The age of the Internet has completely altered the way consumers expect to receive information. Shoppers now do not just receive tips from their friends and family. They can now simply go online to have information concerning businesses, rate services, and products, and exchange facts and opinions about client experience across a large geographically dispersed and divergent group of individuals. But should consumers take reviews seriously? The answer is yes.
Reviews help consumers make important decision about a business
Studies on consumer behavior indicate that online review is a significant resource for consumers who are trying to find and decide where they can go to buy, and what to purchase. When a consumer, for example, had a bad experience with a service, they are going to post it as a review. When the service was perfect, they will do that. Therefore, it makes it easier for a potential client just to read the review and make a decision whether to buy, basing their judgment on reviews from past different consumers. When many people honestly talk about a bad experience, many potential clients are going to know this. Online reviews, therefore, should be taken seriously by the consumers. They provide a sneak preview of what the business is all about and what to expect.
Reviews as a key source for consumers
Small businesses probably should be thankful when they receive positive reviews since, even when the reviews are not positive entirely, they raise some awareness about the enterprise. Consumers, when making decisions, look at the not only the number of reviews but also the overall rating. Reading individual reviews make them have consumer’s assessment of the service or the product, which they take seriously to make a decision if they want to trust a business.
Why consumers use Internet reviews
Consumers look for information from reviews for several reasons. They need information from others about a service or product. They need to find ways of keeping down costs, reducing the risk of wasting their money on a poor service or product, and to avoid losing their money as a victim of a sham or fraud. They also care about what is popular with others as a measure of their personal preferences. This is why consumers are inclined to take online reviews seriously. They want to get the value for their money, even before they spend it on a product.
Consumers interest in writing online reviews
Furthermore, consumers have multiple reasons for writing online reviews. Some of them are altruistic since they want to share their experience about a service or product so as to warn, recommend and share detailed first-hand information, while others just want to vent their negative feelings plus attract the attention of businesses to find some form of redress for their complaints.
But a word of caution: There are some of reviewers who are working on a competitor’s behalf, writing and posting comments to damage other businesses’ reputation while exaggerating positive image of their businesses. Consumers should, therefore, be wary of such tricks and separate the chaff from the wheat. Otherwise online reviews, when done without malice, are important to consumers and they should take them seriously.