Length Matters

March 20, 2019 3:20 pm Comments Off on Length Matters
The Review Solution

How many times have you submitted an online review for a product or service that simply says “Great!” If you have, you’re not the only one, as you will see.

Experts believe that well over 100 million online customer reviews have been submitted with no more than three words. These reviews do little to inform consumers and help them fully evaluate a product or service. On many sites such as Google, literally no words are required! Anyone with a Gmail account can simply click on a star rating, offer no narrative and the review will be posted. Yelp requires at least one word for a review to be submitted, and short reviews submitted by mobile devices are posted merely as “Tips.”

Back in 2010, before online customer review sites were so prolific, a customer review might average 600+ characters. Granted, nearly all of those reviews were submitted from a desktop computer. Nonetheless, they offered perspective. Fast-forward to 2019 and 77% of US consumers now own a smartphone (over 230,000,000). It is no surprise that there is a direct correlation between the number of online customer reviews being submitted from a mobile device and the length of the average review.

Most reviews are now submitted with 240 or fewer characters. This correlates with the number of characters that Twitter allows. Why would that matter? Twitter reports 275,000,000 active users. The platform has literally changed the behavior patterns of mobile users. The other reality is that when a customer submits a review on a mobile device they are in a hurry. You won’t find many thoughtful reviews being written. Reviews are now 65% shorter than they were just a few years ago. They have gone from a multi-paragraph editorial of sorts to a pithy bullet point.

While very short comments may pass for a customer review and even garner the business a star rating, in the long run, they are not doing the business and the consumer any favors. Integrity in online customer reviews remains a slippery slope.

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Moira Balangue

Vice President at Third Coast Interactive
Moira Balangue is the VP of Sales & Marketing at The Review Solution. In the role of VP, she directs all sales and marketing efforts for the company, which include working closely with global brands, national associations and organizations comprised of businesses and business owners, and managing Better Business Bureau partnerships.