Posted on Dec 12, 2019

BusinessCreator, Inc.

Consumers more invested in reviews, but also more skeptical of authenticity — survey - By Greg Sterling

Users are increasingly relying on search and reviews when looking for local businesses, the latest BrightLocal consumer reviews survey finds. However, it also shows increasing skepticism of review authenticity and adaptive consumer behavior to combat review fraud.

The survey polled just over 1,000 U.S. adults during November.

Vast majority do local search. As a foundational matter, the survey asked about local search. It found that more people (90%) were searching for local businesses with greater frequency than last year. Frequency and penetration were associated with age; younger users searched more often.

The same was true of review reliance. Younger users (18 – 34) more heavily relied on reviews than older cohorts. Although the groups who “always” and “regularly” read reviews were comparable for the 18 – 34 and 35 – 54 age categories.

Surprisingly, the most common device for local review consumption was desktop, followed by the mobile browser. This finding was not broken out by age group, however. One would expect younger users to be more mobile-centric.

Reviews drive almost immediate conversions. After reading reviews, the most common next step was “visit the business’s website,” followed by “search for more reviews to validate your choice” and “visit the business.” In other words, people read reviews and then either vis
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