BrightLocal’s 2020 Local Consumer Review Survey shows that 87% of consumers are now reading online reviews for local businesses. Given the situation (global pandemic), this is not surprising. Because 34% say they always read reviews for local businesses online, while 26% do so regularly. Another 27% say they occasionally read reviews, 13% never.
More consumers reading local online reviews
The report says the effects of COVID-19 have forced consumers to choose different companies. You want to feel like you can trust local businesses, and reviews play a big part in building that trust with consumers. And as more people shop and order online, reviews become even more important.
Last year, 93% of consumers used the internet to find a local business, 34% searched daily. And almost as many consumers, or 87%, read reviews online, up from 81% in 2019
When it comes to COVID-19 precautions, 67% of consumers say they won’t go to a business if reviews indicate they are not following health and safety precautions
Additional results include:
- Star rating, legitimacy, timeliness, mood and quantity are the most important rating factors.
- 20% of consumers expect to get a response within a day when they write a review.
- Restaurants, hotels, medical, automotive, and clothing stores are the industries where consumers are most likely to have read reviews.
- Only 48% of consumers would consider a company with less than 4 stars.
- 73% of consumers only pay attention to the reviews submitted in the last month.
- 72% of US consumers wrote a review for a local business – up 6% from 2019.
- 17% of people have written negative reviews for companies that haven’t had 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 companies have said about 2020 is that it has been a year like no other. And that’s what BrightLocal says in its annual survey and report.
This survey was launched in 2010 with the aim of helping local businesses, consumers, and marketers better understand consumer ratings. However, a global pandemic is affecting how consumers shop and perceive reviews. Not to mention the economic pressures consumers face around the world.
This year’s survey and report provide great context for changing trends and help readers understand how the pandemic could affect local businesses.