Most businesses reply to one- and five-star review ratings far more often than two-, three- and four-star ratings, but data released Tuesday shows not replying could hurt profits.
Uberall analyzed Google My Business profiles of 64,000 business locations in four countries to determine what turns buyers into customers. The Reputation Management Revolution global benchmark report analyzes business listings in the U.S., UK, France and German to determine the impact of reviews and star ratings on brick-and-mortar brands.
By measuring the conversion rate of consumers and the star ratings, Uberall could see the factors that turn reading a review into sales. A consumer will search for the product or service they want such as “coffee near me” and find a range of options before clicking on a business link with the intention of visiting and making a purchase.
The higher the conversion rate, the greater the likelihood that the consumer would visit that store, make a purchase and become a customer within 24 hours. Uberall than measured conversion rates against review star rating, review reply rate and review volume to see what businesses needed to do to ensure revenue growth for each location. And while the study relied on GMB data, Uberall says the model also applies to Yelp, Microsoft, Amazon and other rating and review sites.
The findings show a clear link between a higher star rating on Google My Business profiles and a higher conversion rate. For enterprise companies, conversion rates peak at the 4.9 and decline rapidly between 4.9 and 5.0. This is because consumers tend to be skeptical of enterprise locations that have a perfect five-star rating, preferring to shop at locations with four-star ratings. The greatest increase in conversions, however, ranges between 4.3 and 4.4. This is where conversions jump, on average, by 25%.
Global brands were not impacted by the five-star rating and small businesses tended to have a higher conversion rate than both enterprise and SMB until the 4.4 rate. At 4.4 enterprise and global brands start to surpass SMBs and global brands are almost doubling conversion rates when their locations go from 4.3 to 4.5-stars.
While conversion rates typically peak for enterprise businesses in the four-star rating range, between 3.5 and 3.7 is where the highest jump in growth occurs -- and this s where enterprise businesses increase conversion growth by almost 120%.
Consumers tend to view anything below a 3.7- star rating as untrustworthy, which would position a 3.7-star rating as the moment where consumers decide that a brand may be worth the risk.