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Why Do Consumer Product Reviews Matter?

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, February 6, 2013
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Bangalore: Off late, there’s been an undeniable factor causing significant shifts in the way consumers go about making their purchase decisions. Today your customer is more likely to seek out opinions from fellow consumers to guide his/her choices from online forums than relying much on the opinions of editorial critics. (With consumer reviews being 77 percent & editorial reviews being just 23 percent) The definition of a “product review” has with time has been somewhat altered – and savvy marketers now listen to, manage as well as deploy customer reviews to strap up their great influence at the cash register; as reported by Bradford Williams via Forbes.com.



To simply ignore what consumers have to say about your product is putting your own brand in peril. Consider the findings Bradford Williams, president, North American Technology Practice, Weber Shandwick has made in a study, which provides for some key questions on the minds of marketers:



Aren’t many customer reviews a sham? Yes, some definitely are fake reviews.  And, most consumers (eighty percent) say they’ve been concerned about the dependability of  other customer reviews – but they also  report that they balance the dilemma  by  reading more reviews to ascertain a reliable pattern.  On average, they read approximately eleven customer reviews before forming an opinion about a product.



What about those utterly negative reviews some people post? Shoppers say they’re influenced by them – but only to an extent.  Consumers report that thirty-one percent of a product’s reviews have got to be negative for them to doubt the quality of the product.    
 How can I hope to influence thousands of user reviews?  No, you certainly can’t, but that’s not what you should aim for either.  Leverage user reviews – positive and negative — as another occasion to interact with prospects online, offering the resources required to manage reviewers as part of your organization’s online community.



Here are two pointers of engagement for you to effectively deal with today’s online consumer product reviews:



1. Persuade your customers to review new products on consumer review websites as well as the product site, but make sure you set up dedicated resources in order to address customer service issues .
2. Marketers cannot directly have an influence over user reviews, however, they can take notice of those reviews with potential to have the most impact,  and repost them to their own product websites, and various other sites including social media.


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