Consumers put more trust in customer reviews than other sources of product information, even if reviewers are more apt to leave a good review than a bad one. Recent data from YouGov shows that this trust extends to crowd-sourced review sites.
More than half of the 1,200 US adults surveyed say they either somewhat trust (46%) or have a lot of trust (8%) in crowd-sourced review sites such as Yelp, Trustpilot or Google Reviews. Only about one-quarter (24%) say they distrust these types of review sites. YouGov points out that younger US adults in particular trust review sites, with two-thirds saying as much.
This trust is particularly important for local businesses. Research from BrightLocal found that nearly 9 in 10 consumers read online reviews of local businesses at least occasionally.
Americans are most likely to use review sites to research restaurants — 4 in 10 (41% of) respondents have done so in the last 12 months. About half as many (20%) say they have consulted a crowd-sourced review website like Rotten Tomatoes or IMDB to research movies in the past year. Others have used review websites to research travel accommodations (16%), employers or workplaces (16%), travel destinations (15%), tech products (14%), healthcare providers (14%), vehicle models (13%) and video games (13%).
Not only do consumers generally trust these review sites, but they also find them to be useful. Some 21% of respondents say that crowd-sourced reviews websites are very useful, while close to 3 in 5 (57%) say they are somewhat useful.
About the Data: Findings are based on an April 2021 survey of 1,200 US adults.