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Online Review Statistics 2022 – How Many Consumers Check Review Sites

by Andreas Voniatis SEO Scientist

Online Review Statistics 2022

Online reviews are everywhere in 2022. You can review pretty much anything, from a hotel to your local plumber. For consumers, these reviews can help them to make buying decisions. But for the businesses being reviewed, they can be make or break in terms of reputation.

So just how prevalent and important are online reviews in 2022? We’ve surveyed the public, looked at search trends and crunched the numbers to present our round up of online review statistics for the year.

 

Online Review Statistics in a Nutshell

If you are here for the quick version this section outlines what we consider the most important online reviews statistics of the year. 

  • Half of consumers in the UK check online reviews before making a purchase from a retailer they’ve never bought from before
  • That represents almost double (26%) the number of consumer who’ll check social media
  • People under 25 are less likely by far to check online reviews first – just over a third of this age group will check reviews, while over half of every other age group will do so
  • 70% of users apply filters based on online ratings when looking for a company to shop with
  • 94% have been put off making a purchase by seeing a negative review

For more fact, figures and context, read on.

 

Do Online Reviews Influence Purchasing Decisions?

The short answer is yes. But let’s dive into the detail.

In July 2022, we surveyed 2,001 people aged 16 and over in the UK and asked them:

  • What sources, if any, do you check before making a purchase from a retailer you’ve never bought from before? (Tick all that apply)
    • Online reviews (e.g. TrustPilot, FeeFo or similar)
    • I ask friends if they’ve bought from them before
    • What other people are saying about them on social media
    • The company’s own social media pages
    • N/A – I do not buy from any new retailers
    • N/A I do not check any sources when making a purchase this way

Here’s how they answered:

What sources, if any, do you check before making a purchase from a retailer you’ve never bought from before? (Tick all that apply)
Response % of People Who Gave This Response
Online reviews (e.g. Trustpilot, FeeFo or similar) 50.27%
I ask friends if they’ve bought from them before 38.68%
What other people are saying about them on social media 25.99%
The company’s own social media pages 18.49%
N/A – I do not buy from any new retailers 9.60%
N/A – I do not check any sources when making a purchase this way 9.10%
Other 0.80%

A significant portion of the 90%+ of consumers who do indeed buy from retailers they’ve never bought from before will take some form of action to put their mind at ease before parting with their hard earned cash.

  • Just over half of over 16s in the UK will check online reviews first
  • Over a third will check with friends
  • Just over a quarter will go and check out what people are saying on social media
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 consumers will buy from a new retailer without checking some sources online first

So it’s incredibly clear that a significant majority of your prospective customers are checking you out online before putting their card details into your website.

 

Does Gender Influence Our Likelihood to Check Online Reviews?

If we dive into the data a little more, we can split out our respondents by gender specified when answering the question.

What sources, if any, do you check before making a purchase from a retailer you’ve never bought from before? (Tick all that apply)
Response % of Men Who Gave This Response % of Women Who Gave This Response
Online reviews (e.g. Trustpilot, FeeFo or similar) 44.16% 56.40%
I ask friends if they’ve bought from them before 34.67% 42.70%
What other people are saying about them on social media 25.17% 26.80%
The company’s own social media pages 18.88% 18.10%
N/A – I do not buy from any new retailers 10.19% 9.00%
N/A – I do not check any sources when making a purchase this way 10.49% 7.70%
Other 0.70% 0.90%

 

Women are considerably more likely  to check online reviews before checking out with a retailer they’ve never bought from before.

It’s a similar story when it comes to asking friends – women again being the likelier to do so. 

 

Age and Online Reviews

We can dive into the data and segment our respondents by age as well. When we look at the top 3 responses (check online reviews, ask friends and check social media) we see some clear variation in answers across age groups.

What sources, if any, do you check before making a purchase from a retailer you’ve never bought from before? (Tick all that apply)
% of respondents who do this (by age) Online reviews (e.g. Trustpilot, FeeFo or similar) I ask friends if they’ve bought from them before What other people are saying about them on social media
16 – 24 37.79% 30.53% 32.82%
25 – 34 53.91% 42.03% 34.20%
35 – 44 53.11% 40.37% 27.33%
45 – 54 53.02% 36.58% 26.51%
55+ 50.65% 40.05% 19.25%

 

Younger people are significantly less likely to check online reviews before making a purchase from a retailer they’ve never bought from before.

