The Importance of Online Reviews & Reputation Management as Covid Persists
Company Added
Company Removed
Apply to Request List

The Importance of Online Reviews & Reputation Management as Covid Persists

The Importance of Online Reviews & Reputation Management as Covid Persists

Consumer reviews have become more important than ever for today’s shoppers, who increasingly go online as they consider a purchase, whether for a restaurant or a major household appliance. As 2021 draws to a close, we look back at a study on customer reviews and reputation management.

Conducted by Podium, the online survey was conducted 7 months into the pandemic, as homebound consumers turned to online shopping – and reviews. Although the survey was conducted more than a year ago, its findings highlight the importance of consumer reviews to a brand’s bottom line – a trend that has only strengthened as Covid continues to shift in-store shoppers to online buyers.

The survey, “2021 State of Reviews,” was conducted from October 9 to October 21, 2020 in the U.S. Participants included 1,543 consumers (aged 18 to 99+, all regions), 455 SMB owners or managers, and 378 enterprise business leaders in businesses with a local presence.

5 key takeaways

  1. Consumers are reading more reviews more consistently than ever before.
  1. Reviews heavily influence consumer decision-making.
  1. Consumers are looking for review quality, quantity, and responses along with a high rating.
  1. Local businesses have to make leaving reviews convenient, frictionless, and necessary.
  1. Local businesses must be proactive about improving their online reputations.

The study is divided into 5 sections. Here are highlights from each section. For the full 32-page ebook, click here.

1) The importance of reviews

  • Reviews are table stakes in winning today’s consumers.
  • Reviews influence 88% of consumers in discovering a local business.
  • 28% of consumers say they have looked up a business’s reviews while standing or being parked right outside to decide if they should go in or not.

2) Review behavior and expectations

  • High average star ratings are still the baseline required to compete.
  • 38% of consumers require at least a 4-star average rating to consider engaging with a business.
  • 3.4 is the average star rating consumers require to consider engaging with a business.
  • 56% of consumers say that a business’s responses to reviews have changed their perspective on the business.

3) New opportunities and expectations

Covid-19 has created opportunities to win new customers online, but it has also created new consumer expectations.

  • 33% of consumers say they have found a new local business near their home during Covid-19 that they didn’t previously patronize.
  • 31% of consumers say they are more likely to look at a local business’s Google listing before visiting it than they were before Covid-19.
  • Since Covid-19, almost 50% of consumers are also reading reviews to validate local businesses’ safety practices.

4) Review creation

Consumers are much more likely to read reviews than create them.

  • 81% of consumers leave a business review four times a year or less; 20% say they have never left a business review.
  • 85% of consumers say that employee attitude is the most likely motivation for them to leave a one-star review.

5) Reputation management

Local businesses feel the pressure and are taking proactive measures to compete online.

  • 79% of local businesses say they are at least somewhat proactive about their online reputation; 30% say they are very proactive.
  • For 39% of local SMBs, the owner/CEO is held most responsible for their online reputation.
  • 54% of local businesses say they respond to all or most reviews.
  • 16% of local businesses say they rarely or never respond to reviews.

Podium powers more than 100,000 local businesses, helping to facilitate millions of customer interactions and payment transactions, from customer-generated reviews to more seamless communication offerings and contactless payment tools. To learn more, visit

Published: December 14th, 2021

Share this Feature


Recommended Reading:


comments powered by Disqus
Smoothie King


Hot Dish Advertising
InterContinental, Atlanta
JUN 18-20TH, 2024

Oct. 18-20, Atlanta, GA. An exclusive event for franchisor CEOs, Presidents, COOs, CDOs and Franchise Development Executives.
More than 15 years of passion and fascination with the franchise system. Thanks to having met many Franchisees, today I can help new ones and those...

Share This Page

Subscribe to our Newsletters