Before buying a product or subscribing to a service, many Internet users consult customer reviews to form their own opinion. Considered more authentic than the advertising speeches of brands, customer reviews now represent a real selling point for companies. Aware of this issue, Google has made available, since 2009, a free referencing service, which allows companies to be visible on the search engine, and customers to submit reviews.
To understand the impact that Google reviews represent today, Custplace considered, between April 2021 and April 2022, more than 100,000 points of sale from 10 different sectors such as hospitality, ready-made wear, banks and insurance, or the automobile.
The challenge of Google reviews for businesses
According to the study, nearly 9 out of 10 consumers consult customer reviews before making a purchase. A statistic that demonstrates the importance of being able to post positive ratings and comments about your business. Thus, the Google business listing (formerly Google My Business), which displays all the important information about the company, as well as the reviews received, is a real engine for local SEO strategies. In fact, almost half of Google searches are for local information (46% in total).
Another important issue for stores: 88% of mobile searches for a local business require a call or visit within 24 hours of the search.
Google customer reviews, a variable impact depending on the sector of activity
To measure the impact of Google reviews on businesses, Custplace is based on 3 indicators, namely the number of calls made, website visits recorded and directions to the store requested.
Here is the ranking of the sectors considered the most impacted by the implementation of a strategy for soliciting opinions on Google, between 2021 and 2022 (see distribution on the image above):
- Hotels, camping and restaurants: with a 50% increase in contacts,
- DIY, housing and renovation: + 47% of contacts,
- Distribution and food: + 46% of contacts,
- Opticians and health centers: + 43% of contacts,
- Furnishings and kitchen designers: + 37% of contacts,
- Ready to wear : + 37% of contacts,
- Car : + 35% of contacts,
- Home appliance : + 33% of contacts,
- Banks and insurance: + 32% of contacts,
- Graduate schools: + 30% contact.
All sectors combined, positive customer reviews therefore generate more than 39% additional contacts for companies.
The furniture and kitchen designers sector recorded the strongest growth, with 15.6% of contacts compared to last year. Conversely, the optician sector and health centers are experiencing a 4.4% reduction in contacts compared to 2021.
Google reviews are not enough to reassure customers
While having reviews on your Google listing has many advantages, there are also several disadvantages to consider:
- It is necessary to have a Google account to be able to submit a review, which can hinder customers who do not submit one.
- The reviews left are specific to each point of sale, and not to the brand as a whole.
- It can be difficult to moderate reviews on Google, which leaves the door open to abuse (fake competitor reviews, spam, etc.).
For all these reasons, it seems interesting to use a complementary customer review solution, which will offer you complete management of reviews, from their collection to their distribution on your website.