Many people argue that this is the era of the customer. On average, customers are 6.5 times more likely to rely on peer reviews than traditional forms of advertising. As a result, online customer reviews impact seller ratings, which impact the success and profits of a company. Industries of all kinds, including finance, retail, healthcare, restaurants, automotive, travel, and real estate, have come face to face with company reviews, which result from various customers’ feedback. Eventually, companies can provide seller ratings online, which is a helpful compilation of all of their customer reviews. Specifics exist for how the customers of each industry utilize reviews to make purchasing decisions and how that affects business approaches. The information below offers some insight into three industries—retail, real estate, and travel.

The Retail Industry

Retail is the queen of industries when it comes to customer reviews. About 18% of retailers are increasing spending, e.g., with third-party review sites like eKomi, in order to claim more customer reviews. Shoppers with online reviews, mobile apps, and emails from retailers (with deals and other details) feel more prepared to make buying decisions than shoppers without these tools. Amazon offers a prime industry review example for other retail outlets, such as Walmart and Target, to follow. Since 1994, Amazon has taken meticulous steps to pave the way regarding its extensive customer feedback feature, diversity of products, and fast shipping methods. Amazon is able to procure global industrial reviews from its separate retail websites in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, Japan, India, and others.

As a third-party review site, Yelp! provides basic geographic information as well as customer reviews about restaurants, retailers, and more. The customers who use Yelp! as a resource are 2.5 times more likely to peruse the web pages of businesses with photos than those pages without photos. Customers want to see what they are about to purchase. Seeing before buying is easy business in brick-and-mortar stores with products galore to try on in dressing rooms. However, online retailers have to replicate the in-person feel of shopping with accurate photos, zoom-in features, and, of course, customer reviews. Purchasing clothing and shoes, because of sizing issues, can be tricky for consumers who do not fit into precise molds. ModCloth, an online clothing and accessory shop for women, is known for its detailed reviews in which customers describe how well the clothes fit on them and how the sizing chart translates for actual wearers.

Real Estate Industry

For many people, the first step to buying and/or selling a home involves finding a real estate agent. Traditionally, the key to finding a worthy agent involved the same approach as finding a worthy hair stylist or electrician—through word of mouth from a family member, friend, co-worker, or neighbor. What do home buyers and sellers want in a real estate agent? Some major qualities include trustworthiness, good reputation, knowledge of particular neighborhoods, listening skills, a caring nature, timeliness, accessibility with technology, and connections to a certain company or family member/friend. Real estate agents have not always utilized their customer reviews to retrieve leads, but more are doing so and seeing positive results. About 69% of agents find the lead process from customer reviews to be relatively simple.

Zillow, Trulia, and are among the popular real estate sites for consumers to peruse details about homes that are for sale. As a result, real estate agents who establish a presence and publish customer reviews on these sites can bolster their reputations and, subsequently, their leverage for leads. Agents would also be wise to post additional information about their experiences and services on LinkedIn or a personal website.

Travel Industry

When consumers travel, there are many factors they consider: transportation, places to stay, places to eat, and cultural/entertainment/retailer places to visit. Nowadays, most of these decisions are made, or at least researched, online. As a result, consumers are likely to have multiple websites open in order to compare airline fares and hotels, while also perusing customer feedback about hotel cleanliness, friendliness of staff, and location to major attractions. About 29% of consumers feel that positive reviews are an important factor when booking online for their next vacation. The only factor more important is price.

According to a study, consumers prefer to browse reviews on a company’s actual website as well as reviews on shopping comparison sites, such as Travelocity and Kayak, rather than reading a company’s brochure or other marketing materials. Customer reviews actually double the amount of time (a.k.a. online research) a potential consumer spends on a company’s website. Moreover, not only reading but also writing customer reviews is on the upswing.

About 70% of consumers are more likely to trust customer reviews when they see both positive and negative ones rather than only positive reviews. Negativity can be ambiguous, and companies are wise to keep an open mind about negative customer reviews. Many people are likely to agree that the dirtiness and cock roaches in a hotel room constitute a drawback. However, if a complaint describes a particular hotel as too noisy, then this feedback could seem positive for another person seeking a boisterous night-life.

For Airbnb, a company with an online marketplace growing in popularity for lodging, reviews are especially important. Travelers often rent people’s homes or rooms in their homes. Both the lessor and the lessee are consumers of the Airbnb site. Both parties have to establish their credibility and authenticity in reviews. Lessees want to know that they are staying in quality lodging, and lessors want to know that they can trust their home in the temporary hands of strangers.


Even though each field has its own statistics and history, many similarities exist. As the retail, real estate, and travel sections above show, customer reviews put the customer first. Company reviews help to achieve the following:

- Acknowledge what the customer wants and needs to make a purchasing decision.

- Highlight the pluses and minuses of various customers’ experiences. The negative reviews give the positive ones increased authenticity, and sometimes negativity is subjective—one person’s negative is not always another’s.

- Establish the identity of a business as well as contribute to the entire industry. Oftentimes, when one business tries an approach that works for customers, other businesses in the industry are not too far behind.

For more information on how eKomi Enterprise can help your industry, contact us.