Customers shopping online increasingly look to product reviews written by customers when making buying decisions. These unfiltered comments give a balanced view of a product or retailer’s strengths and weaknesses. Such information would make a retailer cringe, one might think. But, that is not the case. Product reviews allow shoppers to make a more complete assessment about different brands before making a purchase. Shoppers are too savvy to think that a web site that has nothing but positive remarks reflects the views of every customer. Likewise, if a small number of customers have negative comments or views about a product, most shoppers recognize if negative ratings are outweighed by positive comments.
The value of giving customers a voice may be understood, but smaller businesses could be reluctant to add a review feature to their web site out concerns over costs. In the CNNMoney.com article linked below, the company featured in the piece added a user review feature to its web site for about $80 a month. The benefits of implementing a reviews feature are numerous. It gives prospective customers information to help make a decision while on your web site, the importance of which cannot be overstated. It encourages customers to talk about your brand. If they will write a review on your web site, will they engage in similar conversations in other places, both online and offline?
Perhaps most important is that giving customers a voice through a reviews feature is an excellent marketing research tool. What do customers like about your products? What negative experiences are they having? Equipped with feedback from a user review page, marketers can manage customer satisfaction efforts and address problems they may have never known existed otherwise.
CNNMoney.com – “Even Bad Reviews Boost Sales”