Trusting Consumer Reviews
The internet has allowed anyone and everyone to share their opinion
about anything and everything – including their experience with the
products they have purchased.
Over half of internet users seek out consumer reviews
before they purchase an item, with the hope that their experience
will be similar to that of the person writing a glamorous review.
Studies have shown
that 72% of people find online reviews to be just as trustworthy as
personal recommendations. While seeking out information before
making a choice is smart shopping, a decision should not be made
based on consumer reviews alone. In recent years, some companies
have given away free merchandise in exchange for reviews. There is
no evidence to prove that consumers were told to write a positive
review, but they were
more inclined to give them benefit of the doubt.
Despite the overwhelming numbers depicting how often online reviews
are accessed, there are things potential consumers need to watch
closely before trusting a review from a stranger.
Glowing Results: First check to see if all of the reviews are
positive. This is not to say that a product cannot receive all
positive reviews, but if they are over-the-top, then the reviewers
may have an alternative motive for writing the review.
Number of Reviews: Some products do not appeal to as large of a
consumer base as others do, but if there is only one review of a
product, you are not receiving the variety of experience you may
need to make a decision. If there are few reviews of a product, do
more research and comparisons to other brands before buying
Remember the Motive: Often times when people are not pleased with
a product’s performance, they are more inclined to write negative
reviews than someone who found that same product to be useful.
When people are upset, they are more likely to express their
discontent with others and persuade them not to buy something.
Just because a product has a couple of poor reviews does not
necessarily mean that the item is not worth looking in to.
Check Multiple Review Sites: Navigate at least two different
review websites before making conclusions. There are thousands of
them available on the web, so it would be wise to take advantage
Gather Research Elsewhere: Reading consumer reviews is a good
idea. You can learn about the experience others have had with a
product and that can be beneficial when it comes time to purchase
a product. However, do not come to a decision based on consumer
reviews alone. If you do your homework, you will be much more
satisfied with your results than if you try to copy someone else’s
Plain and simple, consumer reviews can be helpful. It is just
important that you remain skeptical and do more research on a
product before purchasing it. You don’t want to hold user reviews as
fact, but rather as “additional knowledge” before buying anything.