More than half of businesses are not making use of online reviews, yet over 90% of consumers trust and rely on them to help make decisions for purchases or local products and services.

While you won’t have five stars forever, maintaining a steady flow of fresh reviews has several advantages, including to help manage your overall rating, build trust, and improve conversion.

Relations and Volume

The number of reviews you have are important to some consumers. Your typical consumer prefers to see businesses have at least 34 reviews on average before they feel they are able to trust the accuracy of a star rating for a business.

Recency Matters

Not only does the overall rating of your reviews matter to consumers, how recent your reviews are is also a consideration among consumers looking to decide whether to select your business over the competition. About 73% of consumers believe reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant, and 44% say a review should be written within one month or less to be relevant.

Reputation Management

The more reviews you have, the less likely that a poor review will have an impact on your overall rating. As an example, if you only had 5 reviews and a negative review came in, it would bring down your overall rating far more than if you had at least 20 or 30 reviews in total.

You could also say the stats speak for themselves:

  • 97% of consumers say customer reviews influence their purchase decision
  • Businesses with an average rating of 4 stars or better see 12 times more sales than those with an average star rating of 3.
  • When it comes to restaurants, 78% of customers say they read online reviews at least half the time before making a reservation, and 33% of diners will not eat in a restaurant with less than a 4-star rating
  • Hotels that respond to guests' feedback also average 147% more reviews. More reviews mean more bookings.
  • 72% of patients use online reviews as a first step in finding a new doctor
  • 70% of patients say online reviews are as important as a dentist’s credentials
  • Over 80% check lawyer reviews as a first step to finding an attorney
  • Car dealers with an average score of four stars or better (out of five) on review websites received 32% more traffic to their Web sites from Google searches than those with two stars or fewer.
  • 90% of consumers think reviews are more important than any information provided by a salesperson