The 2020 Local Consumer Review Survey from BrightLocal reveals 87% of consumers are now reading online reviews for local businesses. Considering the state of affairs (global pandemic), It is not surprising. Because 34% say they always read online reviews for local businesses, while 26% do so regularly. And another 27% report they occasionally read reviews and 13% never do.
More Consumers Reading Local Online Reviews
The report says the impact of COVID-19 has forced consumers to choose businesses in a different way. They want to feel they can trust local businesses and reviews are playing a big role in instilling this trust in consumers. And as more people shop and order online, reviews will become even more important.
In the last year 93% of consumers used the internet to find a local business, with 34% searching every day. And almost as many consumers or 87% are reading online reviews, which is up from 81% in 2019
When it comes to COVID-19 precautions, 67% of consumers say they will not go to a business if reviews say they are not following health and safety measures.
Additional results include:
- Star rating, legitimacy, recency, sentiment, and quantity are the most important review factors.
- 20% of consumers expect to receive a response within one day when writing a review.
- Restaurants, hotels, medical, automotive, and clothing stores are the industries in which consumers are most likely to have read reviews.
- 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 6% jump from 2019.
- 17% of people have written negative reviews for businesses that did not have health and safety measures in place for Covid-19.
- 22% of consumers have written reviews to support local businesses that may be struggling due to the pandemic.
The Year 2020
A common phrase most businesses have been saying about 2020 is, it has been a year like no other. And this is the same thing BrightLocal says in its annual survey and report.
This survey started in 2010 with the goal of helping local businesses, consumers, and marketers get a better grasp of consumer reviews. However, a global pandemic is affecting how consumers shop and perceive reviews. Not to mention the economic strains consumers are facing globally.
This year’s survey and report do a great job of providing context to changing trends while helping readers understand how the pandemic might be impacting local businesses.