Where Are Customers Looking for Store Reviews?

Uberall study brands that fail to respond to online customer reviews frequently lose customers, as a result.

Uberall Inc. has introduced a new survey showing how shoppers evaluate brick-and-mortar store reviews online.

For the study, Uberall commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 consumers throughout the U.S.

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When researching where to shop, consumers often turn to online reviews of brick-and-mortar stores from customers. But what review aggregators and platforms do shoppers tend to go to the most?

When asked this question, the top-five responses were:

Google Maps & Reviews (51%)

Yelp (36%)

Facebook (35%)

Better Business Bureau (22%)

TripAdvisor (15%)

Instagram, Angie’s List and Yahoo Local Listings were tied for 6th place with 13% each. Yellowpages (10%) was in 7th place, followed by Foursquare (3%) and Manta (1%).

“Google is dominant in customer reviews,” said Josha Benner, Uberall co-founder. “But Yelp and Facebook are obviously very popular, as well. Facebook, in particular, is well-positioned to grow its share here. When combined with Instagram, Google has a real challenger.”

Online Reviews
Forty-five percent of respondents say they have left a review online, while 55% say they have never left an online review online. When asked why they left the review, 64% say they did so because they had a positive experience at that location. Alternatively, 28% left a review because they had a negative experience, while only 8% left a response for another reason.

“Customers can be a amazing brand ambassadors—and this is the perfect example,” added Benner. “I think the perception is that most reviews are based on negative experiences. But our data proves that’s not the case. People leave reviews because they enjoyed the experience and intend on going back. And they want other shoppers to know that.”

One-third of customers don’t return if a brand doesn’t respond to their review.
When asked if the store responded to their comment, two-thirds (66%) said the store did not respond while 34% said that the stores did respond.

Does this change a shopper’s decision based on if a store answered a review? Uberall found that 66% of shoppers did continue to shop at the said store after leaving their online review, even if the review wasn’t replied to, while 34% haven’t shopped there since.

“Most customers that leave reviews will continue to shop at a location, even if the review wasn’t responded to,” Benner said. “But one-third don’t return. That’s a huge number. Brands with multiple locations need to have a strategy in place to respond to customer reviews—regardless of whether or not the review was positive or negative.”