Online Customer Reviews' Effect On Local Businesses, 2010-2015 [CHART]

Customer reviews have gotten more important for local businesses over the years, according to research. And that means positive reviews appear to be having a bigger effect than in the past.

Based on 2015 polling from local search marketing firm BrightLocal, more than two-thirds of US internet users trust businesses more because of positive online reviews. While that’s down slightly from 2014, it still represents a significant increase over 2010 levels of trust in positive reviews. Five years ago, 45% of respondents said they either didn’t pay attention to online reviews at all, or didn’t let reviews influence them. This year, that share is down to 32%.

The increasing import of reviews has gone hand in hand with consumer likelihood to search for information about local businesses. In 2010, just 7% of internet users surveyed by BrightLocal said they searched for local business information “almost every day.” By 2014, that share had more than doubled to 15%, and remains at 14% in 2015. In the same timeframe, the share of respondents who searched weekly also almost doubled, from 9% in 2010 to 17% in 2015. Read the rest at eMarketer.