A September 2014 study by The Alternative Board revealed that 46 percent of small business owners (SBOs) across the globe are most interested in what other business owners think about a vendor when choosing one for their own business operations.

Other respondents found opinions from these sources most useful:

  • Their staff/employees – 27 percent
  • The vendors themselves – 10 percent
  • Professional associations – 7 percent
  • Online communities – 4 percent
  • Industry organizations – 4 percent
  • The media – 1 percent
  • Speakers at seminars/workshops – 1 percent

Additionally, customer testimonials proved to be more effective in gaining trust of a vendor by 53 percent of respondents as opposed to 47 percent who felt customer case studies instilled more confidence in vendor selection. But don’t be fooled, SBOs expect to read feedback, not just see stats. In fact, 93 percent stated positive reviews and analysis would incent them to purchase products and/or services from vendors. Only 7 percent said rankings and stats would win them over.

Further, SBOs expect to see ratings and reviews from independent sources on vendors’ websites with 70 percent admitting an online review posted directly to the vendor’s website would increase their trust in that vendor.


Distrusting Small Businesses Demand Vendor Reviews”. eMarketer.com. 11/04/2014.