Update: Did you see the date on this post? It’s old. Don’t worry, you can find the latest data from the 2019 study right here.
A Nielsen study commissioned by Yelp finds that many consumers report strong purchase intent at the businesses they find through review sites. Now, 92% of consumers who use consumer online review sites say they made a purchase after visiting Yelp at least sometimes, frequently or almost always.
Consumers who use online consumer review sites and claim they make a purchase after visiting Yelp are also reporting they do so faster than before, compared to a Nielsen study from 2014. The number of consumers who report purchasing something within a few hours increased by 212%, and the number of consumers who say they make a purchase after a day or less increased by 55%.
The 2016 survey, based on responses from roughly 2,000 consumers, also shows that review sites drive higher conversion than search engines or the leading social network.
Nielsen Study Findings on Yelp and Online Review Sites
All data points from September 2016 Nielsen study commissioned by Yelp. See below for methodology.
Review Sites & Yelp
74% of the consumers searching online for a local business turn to consumer online review sites at least monthly.
Consumers who use consumer online review sites rank Yelp as the most trusted, most influential and most useful for making a final purchase decision, when compared to other consumer online review sites and excluding search engines and social media platforms.
Purchase Behavior on Yelp
92% of consumers who use consumer online review sites say they made a purchase after visiting Yelp at least sometimes, frequently or almost always.
25% within a few hours
42% within a day or less
79% within a week or less
79% of Yelp users say they are looking for a business they can visit multiple times.
85% of Yelp users share the businesses they find on Yelp with friends at least frequently or occasionally.
Restaurant Ordering & Delivery
55% of Yelp users searching for restaurants have ordered takeout or delivery from a restaurant they found on Yelp
58% of Yelp users searching for restaurants in the past 3 months claim they order takeout or delivery at least monthly
Only 47% were previously familiar with that restaurant before using Yelp
What Nielsen Findings Mean for Local Businesses
For local businesses, it’s important to note that many consumers are finding you online and making a decision about whether or not to spend money with you based on information on review sites including Yelp. Beyond managing your own website or social media accounts, make sure to claim your free Yelp account and, at a minimum, confirm that your business details – including hours, location, and phone number – are accurate and up to date. Free tools like responding to reviews, uploading photos and a business description, and enabling messages and quote requests through Yelp will give businesses the opportunity to attract new customers out of the millions of people using Yelp each month.
Since consumers report making faster purchase decisions, being responsive is a must. Businesses should consider enabling notifications for new reviews and messages through the Yelp for Business Owners app.
Online reviews are only gaining in importance as a resource consumers turn to before making spending decisions. Yelp has added new ways to enrich the search experience and provide convenience for consumers. Now people can not only find, but also book, buy, or transact with a business directly on Yelp through restaurant reservations, food ordering and delivery with Eat24, requesting services and quotes, earning Yelp Cash Back, and more.
Businesses can claim their Yelp Business Page for free at biz.yelp.com.
Methodology – Nielsen Study commissioned by Yelp, 2016
Based on online consumer survey fielded by Nielsen for Yelp, 9/2016. Total sample 2,007 adults 18+ in the US who searched for a local business online between 8/2016-9/2016. Online interviews conducted September 6 – September 20, 2016. Online Review Site User sample = 745: Reported use of a dedicated online review site, excluding search engines and social media sites. Yelp User sample = 587: Reported use of Yelp to find local business (6/2016-9/2016). Data weighted demographically to be representative of US online population.