Is it important to get a review about a product one sells? What benefit does it bring to the shop owners? This article tries to find out some of the facts that lie around writing a product review and how it is related to the buzzword 'Social-proof'.
What is a customer review?
Expressing the experience of a customer with a newly purchased product, explaining about the product's pros and cons, quality, price justification, etc., is the product review. Customers usually write a review in a positive note. Some will mention a few negative issues, which is of less importance. So, a product review helps other customers, who do not know anything about the product or know a very little, to understand the product clearly before they purchase it.
Awareness about customer reviews
Today, people have much awareness about customer reviews. If a customer sits in front of a desktop in search of a product, he knows that he can also see some reviews about the product he is searching for. Someone would have bought it earlier, used it and must have found it worthy or unworthy and certainly would have left some comments about that. So, when he finds the product of his search, he is aware that he can utilize the reviews to make a purchase decision.
Customers, most of the times, rely on reviews. By a vast majority of the shoppers population, customer review is treated as a personal recommendation. They accept what is said in the review, and it plays a vital role in the customer making a decision.
Impact of customer reviews
Usually, product reviews carry details about the products that are not covered in the product description, as it is natural for any person to pay more attention in finding faults. For, e.g., a mobile phone one purchased might have experienced a low battery backup, a comparatively low price for the same variant in another brand, etc., will not be included in the product description.
With product reviews, customers can easily identify the unknown issues, which arise when a product is bought and used. They can identify the problems of one product of a particular brand in contrast with same product of another brand. Both the products are of same type and carries almost same features, but they are from different company brands and might be from different countries. There may be slight variations in price, dimensions, etc. These attributes might be discussed in the reviews by some shoppers.
So, the consumers who are about to purchase the product carefully analyses the reviews. It's an excellent resource. One cannot search manually for a customer who also has bought a similar product and ask for the pros and cons of the product. However, the online reviews, are of great help in this regard. One gets free counselling, on whether it would be advisable to purchase the product or not and if it is worth the price.
Also, a customer knows that if a store has many reviews with it, it has quality customers in its base, and that it sells quality products such that the customers spend time in writing review to the products. This is a credit to the store. Negative reviews sometimes turn out to be positive in the context that the point negative to one customer may not be that important to another. So, it may lead the other person to end up in buying the product.
An all praise or non-negative reviews won't work well for the online store. Customers are smart enough to identify the authenticity of the available reviews.
Using reviews, stores can understand the needs of the customers. What customers expect from the store / product, and how can they be satisfied. It helps stores to identify the products that customers are happy with and the ones they dislike. With this statistics, they can maintain the stock of the products that are liked by customers and reduce the number of products that are not liked by customers.
It also helps them understand on what grounds do the customers rate and review a product. It is a fact that simple performance of a product alone is not sufficient for a customer to buy the product, but it should also look good at par with stylish modern looks.
If the customer is served well post sales, then it will also reflect in the customer review. If it is not, it will give negative credit to the store. So, even if the product performance, price, looks, etc. are good, a poor customer service mentioned in the review will drag the customers away.
In general, customer review provides a valuable data for stores on why customers are not buying its products. If the store uses the data wisely, it can regain its customers. Also, new trends may become popular among customers in the market, and if the store is not smart enough to keep an update with the upcoming trend, it is liable to lose its customers.
Customer reviews are a splendid means to understand the customers and their needs and expectations, by the store owners. It can be used wisely in the growth of a store, provided, the genuine issues that are pointed out in the reviews are not neglected but addressed accordingly. Having the products and the service noticed and reviewed is the most successful step towards running an honest business. The wisdom of the crowd - Product reviews written by customers is one of the types of social proof a business lives.