In every single age group above 25, at least half of respondents check online reviews, according to our statistics. But in those ages 16 to 24, this number falls dramatically to 38%.

It’s a similar story when it comes to asking friends whether they’ve bought from a retailer before – the youngest age group in our survey is the least likely to do so.

But it’s the 16 to 24s and the 25 to 34s who are the most likely to check social media and find out what other people are saying there before making a buying decision.

Fewer than 1 in 5 over 55s will ever look to social media for the answers when checking up on a prospective new retailer. 

 

Online Reviews for Big Retailers

So we know that consumers will go out of their way to look up online reviews before spending money with a lesser known retailer they’ve never shopped with before.

But what about the big brand retailers? Do consumers go looking for reviews about them?

To establish this, we went to kwfinder.com and looked at the number of searches for the UK’s top 50 brands in June 2022 for their brand plus “reviews.”

So, for example, “Amazon Reviews,” or “Asda reviews.”

We then repeated this process for June 2021 and 2020 as well.

Here’s what we found:

 

Keyword June 2020 June 2021 June 2022
amazon reviews 3600 2400 1300
argos reviews 1300 720 590
asda reviews 720 720 880
boots reviews 480 480 480
sainsbury’s reviews 590 480 590
tesco reviews 2400 1900 1900
aldi reviews 590 390 480
apple reviews 260 320 210
blacks reviews 140 70 50
dunelm reviews 1300 590 880
the entertainer reviews 90 40 30
farfetch reviews 1900 1000 1300
holland & barrett reviews 90 10 10
jd sports reviews 720 390 260
lookfantastic reviews 3600 2400 1900
marisota reviews 30 10 10
marks & spencer reviews 10 20 40
next reviews 880 880 480
robert dyas reviews 1600 1000 880
shoe zone reviews 140 140 140
toolstation reviews 880 590 390
urban outfitters reviews 140 90 140
yours clothing reviews 260 590 480
adidas reviews 140 90 70
b&q reviews 590 390 390
the fragrance shop reviews 1600 720 590
h&m reviews 210 140 110
halfords reviews 880 720 590
iceland reviews 880 590 480
jack wills reviews 90 30 50
john lewis reviews 1000 1000 880
jojo maman bebe reviews 110 110 70
lloyds pharmacy reviews 170 170 390
louis vuitton reviews 50 50 40
majestic reviews 30 20 20
menkind reviews 210 140 70
morrisons reviews 590 480 390
nelly.com reviews 30 40 20
new balance reviews 110 110 90
new look reviews 260 210 210
phase eight reviews 40 170 260
radley reviews 20 10 10
river island reviews 210 210 170
ryman reviews 210 170 90
screwfix reviews 390 320 260
t.m. lewin reviews 70 170 110
waitrose reviews 390 320 590
wickes reviews 1000 590 720
wilko reviews 480 260 140
american golf reviews 110 170 70
boden reviews 140 110 90

 

Over time, review searches for the big retailers have, in many cases, dropped slightly. Though some potential explanations for this:

  • Online shopping increased dramatically over the 2020 to 2021 period owing to various lockdowns and restrictions brought about to combat the effects of the Covid pandemic.
  • Arguably, better known retailers are likelier to be better trusted by consumers, resulting in them feeling less need to look up reviews

We also took a look, for the same 50 big retailers, how searches for their brand term alone compare with searches for their brand term plus “reviews.”

So, for example, when we looked at Amazon, we looked up both:

  • Amazon
  • Amazon reviews

We wanted to see how review searches stack up against pure brand searches.

