Choosing a business online used to be simple. Customers would perform a search, select a business near them with a high ranking, and go. But since COVID, customer behavior has become incredibly nuanced, changing the process of getting found and chosen in important ways.

We analyzed our most recent consumer behavior surveys to bring you the five biggest changes in how people are deciding where to put their money:


1. Consumers are placing more importance on local businesses’ online listings. Approximately 31% of consumers say they are more likely to look at a local business’s Google listing before visiting it than they were prior to COVID-19. 


2. Consumers aren’t just looking for five stars. 68% of consumers report that they don’t trust a high review rating unless it’s backed by a high quantity of reviews, and 83% of consumers say that reviews must now be recent and relevant in order to care about them. 


3. Consumers are looking for businesses who can text. In wake of COVID, over 40% of consumers say they’re “likely” or “very likely” to switch to a different business because they offer text messaging to communicate. 


4. Consumers are looking for validation of pandemic-friendly services. Since COVID-19, almost 50% of consumers are reading reviews to validate the accuracy of local businesses’ safety practices.  


5. Consumers are reading and relying on reviews more than ever before. Reviews now influence 88% of consumers in discovering a local business. Approximately 23% of consumers have read an online review in the last day, and 65% in the last week


As you can tell from this list, COVID has come with a number of changes and expectations—but it has also come with a slew of new opportunities. If you continuously adapt to changes such as these, you’ll not only keep up, but also stay ahead of the curve. You’ll be well on your way to getting found and chosen online—every time. 

To read more groundbreaking stats on consumer behavior, download our full 2020 State of Online Reviews report here.

Nico Dato
Nico Dato Executive Vice President of Marketing

Nico Dato is the EVP of Marketing at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers. He fuses his passion for statistics, design, and digital marketing to produce measurable results.

Adapt the way you do business. Press send.