Impact of Online Reviews on the Purchase Decision

Rounded Photo of a Man with Dark Hair in a Blue Shirt Denis Khorolsky 04/04/2024 8 min read
customer feedback


Eric Rea, the CEO of Podium, once said: “Happy customers do your best marketing and they do it for free.” And he actually summed up all the essence about the reviews and their impact. Online reviews today are the weapon and the natural disaster that can either save or kill your whole business. There is absolutely no doubt whether reviews have an impact on buying decisions or not; because they do. And there are hundreds of researches and surveys that prove the point.

Online reviews have become a cornerstone of consumer decision-making. With platforms like Yelp and TripAdvisor becoming household names, the influence of customer feedback has reached unprecedented levels. However, the double-edged sword of negative reviews serves as a constant reminder of the tangible impact these assessments have on businesses.

Many businesses have already developed an understanding of what online reviews are and why they are powerful. Some love reviews while others hate; but no one can actually stay indifferent to this phenomenon. With the huge success of big platforms like Yelp or TripAdvisor, nothing seems to work better; but the harsh truth of negative reviews frequently brings everyone’s thoughts back to Earth.

How Online Reviews Impact the Buying Decisions

Let’s push some numbers on you to explain why and how online reviews impact the buying decisions of your customers.

  • The power of numbers. Research by PowerReviews shows that 95% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. The Medill Spiegel Research Center further reveals that products with just five reviews are 270% more likely to be purchased than those without any.
  • Quality over price. It’s not enough to offer just great service or product today; you need to provide an excellent experience. And according to a survey by Podium, 63% of potential buyers are willing to pay up to 15% more for the same service or product if the reviews suggest that they will have a great experience and customer support services.
  • Quality of reviews. A review today is not just a single word “excellent” or “bad.” Current consumers need details about the product or service; the whole truth should be laid out within those shot lines online. And the more positive lengthy reviews a business has, the higher are the chances of potential buyers to stop their choice on that business (about 33% of all buyers pay attention to the length of reviews).
  • Number of reviews. The more reviews online are available, the more exposure your company gets, and hence the more potential buyers will learn about your products or services. Moreover, the more times a person sees a review about a particular business, the more significant trust grows in their head towards this business. And hopefully, you don’t need numbers to understand the importance of this point.
  • Minimum star range. If your previous customers reviewed your business and gave it less than 3.3 stars, then forget about the new buyers. People today are suspicious about low ratings. About 72% of people reported that they wouldn’t try a product or a service with a score lower than 3.3 stars.
  • Response of the business. There are websites where the business can answer reviews. It’s common knowledge that you need to answer bad reviews to resolve disputes, yet rarely do business owners consider answering the good ones. Statistical data prove that about 30% of potential buyers would have greater trust and will to try a new product or service if the business answers the reviews and comments about it.

How to Work With Online Reviews and Turn Them Good?

Now you know some numbers to understand the massive effect that online reviews have on your business. So what to do with that knowledge? How to apply it to your company and its development? How to work with online reviews and turn them good?

  • Encourage reviews. This means that you need to open reviews for your existing clients anywhere you can: your own website, your social media accounts, any other forum or website where your name exists. The more reviews people write, the greater free advertisement you get; and more advertisement guarantees vaster market coverage for better brand recognition needs. Don’t forget that 68% of buyers responded that positive reviews online make them want to cooperate with a local business. So for local SEO and marketing strategy, reviews encouragement is essential for faster development and growth. So, together with local search engine optimization or international SEO services that will certainly help you to increase sales, reviews encouragement is essential for faster development and growth.
  • Be available. As mentioned above, don’t limit yourself to the platforms and web pages you can control. Let people speak the truth about you freely. Go to the outside listings, like Google, Google Maps, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc. Availability promotes openness and proves to the potential customers that you have nothing to hide.
  • Choose listings carefully. While you should be available as much as possible, your choice of the external listings and pages that you use for business development should be meticulously selected. There is no use promoting meat products on listings for vegans, right?