Brand Pure Brand Term Searches (June 2022) Brand + Review Searches June 2022 Review searches as a percentage of brand searches
Amazon 16600000 1300 0.01
Argos 11100000 590 0.01
Asda 6120000 880 0.01
Boots 5000000 480 0.01
Sainsbury’s 7480000 590 0.01
Tesco 7480000 1900 0.03
Aldi 3350000 480 0.01
Apple 1000000 210 0.02
Blacks 368000 50 0.01
Dunelm 3350000 880 0.03
The Entertainer 201000 30 0.01
Farfetch 165000 1300 0.79
Holland & Barrett 1000000 10 0.00
Jd Sports 2740000 260 0.01
Lookfantastic 550000 1900 0.35
Marisota 60500 10 0.02
Marks & Spencer 90500 40 0.04
Next 7480000 480 0.01
Robert Dyas 246000 880 0.36
Shoe Zone 301000 140 0.05
Toolstation 2240000 390 0.02
Urban Outfitters 673000 140 0.02
Yours Clothing 450000 480 0.11
Adidas 1000000 70 0.01
B&Q 4090000 390 0.01
The Fragrance Shop 90500 590 0.65
H&M 2240000 110 0.00
Halfords 2240000 590 0.03
Iceland 2240000 480 0.02
Jack Wills 135000 50 0.04
John Lewis 4090000 880 0.02
Jojo Maman Bebe 90500 70 0.08
Lloyds Pharmacy 673000 390 0.06
Louis Vuitton 550000 40 0.01
Majestic 74000 20 0.03
Menkind 60500 70 0.12
Morrisons 5000000 390 0.01
New Balance 450000 90 0.02
New Look 3350000 210 0.01
Phase Eight 246000 260 0.11
Radley 60500 10 0.02
River Island 1830000 170 0.01
Ryman 135000 90 0.07
Screwfix 5000000 260 0.01
T.M. Lewin 90500 110 0.12
Waitrose 1830000 590 0.03
Wickes 2240000 720 0.03
Wilko 1830000 140 0.01
American Golf 301000 70 0.02
Boden 301000 90 0.03

 

Simply put, when it comes to BIG retailers, users don’t appear particularly likely to go hunting out their reviews.

Of all the retailers in the list above, their review searches represent just 0.03% of their brand searches.

So people are 3,300 times likelier to search just for their brand term than they are for the reviews.

With that in mind, it seems a fair conclusion (alongside the fact our figures show half of UK consumers look up reviews for retailers they’ve never bought from before) that online reviews are much more of a dealbreaker for less established businesses.

 

Most Popular Online Review Platforms

A 2022 report found that 88% of all reviews come from just 4 platforms:

  • Google My Business
  • Facebook
  • TripAdvisor 
  • Yelp

The top 4 doesn’t include two of the big retail centric online review platforms, TrustPilot and Feefo.

We looked at the estimated monthly searches in Google UK and globally for these 2 to look at which people look for most.

 

Keyword  Average UK monthly Average global monthly
TrustPilot 353000 1270000
FeeFo 7700 11300

 

Despite its estimated 1.27 million monthly searches globally, TrustPilot still doesn’t attract anywhere near the review engagement of the likes of Google or Facebook.

 

Some Consumers Only Look for Companies with a Minimum Online Rating

The same report that found 88% of reviews come from just 4 sites also highlighted data about the potential impact of negative reviews.

Up to 70% of people will use filters based on average ratings when looking for retailers. In other words, people are going out of their way to only be shown products and services from businesses that have a specified minimum rating.

  • Around a third of consumers filter so as not to see companies with lower than a 4 star rating
  • For just over a fifth of consumers, the minimum level they set on filters is 3 stars
  • A very particular 10% filter companies with less than 5 stars

 

Other Online Review Statistics

  • 94% of consumers say an online review convinced them not to make a purchase 
  • BrightLocal found that 98% of people read reviews when looking for local businesses
  • The same study found that almost three quarters of consumers have left a review for a local business in the last 12 months 
  • 88% of small businesses monitor their online reputation at least quarterly

 

Online Reviews are Going Nowhere

As online shopping becomes the default for many consumers, online reviews are going absolutely nowhere. Savvy shoppers are able, in just a click or two, to find out how other people found dealing with a business before they deal with that business themselves.

That’s a powerful tool for a consumer. And as for the businesses themselves, well, unless they’re lucky enough to be established brands already with a loyal happy customer base, then online reviews could be make or break for their reputation. Such reviews will often show up in search too, meaning they can influence both SEO and PPC performance.

So monitoring online reviews, actively engaging with reviewers and, of course, ensuring customers have a great experience buying from you, is absolutely critical for businesses.

 

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