“A good reputation is more valuable than money.” – Publilius Syrus, First century B.C.
It is well established that online reviews are becoming increasingly important in affecting a business’s reputation and generating sales. Two recent studies detail consumers’ trust in and engagement with online reviews. The Nielsen Global Survey of Trust in Advertising, conducted in February and March of 2013 in 58 countries, asked consumers about the extent to which they trusted various forms of advertising. Sixty-eight percent of consumers reported trusting “consumer opinions posted online.” Consumers’ trust in online reviews was on par with their trust in branded websites (69%) and ranked higher than their trust in TV ads (62%), newspaper ads (61%) magazine ads (60%), radio ads (57%), and even ranked just above their trust in editorial content such as newspaper articles (67%). Global consumers rated only one source of advertising – personal recommendations from people they know – (84%) as meaningfully more trustworthy than online reviews.
The BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey 2014, conducted in May and June of 2014 with a panel of respondents from the U.S. and Canada, explored how consumers read and use online reviews.
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