What does a recent survey on website reviews tell us?

Reviews by customers of a business – whether that be their website, product or services are an increasingly important part of the shopping process for many people. With this in mind, a recent survey was done which considers the whole topic of customer / business reviews, and the results / research shows some fascinating things. Our latest blog post takes a closer look at these findings, and the implications they could have.

The survey asked 1,500 people various questions relating to website reviews. The survey covered people of all ages, so was a wide and dynamic field for questioning purposes. Some would argue that this really gives a complete overall reflection on views associated with this topic, so the results carry even more weight.

You often see businesses promoting people to leave reviews. Some may even offer incentives to do so like “give us a 5 star review and take 10% off your next order.” Research has shown that this approach is viewed negatively in a lot of people’s minds. More than half surveyed said they would not trust a business who actively ‘fished’ for reviews.

When many people leave reviews, they don’t often get responded to. Some businesses actively take time and effort to respond to reviews but these are largely in the minority. If this is your business however, the next statistic is something you really should take note of. If a business has been left a poor review, and that business replies with an appropriate and fair answer, 90% of people are likely to give the business the benefit of the doubt. That is a huge number, and is one of the biggest takeaways from this research. Customers can’t play judge and jury when it is one word against another person’s, but what they can do is form an opinion based on how someone acts and behaves.

Another fairly impressive statistic from this report concerns the format and style around website reviews. Nearly all (97%!) thought the best review platforms are ones which offer users the chance to write their comments and also allow them to make a star review on a grading scale. The text element to making a review seems very important, as nearly 60% of those asked thought that reviews where users entered nothing were not worthy of being shown. The take from this is people want to see real life experiences described and explained. Simple or basic review platforms can’t achieve this and it is questionable on these figures whether it is worthy to have them at all, as they are adding little value it would seem.

Are you a new business with hardly any reviews, or a business in your prime with lots of customers and reviewers? It would seem that most potential customers form views about a company very quickly when it is based on reading reviews. Most tend to read around 3 to 5 reviews, before deciding what to do. This is a very short number of reviews, so it places greater pressure on businesses to ensure they exceed customers’ expectations and thus those 3 to 5 reviews that are read, are positive ones.


Beyond providing a good service or experience, there is little that can be done to stop a negative review, especially if someone is totally intent on doing it. Despite what some may think, negative reviews are not the end of the world as far as a business is concerned. Customers are only human after all, and understand that no one can be perfect 100% of the time and that mistakes do happen. If someone can own up to that, this research shows that humility can go a long way.

Webmasters should take stock of all the points that this survey has come to show. Remember that changes and tweaks which set you apart from competitors can really prove beneficial, even on a topic like this!

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