New Poll Shows Online Business Reviews Are Read by 93% of American Consumers

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Local Business Review Site 5StarControl takes on the topic of a new consumer poll that shows 93% of Americans read online reviews before using a local business.

5StarControl disclosed secrets on a new poll which shows that more than 9 out of every 10 American consumers check and read online reviews before using a local business.

Local Business Review Site 5StarControl said local businesses are entranced with the new Street Fight Poll, in which 93% of respondents said that they always or sometimes read online reviews of a business on sites like Yelp or Angie’s List before patronizing local establishments.

Founded in 2011, Street Fight provides news, analysis, and commentary on what it terms the “hyperlocal” industry. Through its website,, Street Fight looks at the trends pertaining to the crossroads where sites such as review site Yelp, coupon provider Groupon, and check-in services like Foursquare meet. The site not only publishes news, but also conducts its own research, polling and analysis of the market, as well as featuring noted industry experts in interviews and guest columns.

Angie’s List began as Columbus Neighbors in Columbus, Ohio in 1995. At the time it was a small database of local business reviews collected door-to-door. Today, Angie’s List has more than 1.5 million subscribers to its huge collection of local business reviews. Differing from other online review sites, Angie’s List users pay a subscription fee to use the service. Angie’s List employees read every single review, and attempt to maintain review integrity by filtering out fake or biased reviews. Angie’s List went public with an IPO in November, 2011, but has seen its stock battered by investors, trading at little over half the initial stock price.

Yelp has fared much better in its venture into the stock market, cementing its place as one of the top companies in the online review industry. Since its beginnings in 2004 Yelp has grown to serve more than 70 million monthly users, who use the website and associated mobile app to read and write reviews of local businesses. Yelp is quickly becoming one of the most relied on sites for business reviews, with a recent study showing bad Yelp reviews can quantifiably hurt a restaurant’s business.

The results of the Street Fight poll illustrate the growing trend of American consumers turning to online reviews of local businesses to give them insights into where to eat and shop. Local small business owners must be more and more aware of the conversations about them on Yelp, Angie’s List and other services, and act and react accordingly; otherwise, with so many potential customers reading internet reviews, they risk losing both new and existing customers.

5StarControl is a forum covering local business issues in the area of Yelp reputation.

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