120+ Online Review Statistics You Need to Know in 2021

Updated May 28, 2021



Online review statistics show that customer reviews narrate a brand’s story and shoppers take note. Consumers read, write, and expect replies to reviews making them a valuable asset to your business. To illustrate just how important reviews are to consumers we did research, conducted surveys, and a whole lot of digging to uncover more than 100 online review statistics you need to know.


Are reviews important to consumers?

Consumers seek reviews to meet their expectations and qualify a product or service.

For “near me” searches, a star rating increase of just 0.1 could increase the conversion rates of a business location by 25%. 31
74.6% of people have looked online to find out about a doctor, a dentist, or medical care. 29
66% of Americans trust an anonymous, online review more than they trust a recommendation from an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. 28
74.6% of people have looked online to find out about a doctor, a dentist, or medical care. 29

66% of consumers stated many online reviews make them trust a brand online. 1

27% of people that look for local information are actually looking for reviews about that particular store. 2
When choosing a restaurant, Gen Z and Millennials are 99% more likely to rely on social media and online reviews than are Gen X and Boomers. 28
Buyers require an average 40 online reviews before believing a business’s star rating is accurate (up from 34 in 2017) 3
Shoppers across all age ranges expect an average of 112 reviews per product when they search online. 4

Shoppers in the 18- to 24-year-old range expect an average of 203 reviews per product page.

Ages 25-34 expect 159 rev ews
Ages 35-44 expect 141 reviews
Ages 45-54 expect 91 reviews
Ages 55-64 expect 38 reviews
Ages 65+ expect 46 reviews 4

85% of consumers think that online reviews older than 3 months aren’t relevant 3

Should businesses request reviews?

Customers are willing to give feedback when asked and business’ that do so benefit.

Consumers are most likely to look for reviews on healthcare providers on Google (48.8%) and WebMD (32.8%). 29
Businesses with more than 9 fresh reviews (posted within the past 90 days) earn 52% more than average and those with more than 25 earn 108% more than average. 30
After having a positive experience with a company, 77% of customers would recommend it to a friend. 5

Brands can expect their average star rating to increase after emailing buyers a direct link to submit reviews. 6

69.5% of consumers would take the time to write a review or give feedback if asked by a restaurant server or manager and prefer to leave it via:
24.4% Comment card
20% Restaurant website or app
19.8% Online review site
5.3% Text message 7
ways consumers prefer to write a review online review statistics
57% of buyers expect a business to have more than 11 reviews 3

Do consumers read reviews?

Review content is valued by consumers and influences their behavior.

59% of respondents stated that online reviews from other patients contribute to their decision when choosing a doctor, dentist, or other healthcare provider. 29
78% of respondents focus on the most recent reviews by fellow travelers 33
91% of 18-34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations 3
86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 95% of people aged 18-34) 3
When choosing a healthcare provider, 69.9% of people consider a positive online reputation to be very or extremely important. 29
60.9% of shoppers use Google to find local businesses and 11.4% of use Yelp 8

59.2% of people read online reviews when choosing a restaurant. They are most likely to read reviews on:

29.2% Yelp
28.1% Google
16.2% Facebook
14.2% Trip Advisor
9.8% Open Table
1.7% Zagat
0.9% Zomato 7
Over 58% of customers use reviews to help make a restaurant selection at least one quarter of the time, with 36% using reviews to inform their decision half of the time or more. 7
Overall rating is most important to 41.4% of consumers when reading reviews to select a restaurant. 7

When reading reviews to select a restaurant consumers:

29.2% value positive content
21.8% look for details/depth
7.6% find reviews they like 7

Shoppers are most likely to read restaurant reviews on:

29.2% Yelp
28.1% Google
16.2% Facebook
14.2% Trip Advisor
9.8% Open Table 7
73% of customers value the written review over the overall star rating 9

Why do customers write reviews?

Customers are willing to write reviews especially when they are compelled by their experience.

33% of customers leave a review when the experience was really good or really bad…

25% when the experience was really good
8% to help business/community
6% to help other consumers
5% only when the experience was really bad
4% to inform business 10
86% of customers would consider leaving reviews for businesses 3

Consumers ages 18-65+ prefer to leave reviews on:

36.8% Business website
32% Google
17.1% Facebook
12.5% Yelp
1.6% Other review sites 11

Consumers ages 25-34 prefer to leave reviews on:

40.8% Google
24.3% Business website
19.4% Facebook
14.1% Yelp
1.4% Other review sites 11
51% of restaurant customers said that service was the biggest reason they would write a bad review, with food quality or taste a distant 2nd with 31.6% 7
69% of diners would leave direct feedback or a review using various channels if asked. You can no longer dictate that they leave it in one certain way. 7
When dealing with a local merchant, 34% of customers will complain due to lack of or poor customer service and 23% will complain due to rudeness and a bad attitude. 12
75.4% of consumers are willing to answer 1-5 survey questions. 13
Even with restaurants possibly being the easiest industry to acquire reviews for, over 50% of guests still never write a review. 7

How do reviews & star ratings impact sales?

