Are your purchasing decisions affected by online reviews?
Let’s imagine you are shopping online in search of an item. You could be shopping for anything. It could be a tablet, toy, book, clothing, fitness equipment, camera, etc. Do you find the cheapest product and decide to purchase it right then and there? Chances are, you going to look at other websites and compare products. While you compare, you may read reviews from past customers about the product. Reviews can be very helpful in the buying process because generally past customers are going to give their honest opinion. Their opinion and experience can influence whether or not you purchase a product. How often have customer reviews swayed your opinion?
My Process as a Consumer
I’m the type of person that takes time to make informed and thought out decisions. By no means am I an impulsive buyer. For example, it took me close to 4 months to decide on a couch for my living room. I must have sat on numerous couches and sat on the one I actually settled on over a dozen times. I also researched different companies online and read reviews. In my defense, buying furniture is a big decision. You have to consider things like the quality, style/color, price, comfort, and space. If you buy the wrong one, you are stuck with it for years. That’s one of my fears.
So let’s say I find something I like online but I’m not ready to commit (not surprising). Generally, my next step is to locate stores that have the product in stock. I am a visual person and need to make sure this product is what I need and want. If I am unable to see the product in a store, I will look at websites that offer free shipping and free returns. Free returns are comforting to many. There is less risk involved. If for some reason I am unsatisfied with the product, I can easily return it and I’m not out any money.
If I am shopping in a physical store and find a product I am interested in purchasing, I will search online to see if other sources have it cheaper. However, while price is usually a driving factor, it is still not the only one I consider. If I can find reviews on the product I’m interested in, that will definitely impact my decision.
Whether shopping online or in store, I want to know why I should get that particular product over another. I also want to make sure I’m getting a quality product that is going to last. Sometimes looks can be deceiving and customer reviews can help you make decisions. The more opinions and research completed, the better. I want to feel comfortable making my purchase. See how important reviews are to a customer like me?
Do Businesses Need Reviews?
The answer is a big, YES! For businesses, customer reviews are extremely important. It is a great way to build and maintain credibility, and also help gain awareness and create authenticity. Not only that, customer reviews can also be another marketing outlet for your company, which can increase your conversion. Additionally, reviews create the opportunity to gain feedback from your customers, whether positive or negative. There is always room for improvement, right?
A company can say how amazing their product is a million times but it can only go so far. You need to have the opinion of your customers behind you. You need fans! If your customers are raving about your products, others are going to listen.
The important thing you need to know is if you want your customers to leave a good review for your company, you need to make it easy for them to go the extra mile. They shouldn’t feel pressured to say over 400 words about your product. They shouldn’t have to go through hoops and loops to leave a review either. It should be as easy as writing a tweet on Twitter. Short, sweet and easy.
This is where our application can help. KoomBoom is an application we developed to help businesses with the opportunity to receive ratings about their services, goods, employees, etc. All of this can be done simply by posting a review and sharing it on social media. With KoomBoom, customers are given incentives for writing a review on social media while in return offering a form of marketing for your company. It is a great way to boost your company’s reputation.
Ultimately, customer reviews aid in the decision making process for consumers. Sometimes reviews can do more than an advertisement or landing page. As consumers, we don’t want to make a mistake with our purchase. We want to be informed and smart shoppers. Reviews help consumers make educated decisions from the experience and input from others.