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Business Insights

Jul 02, 2024

Why recent reviews matter for your business

Discover why recent reviews are crucial for your business success. Learn how consumer behaviour favours recency, impacting purchasing decisions and brand credibility. Contact Feefo for expert advice.

We all know that reviews matter. Nearly every brand, service provider and organisation collects consumer feedback and uses it to drive growth, inform product development or understand their audience. 

What’s more, nearly every consumer reads reviews before making a purchase. A huge 96% of UK consumers, in fact, according to the YouGov research we carried out earlier this year.

So, why are we now talking about recency? Isn’t it enough that everyone is collecting, displaying and reading reviews? 

Well, it’s for precisely that reason that recency is becoming more important. Reviews are ubiquitous, and while the verified nature of a Feefo review makes it inherently more valuable, the amount of information that consumers have access to as part of their research is considerable. And while there are tools to help filter and sort the information, consumers are increasingly looking at the recency of reviews to help them make a decision.

We know from our own research that 44% of consumers go straight to the most recent reviews. And in an ideal world, the vast majority (97%) of consumers said they would like to see reviews that are no more than one year old. Recent reviews are more psychologically compelling – and there’s even a name for it. It’s aptly called the Recency Effect – and it tells us that as consumers, we have a cognitive bias toward information that is presented last. We value recent experiences over historical patterns.

Is this true? I think about my own behaviour when I was in Scotland with my family last summer. One of us had a birthday, and we were searching for a restaurant.  

‘This one looks nice,’ suggested my husband.  

‘But they haven’t had a single review for three months,’ was my reply.  

‘What about this one?’ he asked tentatively.  

‘They’re displaying an AA rosette from three years ago, why haven’t they got a more recent one?’  

Looking back now, it sounds like I was searching for reasons not to make a booking. But really, all I wanted was a recent recommendation or review to validate my choice. 

Our stats back this up. 64% of consumers in an industry survey said they would be more likely to buy a product with fewer recent reviews, than a product with loads of reviews older than three months. And this number jumps up when it comes to choosing a local business. 73% of consumers cite review recency as a significant factor in helping them decide which business to buy from in their local community. 

At Feefo, helping consumers to make informed buying decisions is part of our DNA. We are constantly looking at ways to improve how information is presented to shoppers, so they can access it in a way that is valuable to them. AI has a key role to play here, and I can’t wait to announce some new features and tools in 2024 that will take the Feefo platform to the next level. 

But for now, recency is the trusted metric that consumers are using – so for companies that rely on consumer feedback, a sustained focus on review collection is critical. If you want to collect more reviews, derive the most value from your feedback, or just need some best practice advice, you can always chat to a member of our team. We’d love to hear from you. 

Founded in 2010, Feefo is a ratings and reviews platform that collects reliable and constructive reviews for thousands of clients worldwide. We only send invitations to verified customers to ask them to leave a review, so consumers can learn how people like them feel about different products and services. And companies can truly discover what they’re doing right, and where they can improve. This allows Feefo’s clients to create transparent, trusted relationships and deliver exceptional services that their customers can depend on - every time.

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