NEARLY half of Britons will NEVER buy anything online without checking reviews first, according to research.
The research of 2,000 adults found that people would read at least seven reviews before deciding to book a hotel, six reviews for a shopkeeper and only four reviews for hairdressers or barbers.
Quality of service (54%), reliability (47%) and value for money (46%) are some of the key things they look for when reviewing before making a decision.
The most popular services reviewed in the country are hotels (respondents leave a review, on average, 27% of the time), restaurants (25%) and commercial businesses (24%), with insurers (17%) arriving Lastly.
Despite their importance, 17% of people admit to never leaving an online review after having experienced a product or service.
Another fifth (22%) don’t think about the potential impact their review – whether positive or negative – can have on a business.
As a result, Checkatrade has teamed up with the UK’s leading etiquette expert, William Hanson, to create “Notice in review” – a guide to help educate the nation on online review etiquette.
Hanson said: “There is a label for everything in life, and online testimonials and reviews are no exception.
“They allow us to check if that hotel room is really quiet as the hotel marketing says, or if the plumber we are about to hire will show up on time or keep us waiting.”
“Information and knowledge is power, but users of these sites must use the review function correctly and courteously for it to be effective.”
Of those who post reviews online, people will write an average of 47 reviews per year, which equates to 2.1 billion online reviews per year.
Londoners are the most diligent (leaving 79 reviews on average per year) and respondents from the South West lag behind, leaving just 27 reviews per year on average.
When asked why they haven’t left a review online, 23% said they lack motivation, followed by not being a priority (23%) and forgetting (20 %) being the main reasons.
Despite this, 90% admit to relying on reading reviews to help them make a buying decision, according to figures from OnePoll.
The research also revealed that people would read at least seven reviews before deciding to book a hotel, six reviews for a shopkeeper and only four reviews for hairdressers/barbers.
Mike Fairman, CEO of Checkatrade, said, “Customer reviews are what Checkatrade is all about.
“In fact, we have over five million customer reviews and have a dedicated team doing spot checks to make sure they’re real.
”With 90% of people relying on reviews to help them make an informed decision, we hope this guide will arm them with the elements that make up an insightful review so that they continue to share their experiences in a way that is useful to others. .”
William Hanson’s tips for leaving a fair online review:
- Share Trivia – Bring some color to your review to really paint a picture – rather than just “this service was good, I would recommend”, share a trivia to illustrate why
- Take it easy – Don’t write a review right away while you’re in the moment – your feelings may change once you’ve had time to think about it.
But be sure to leave the review within a week so you remember all the details that will make it a useful review for others.
- The fairness test – Before leaving a review, always ask yourself “is it fair?” and ‘were my expectations realistic?’
Your handyman is not a babysitter or a janitor. So don’t expect him to sign for your packages or offer you daycare while you’re away.
But arguably not everyone knows how to write the best review, because a TripAdvisor review “written by a dog” lambasted a restaurant because the animal couldn’t have its own table.
In some cases, businesses have hit back at reviews left online, such as a tattoo parlor that left a scathing response to a cheeky customer who threatened to leave a bad review.
There are now fines for fake reviews left online in reforms introduced and designed to protect the public from being scammed.
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