Consumers use reviews and ratings to qualify a brand for their consideration.

Locations that move their Google My Business profile’s rating from a 3.5 to 3.7 stars experience conversion growth of 120%. 31
Businesses with more than 82 total reviews earn 54% more in annual revenue than average. 30
Businesses that respond to even just one review earn 4% more than average. 30
Low ratings on Google and TripAdvisor have the largest negative impact on revenue for small businesses. 30

The likelihood of purchase peaks at a star rating of 4.0 – 4.7, then decreases as the rating gets closer to 5.0. 6

Between similar products online, 35% of consumers said better reviews have driven them to spring for the higher priced option. 1

Having five reviews results in purchase likelihood increasing by a factor of almost 4 6

The purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270% greater than the purchase likelihood of a product with no reviews. 6

62.9% of consumers were not likely to choose an insurance provider that had negative reviews. 14

55.1% of consumers were likely to choose a local car repair center that had positive reviews. 14

Reviews account for 17% of how Google ranks a local business 15

83.5% of shoppers would not consider a business with a 3-star rating or below 16
49.7% of consumers need to see a 4-star rating or higher to consider a business 16
Businesses appearing in Google’s top 3 local positions have an average of 47 Google Reviews 17
88% of buyers are influenced in their buying decision by reviews 18
Quality reviews correlates to more than a 2% higher conversion rate for paid search. 19
57% of consumers won’t use a business that has fewer than 4 stars (up from 48% in 2017) 3
Positive reviews make 68% of buyers more likely to use local businesses 3

Should a business respond to reviews?

Replies satisfy customers and create more content for consumers to read.

Businesses that don’t reply to any reviews earn 9% less revenue than average. 30
Businesses that reply to their reviews at least 25% of the time average 35% more revenue. 30
75% of businesses don’t respond to any of their reviews. 30
A 30% reply rate is the benchmark for conversion growth to outstrip your competitors. When enterprise locations increased their reply rate for Google reviews from 12% to 32% of reviews, they achieved 80% higher conversion rates in local search then direct competitors. 31
People spend up to 49% more money at businesses that reply to reviews. 30
For renters, 51% of potential residents expect to see management responses to all online reviews. 34
89% of travelers said a thoughtful response to a negative review improved their impression of a business. 33
When a patient’s negative feedback is addressed by the practice, the rate of patient satisfaction roughly doubles, increasing 99%. 29
Review volume increased by 12% and ratings went up by an average of 0.12 stars just because the brand started responding to reviews. 27
Because reviews are becoming more transactional and customers expect a response… increase the number of positive reviews to which you’re responding. 20
…when hotels start responding, they receive 12% more reviews and their ratings increase, on average, by 0.12 stars 21
50% of customers expect a response at least some of the time. Restaurants need to think about how they can start responding to reviews as 13% felt the restaurant staff didn’t ever even read them. 7
89% of consumers read local businesses’ responses to reviews 3

Not replying to reviews risks increasing customer churn by up to 15% 22

Over 55% of survey respondents expect a business to reply to a review within 1 day and over 30% expect a response within 3 days 23

Should a business respond to reviews?

Replies satisfy customers and create more content for consumers to read.

Businesses whose total number of reviews are 15-20% negative average 13% more annual revenue than businesses whose reviews are 5-10% negative. 30
19% of the reviews the average business receives are negative. 30
Employers with a bad reputation ended up spending 10% more per hire. 32
A complaint can be a buying signal that a customer wants to continue to do business with you but is feeling so much pain they are not sure they can. 25
62.9% of shoppers were not likely to choose an insurance provider with negative reviews 14
It takes roughly 40 positive customer experiences to undo the damage of a single negative review. 24
When a patient’s negative feedback is addressed by the practice, the rate of patient satisfaction roughly doubles, increasing 99%. 29
Negative reviews stop 40% of buyers from wanting to use a business 3
Companies that make a concerted effort to improve their customer experience also see employee engagement rates go up by an average of 20%. 26

Online Review Statistics Citations

1. 2022 Consumer Research Report. (2022) Retrieved from https://www.salsify.com/resources/report/2022-salsify-consumer-research

2. On Google, Hyperlocal Listing Strategy is Key to Brick-and-Mortar Success (2018, June 7) Retrieved from https://streetfightmag.com/2018/11/07/on-google-hyperlocal-listing-strategy-is-key-to-brick-and-mortar-success/

3. Local Consumer Review Survey (2018, December 7) Retrieved from https://www.brightlocal.com/research/local-consumer-review-survey/

4. Study: 69% Of Shoppers Leave A Site If Product Info Is Subpar (2019, March 25) Retrieved from https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/topics/e-commerce/study-69-of-shoppers-leave-a-site-if-product-info-is-subpar

5. Customer Experience Leads to Recommendations (Charts For 20 Industries) (2017, February 23) Retrieved from https://experiencematters.blog/2017/02/23/customer-experience-leads-to-recommendations-charts-for-20-industries/

6. How Online Reviews Influence Sales (n.a.) Retrieved from https://spiegel.medill.northwestern.edu/star-ratings-and-review-content/

