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The Cost of Bad Online Reviews

Such postings may translate into a $200 billion yearly hit for North American food and retail brands




iStock, Michael Vi

Negative online reviews could be costing North American retail businesses a total of more than $200 billion annually, a new survey by Steritech concludes. The study, involving responses from about 3,000 North American adults and its own data analytics, delved into the potential costs of positive and negative customer experiences for food and retail brands.

Steritech bases its loss estimate on an industry study by Real Control Center, which found that a single negative online review can cost a business up to $3,000 annually, combined with the data in its own survey.

Other major findings in the study aren’t always so doom-and-gloom, however. Those findings include:

  • Just over half the respondents believe online reviews give an accurate representation of an establishment.
  • Consumers are more likely to post an online review about a positive experience (29 percent) than a negative one (23 percent)
  • One in four consumers will visit a brand less frequently after one bad experience; conversely, more than half (59 percent) will visit a location more frequently after a positive experience.

“With a challenging economic landscape ahead for consumers and retailers alike, these compelling insights provide a strong roadmap for where brands should focus efforts to increase sales, capture customer loyalty and influence brand perception,” the Steritech report notes.

Click here to see the full Steritech report.



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