Customer reviews have never been more important than today. Almost 80% of online shoppers wrote a product review once in their life. Customers consider reviews more important than any kind of advertising or marketing campaign. An impressive 90% say that consumer opinions influenced their purchase decision.
Consumer comments are 3 times more trusted than comments by experts and surprisingly more trusted than recommendations by friends. Yes, shoppers mostly look for opinions from consumers like them.
It is also very interesting to understand why customers write so many comments. Essentially they do it for 3 reasons:
1. they are extremely happy.
70% of shoppers are influenced by positive reviews.
“I upgraded from the x1phone and I am very pleased with this phone, the more I mess around with it the more I like it.
Apps like Health are now more focused than ever and the heart rate sensor is great thing even though tech reviewers try to play it off as a gimmick – this phone has literally made me want to be more active since I purchased it…”
Mo on Amazon.com
2. they are extremely unhappy.
86% of shoppers are influenced by negative reviews.
“I had my x1phone for years and it was a better phone. For the first week the x2phone had great battery life, but it suddenly started dropping for no apparent reason. I deleted a bunch of bloat ware apps and disabled the ones I couldn’t remove. They literally reinstalled themselves. I disabled the auto upgrade feature, but somehow it didn’t help. If I don’t use the phone and keep it in ultra power saving mode (which turns off all the background stuff and makes everything black and white), the phone is dead by two o’clock PM. I charge it overnight and it is at full charge when I leave for work at five o’clock AM. I bought this because of its battery life. A complete waste of money. I should have kept my x1phone.”
Annemarie on Amazon.com
3. they want that product to be better in the future.
“Annoying things about x2phone:
- It constantly loses default settings.
- Freezes and won’t restart.
- When the phone rings touch is unresponsive and I can’t answer.
- Sometimes when I’m on a call touch is unresponsive and I can’t use the keypad.
- When I set certain apps to not send push notifications, once I restart the phone, its all forgotten.
- The chrome around the bezel is already coming off.
- The brightness in a dark setting is still too bright even on auto adjust. I have to manually do it.
- The piece that covers the charging port no longer seals correctly. Now the phone is no longer waterproof.
- Unless you are wall charging the phone, it’ll charge at a slow 1% per 10 minutes.
- Constantly drops wifi signal.
- Constantly says security update failed regardless of how many times I try to update it.
- When switching to video mode it automatically starts recording video.
- Every time I plug headphones in and raise the volume it warns me how loud music can damage my hearing. I have to click ok to continue or I can’t raise the volume.”
Mariscal on Amazon.com
These reviews are usually the best ones, rich of valuable insights for both shoppers and brands.
In the last years web companies created softwares to help ecommerce stores aggregate and publish relevant reviews on their sales pages. It’s proven that making this kind of content available for shoppers increases sales and trust. Our Wonderwidget, built in early 2014, used to help hi-tech stores sell 21% more (average). Besides text reviews we also added photos, videos, ratings and “pros & cons”. This mix, overall view, has always been our secret sauce.
However there is something even more interesting to talk about. Brands understood that reviews don’t offer benefits solely to consumers, but mostly to themselves. That’s why they started using customers opinions to drive their marketing strategies. They realised that it’s better to hear what people say, and follow a safe communication path.
Today’s marketers mostly use reviews in 3 different ways:
- to figure out if their communication (promise) was clear and correct. It helps them understand what their clients need, and, accordingly, build future campaigns.
- to identify the happiest customers and transform them into promoters.
- to identify and solve customers problems (customer care). In this way other shoppers can notice that they won’t be left alone by the producer.
This is a big innovation, isn’t it? However, in the next article, I’ll prove that brands can learn something even more important from consumer reviews. Something which is neither marketing nor sales.
In the meanwhile, I like to imagine corporates saying something like: “Shoppers trust other shoppers more than anyone else to choose what to buy, so why don’t we?!”