7. Online Reviews Study: Restaurants & Reviews (2018, November 5) Retrieved from https://gatherup.com/blog/online-reviews-study-restaurants-reviews/

8. Which Sites Do Consumers Use To Find A Local Business? Why Yp.Com Is Facing Headwinds (2014, February 17) Retrieved from http://blumenthals.com/blog/2014/02/17/which-sites-do-consumers-use-to-find-a-local-business-why-yp-com-is-facing-headwinds/

9. No online customer reviews means BIG problems in 2017 (2017) Retrieved from https://fanandfuel.com/no-online-customer-reviews-means-big-problems-2017/

10. SURVEY: Why Do Consumers Leave Reviews? (2015, September 14) Retrieved from https://gatherup.com/blog/survey-why-do-consumers-leave-reviews/

11 SURVEY: Where Do Customers Choose To Leave Reviews? (2016, October 21) Received from https://gatherup.com/blog/survey-customers-choose-leave-reviews/

12. Survey: 8 Things That Really Cause Consumers to Complain (2016, June 6) Retrieved from https://gatherup.com/blog/what-makes-consumers-complain/

13. Big Surveys Are A Big Mistake (2018, August 7) Retrieved from https://gatherup.com/blog/big-surveys-big-mistake/

14. Do Positive Reviews Motivate Consumers? (2014, April 22) Retrieved from http://blumenthals.com/blog/2014/04/22/do-positive-reviews-motivate-consumers/

15. The 2021 Local Search Ranking Factors Retrieved from https://whitespark.ca/local-search-ranking-factors/

16. Are Younger Consumers More Tolerant Of Bad Reviews? Or Do They Just Understand Them Better? (2014, April 24) Retrieved from http://blumenthals.com/blog/2014/04/24/are-younger-consumers-more-tolerant-of-bad-reviews-or-do-they-just-understand-them-better/

17. Google Reviews Study: How Many Reviews Do Local Businesses Need? (2018, October 31) Retrieved from https://www.brightlocal.com/research/google-reviews-study/

18. The impact of customer service on customer lifetime value 2013 (n.a.) Retrieved from https://www.zendesk.com/resources/customer-service-and-lifetime-customer-value/

19. Location3 Case Study Positive Google Reviews Improve Paid Search Conversion Rates (2018) Retrieved at https://www.location3.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Location3-case-study_PPC-Reviews-Correlation-2018.pdf

20. Time to Act: Review Responses Just Evolved from “Extra” to “Expected” (2018, May 16) Retrieved from https://moz.com/blog/review-responses-expected

21. Study: Replying to Customer Reviews Results in Better Ratings (2018, February 14) Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2018/02/study-replying-to-customer-reviews-results-in-better-ratings

22. Google Confirms Responding to Reviews Improves your Local SEO (n.a.) Retrieved from

23. SURVEY: How Quickly Should A Business Respond to a Complaint? (2016, June 20) Retrieved from https://gatherup.com/blog/quickly-business-respond-complaint/

24. The Secret Ratio That Proves Why Customer Reviews Are So Important (n.a.) Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/andrew-thomas/the-hidden-ratio-that-could-make-or-break-your-company.html

25. 5 Good Things About Customer Complaints (2016, June 1) Retrieved from https://gatherup.com/blog/5-good-things-customer-complaint/

26. Customer experience: New capabilities, new audiences, new opportunities (2017, June) Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/featured%20insights/Customer%20Experience/CX%20Compendium%202017/Customer-experience-compendium-July-2017.ashx

27. The Quantitative Evidence That Reputation Management Works (2018, September) Retrieved from https://streetfightmag.com/2018/09/11/the-quantitative-evidence-that-reputation-management-works/

28. Chatter Matters: The 2018 Word of Mouth Report (2018) Retrieved from https://www.talktriggers.com/cm

29. The patient perspective 2019: Online reputation survey (2019) Retrieved from https://www.patientpop.com/blog/online-reputation-reviews/patient-perspective-online-reputation-survey-report/

30. How online reviews impact small business revenue (2018) Retrieved from https://www.womply.com/impact-of-online-reviews-on-small-business-revenue/

31. STUDY: For Brick-And-Mortar Businesses, a Small Increase in Online Star Ratings Boosts Conversion by 25% (2019) Retrieved from https://uberall.com/en-us/company/press-releases/study-brick-and-mortar-businesses-small-increase-in-online-ratings-boosts-conversion-by-25-percent

32. A Bad Reputation Costs a Company at Least 10% More Per Hire (2016) Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2016/03/a-bad-reputation-costs-company-at-least-10-more-per-hire

33. TripAdvisor Study Reveals 77% of Travelers More Likely to Book When Business Owners Respond to Reviews (2019) Retrieved from http://ir.tripadvisor.com/news-releases/news-release-details/tripadvisor-study-reveals-77-travelers-more-likely-book-when

34. 2020 NMHC/ Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Report (2019) Retrieved from https://www.nmhc.org/research-insight/research-report/nmhc-kingsley-apartment-resident-preferences-report/