Review Management Tools


Loyoly is a UGC (User-Generated Content) and reviews platform designed to increase trust and sales by rewarding customers for creating content and reviews across major platforms. It stands out for its unique approach to engaging customers through a variety of ways, including unboxing videos, Instagram stories, and reviews on platforms like Trustpilot and Google. Loyoly offers a comprehensive back-office for campaign management, customizable rewards to incentivize UGC and reviews at scale, and a UGC library to centralize content. It's particularly beneficial for its ability to generate authentic content, improve conversion rates, and foster a sense of community among customers. The platform also provides detailed analytics to measure the success of UGC campaigns, making it a powerful tool for brands looking to leverage customer-generated content to boost their online presence.


ReviewFlowz is tailored for SaaS companies, offering a suite of tools to aggregate reviews from every platform, build high-conversion review campaigns, and showcase reviews and testimonials. Its key features include the ability to design review generation campaigns quickly, embed links for easy review submission, and display the most relevant reviews through dynamic, multilingual widgets. ReviewFlowz also offers integration with Slack, MS Teams, email, or Zapier for review monitoring, and provides competitive analysis tools, including access to competitors' reviews and a GPT-4 powered assistant for insights. The platform supports API and Webhooks for comprehensive review management, making it an excellent choice for businesses focused on maximizing the impact of social proof and customer feedback.


Yotpo is an eCommerce retention marketing platform that helps turn one-time shoppers into lifelong customers. It offers a suite of connected solutions for reviews, SMS, email, loyalty, and subscriptions. Yotpo's platform is built to drive sales from repeat shoppers, featuring tools for SMS marketing, email marketing, managing subscriptions, collecting and displaying reviews and UGC, and fostering loyalty and referrals. The platform is designed to maximize customer value through shared data, connected experiences, and retention tracking. Yotpo is ideal for eCommerce businesses looking to enhance their retention marketing efforts and build a loyal customer base.

Addressing the Challenge of Fake Reviews

Fake reviews pose a significant threat to the integrity of online feedback systems. They distort consumer perceptions and undermine trust in the review process. Businesses must be vigilant and proactive in identifying and addressing fraudulent reviews to maintain credibility.

Effectively Handling Negative Feedback

Negative reviews are inevitable, but how a business responds can make all the difference.

  1. Evaluate the legitimacy of the feedback: Begin by verifying the authenticity of the complaint. This involves checking transaction details and thoroughly understanding the customer's experience.
  2. Respond quickly and with compassion: Show understanding and concern for the customer's issue. Craft a response that demonstrates your dedication to resolving the matter effectively.
  3. Propose a resolution: Tackle the issue head-on by suggesting a refund, replacement, or another appropriate solution to mend the situation and restore the customer's confidence in your service.
  4. Stay professional in communication: Ensure all responses are courteous and constructive. Focus on finding solutions rather than assigning blame or offering excuses.
  5. Suggest further discussion privately: Encourage a more in-depth conversation through a private medium to offer tailored support and address the customer's concerns in detail.
  6. Utilize the feedback constructively: View negative reviews as valuable insights. Use them to pinpoint areas for improvement, take corrective measures, and avert similar problems in the future.

Final Thoughts

And the final thought. Always remember that online reviews can be a weapon that either saves you or kills your business from the beginning. Always carefully approach reviews that your customers share on the web and try to resolve any disputes before they grow into scandals. The more positive reviews you get, the easier you will attract new customers.

Rounded Photo of a Man with Dark Hair in a Blue Shirt
Denis Khorolsky
Chief Operating Officer
As a multi-skilled business development executive, I like to share my insights and the latest trends in ecommerce. I produce research-driven and clear copy to unlock new opportunities for your business and keep it competitive. If you want to connect, follow me on LinkedIn.