to showcasing these.

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