The Revolution of Reputation Marketing

How reviews and star rating affect conversion rate
Retail is still alive: 90% of all retail sales still happen offline (more than 93,2% of consumers shop at local stores within 20 minutes/miles from home).

By the way, the majority of consumers are going online to read reviews. In fact, 95% of customers confirm that online reviews influence their buying decisions.

So, it is possible to say that online reviews are the most powerful driver to make a buy — nearly half of in-store purchases start with reading reviews.

Consumers really read an average of 10 online reviews before applying to a service or a local business, 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars.

So, the question arises if there is a correlation between star rating and conversion on sale.

In this article, we'll talk about the key findings of a great study that examined 64,000 Google My Business profiles of different companies to determine how star rating affects conversion and foot-traffic.
The more stars in rating a company has, the higher the conversion rate will be

A star rating increase of just 0.1 could increase the conversion rates of a business location by 25%. The maximum conversions are reached at 4.9 stars.
Sourse: Uberall
The graph below shows the annual increase in conversion for small and medium businesses (SMBs), large enterprises and global brands. It is noteworthy that for all three types of businesses that move from a 3.5 to a 3.7star rating experience the highest conversion growth of around 120%.
Sourse: Uberall
Indeed the interval from 3.5 to 3.7 is where every location, regardless of size, achieves the highest conversion growth from one year to another.

More stars are not always better

At 5 stars, SMB and global brand conversion rates fell down, whereas enterprise locations reached a maximum. The largest increase in conversion rate, 25%, occurred for enterprise locations moving from 4.3 to 4.4 stars.

This is also the point where enterprise and global brands surpass SMB location conversion rates. Global brands are almost doubling their conversion rates when their locations move from 4.3 stars to 4.5 stars.
Sourse: Uberall
Conversion rate depends on review replying

Another surprising finding is that review replying means a lot to consumers. So, businesses that reply to reviews win more customers.

The results of the research found that both SMBs and enterprise businesses had nearly the same conversion rate (~3%) when their reply rates were about 10%.

However, when enterprise businesses respond to at least 32% of reviews they achieve 80% higher conversion rate than companies that respond to 10% of reviews.

Although enterprises and global brands have the greatest potential to increase conversion rates by replying to customer reviews, their reply rate is less than the rate of SMBs:

  • SMBs — 25%;
  • Enterprises — 12%;
  • Global brands — 9%.
Sourse: Uberall
The verdict is: responses to reviews provide customers with a conception of how reliable a business is. Based on the assessment, the bigger a company, the bigger the impact that the reply rate has on increasing conversion rates.

So, by replying to 30% of reviews you can increase your conversion rate vastly and outstrip your competitors.

When it comes to organizations with hundreds of branches, it is rather difficult to monitor and process reviews from many sources manually. Professional services (like RocketData.io) are called upon to help.

The number of reviews also affects conversion rate

The chart below compares the number of reviews (average number of reviews/number of reviews with the maximum conversion rate) in different industries.
Sourse: Uberall
The average quantity of reviews in each industry is similar or less than the quantity associated with the highest conversion rates. The exception is Food & Beverage and Retail.

Based on the research data, we can conclude: the volume of reviews is an important factor that affects the conversion rate. Ideally, you should strive to achieve the industry average. Disability to do this could impact conversion rates and cause consumers to question the reality of your review star rating.
Summarizing the above

Improving your star rating is critical to increasing your conversion rate.
To achieve the best, focus on the following marks in the star rating:

  • From 3.5 to 3.7 is the point where every business, regardless of size, achieves the highest conversion increase from one year to another. Star rating increase from 3.7 to 4.4 can increase an enterprise's conversion rates by 80% and global brands — by 120%.

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises attract more consumers on average at around 4.0 stars, enterprises and global brands — at 4.4 stars.

  • From 4.3 to 4.4 is the point where the growth of conversion rate is the highest — 25%. This is also the mark where enterprises and global brands surpass SMB's conversion rates. Global brands are almost doubling their conversion rates when their locations move from 4.3 to 4.5 stars.

  • By responding to reviews (at least 30% of reviews) companies can increase the conversion rate significantly.
According to the experience of our company, no more than 10% of organizations work with reviews and concerned about the star rating.

The facts above confirm: working with reviews and reputation, in general, can not only affect loyalty but also expand the customer base, increase conversion rate and company's profit.

Before you optimize your work with reviews, be sure to check whether all of your listings claimed on the maps and other relevant sources, and the company's data have no mistakes and missing information.
Get a free report on the online-presence of your locations.

Find out where you don't have listings, where the data is incomplete or mistaken