Do online reviews really matter, and do they make a difference to your business? The answer is yes, they absolutely do.

With a few caveats.

Consumers increasingly use reviews left by other consumers as part of their pre-purchase research efforts, and a bad review can have serious effects on your sales.

But also… lack of bad reviews can have the same effect. 100%-positive screams “fake”.

Here are just some of the facts about why online reviews are not to be ignored:

  • 68% of millennials trust online reviews, with positive ones producing an 18% average uplift in sales
  • Consumer reviews are more trusted than descriptions that come from other manufacturers, nearly 12 times more.
  • 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business which means these decisions being made are made quickly, without much hesitation.
  • The top five industries to be affected negatively by online reviews are restaurants, hotels, doctor’s offices, hospitals and hair salons.

Negative reviews aren’t all bad; these have been known to create a buzz around your business and increase its exposure, unlike fake reviews that have been so outlandishly obviously fake and ridiculous that they go viral.

For full infographic, compiled by Websitebuilder from multiple sources, scroll to the bottom. I’ll include a few interesting findings here.

Impact of reviews

  • 50 or more reviews per product can mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates
  • Consumers who read reviews on a smartphone are 127% more likely to buy than those who read reviews on desktop
  • For every star a business gets, there will be approx. 5-9% increase in business revenue
  • Four or more negative reviews about your company or product might take away 70% of its potential customers


  • 33% of travelers posted a travel-related review
  • 16% shared their holiday experiences online
  • 42% of travelers use review websites while planning their holiday


  • 84% of patients use online reviews to evaluate physicians
  • 35% of them choose a doctor because of a good rating
  • 37% didn’t choose because of the bad rating
  • 77% of patients use online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor

Best online review sites by industry


  1. Glassdoor
  2. Indeed
  3. Vault


  1. CNET Radio
  2. Mashable
  3. TechCrunch


  1. TripAdvisor
  3. TripExpert


  1. IMDb
  2. Metacritic
  3. Flixster


  1. Yelp
  2. Zomato


  1. Zocdoc
  2. RateMDs
  3. healthgrades

Influence of social media on online reviews

  • 55% of consumers use Facebook as a place to learn about brands
  • When retailers replied to negative reviews on social media and online ratings sites, A THIRD of customers either deleted their original negative review or replaced it with a positive review
  • Nearly A FIFTH went on to become loyal customers and made another purchase


  • Reviews are not just important. They are critical.
  • Only positive reviews will hurt your business. It’s not believable.
  • Reviews have to be independent to be believable.
  • Some industries are more perceptive (or vulnerable) to online reviews
  • Addressing reviews (especially negative ones) can have a huge impact in not just addressing the issue and preventing damage but also converting detractors to loyal clients.

Full infographic:



Do Online Reviews Really Matter?

 You’re reading this, all the way down. Great! I’m giving you a 5-star review as a fantastic reader!
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