Where are people kindest and harshest in their reviews of local health and beauty businesses?

In this 6-minute read:

  • Which regions of the country are kindest/harshest in online reviews of health and beauty businesses?
  • In which cities are people kindest/harshest in reviews of health and beauty businesses?
  • The cities with the best and worst reviewed health and beauty businesses

We recently published our impact of online reviews on revenue report, in which our data scientists analyzed review site and transaction data at over 200,000 small businesses across the country. As part of the full report, we analyzed online reviews and transaction data at health and beauty businesses specifically, which illuminates what actually matters most to businesses like hair salons, barbers, nail salons, and day spas when it comes to online reviews.

Now that we’ve completed our full analysis, we dove deeper into the data to see which parts of the country are home to the best reviewed—and worst reviewed—health and beauty businesses.

In other words, where do the harshest (and kindest) health and beauty critics in the country live?

Which parts of the country are home to the harshest critics of health and beauty businesses?

Our report involved the analysis of 875,000 reviews posted about health and beauty businesses across the country. We started by looking at what percentage of those total reviews were positive vs negative. (Note: we categorized 4 and 5 star reviews as “positive,” and 1 to 3 star reviews as “negative.”)

81% of the reviews posted about health and beauty businesses in our analysis were positive, suggesting that Americans are much more favorable in their reviews than we might have believed.

With that in mind, let’s start by looking at the major regions of the country.

As you can see, when we analyze the average review rate by census districts, reviewers are generally positive no matter where they live.

The Mountain district is home to the most critical health and beauty reviewers (76.6%). The Pacific, West South Central, and East South Central also see a positive review rate of under 80%.

Midwesterners and New Englanders, on the other hand, are far more positive. The West North Central district is far and away the most positive part of the country (82.4%), suggesting “midwestern nice” might be more than a cliché.

Check out our impact of online reviews on health and beauty business revenue report for a list of which states are kindest and harshest to health and beauty businesses in reviews.

The kindest and harshest cities in America for health and beauty reviews

Now that we’ve looked at which regions of the country (and which states) are kindest in their online reviews of health and beauty businesses, let’s zoom in even further.

To do this, we examined major metro areas where we had data from at least 20 health and beauty businesses, and evaluated the percentage of positive reviews in those cities. Here’s what we found:

Worcester, Massachusetts was home to the country’s most positive reviewers when it came to health and beauty businesses. 91.3% of all reviews posted about local salons, barbers, spas, etc across the Worcester area were either 4 or 5 star reviews.

Trenton, New Jersey was only two tenths of a percent behind, however, nearly tying Worcester for the top spot in the country. Baton Rouge, Louisiana was the third most positive city, falling just shy of the 90% mark.

The most critical city in the country is San Jose, California, as 27.5% of all health and beauty business reviews posted there were negative. San Jose was also home to the harshest retail shop reviewers in the country, suggesting San Jose businesses of all types have their work cut out for them when it comes to pleasing online reviewers.

Colorado Springs, Toledo, Modesto, Bakersfield, New Haven, and Indianapolis were all also cities where 25% or more of reviews posted about health and beauty business were negative.

Which cities are home to the best and worst reviewed health and beauty businesses?

The section above showed us how frequently any given review in each city was positive or negative, but we also wanted to see which cities were home to the best- and worst-reviewed health and beauty businesses.

We started by looking at cities who had the largest percentage of businesses rated 4.5 stars or higher.

Kansas City is home to the most positively-reviewed health and beauty businesses in the country, as 72.5% of all KC spas, salons, etc. in our study were rated 4.5 stars or higher. Neighboring Wichita, Kansas was also home to some of the best reviewed health and beauty businesses, with 70.8% of businesses holding a 4.5 star rating or higher.

Trenton, New Jersey and Wilmington, North Carolina also saw over 70% of their health and beauty businesses hold an above 4.5 star rating—good enough for a tie for 2nd place in the country.

To find the home of the worst-reviewed health and beauty businesses, we examined what percentage of the listings in our analysis from each city had a rating of 2.9 stars or lower.

Provo, Utah was home to the worst-reviewed health and beauty businesses in our analysis, as 15% of their listings were rated at 2.9 stars or lower. Clarksville, Tennessee came in 2nd with 12.9%.

An important thing to consider when looking at all the cities above is how few listings are reviewed poorly. Even taking Provo as the most extreme example, 85% of all health and beauty businesses still had a star rating of 3.0 or higher. And even in the 10th “worst” reviewed city (Honolulu), nearly 90% of its listings have a rating of 3.0 stars or higher.

Managing reviews if you own or manage a health and beauty business

Despite what we might believe, customers are generally quite positive when leaving reviews of local health and beauty businesses—even though sometimes it may not feel like it.

As we discuss in our full report on the impact of reviews of revenue on health and beauty businesses, even bad reviews can be a good thing. Particularly for health and beauty businesses.

While positive reviews show the best side of your business, many customers want to see the potential “worst” side of your business. This helps them feel more confident about whether these are something they too would be concerned about. If your business doesn’t have any negative reviews, it can often look untested or “too good to be true.”

Whenever you get a bad review of your business, try and approach it as an opportunity. Post a thoughtful response to complaints (and to positive reviews as well). This gives you a great opportunity to put your best foot forward to potential customers browsing your online profile. And that can go a long way in helping them feel confident about rolling the dice on your business.

This is just one of a handful of reasons why it’s important for health and beauty business owners to keep an active presence on all online review sites. Check out a few of our helpful guides for managing the online reputation of your business:

A strong online presence helps your spa or salon stand out above the competition, no matter how kind or harsh your critics might be.

Finally, to make this process easier (and save you a lot of time), look into Womply’s reputation management software. Businesses that use Womply average 20% more revenue, 22% more repeat visits, and 10 hours of time saved every week. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!

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