When faced with a difficult purchase decision, one of the first things I’ll do is look up the product online and read the reviews.

And I genuinely believe the majority of reviews!

In fact, I’m not alone in this. According to the Nielsen 2015 Global Trust in Advertising Report , 66% of us trust consumer opinions posted online. Annnnd, 70% of Millennials trust online consumer reviews.

This totally makes sense to me, especially the Millennials’ statistic. Before we spend our hard-earned cash, (that we earned by dealing with shitty customers, or being paid a lousy $15 an hour waiting on tables…. trust me I did both!) we want to know exactly what we’re getting into.

I will read the good, the bad and the ugly reviews in order to make the all-important decision. And I don’t mean, do I really need these $2 chicken nuggets? 

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(Source) So true, they is my family

Its a toss up between spending my money, on a lifetime supply of tacos, or the new shiny laptop that I really need for uni.

It’s really important for companies to target that 66% of us, that use reviews as the basis for our purchase decisions. Product reviewing is a tool that companies can utilise to make their product or service stand out in the market.

And, as a business its also important that you read the reviews your customers leave. We don’t review things cos we want to, trust me we have better things to do…. like watch cat videos (for example, say goodbye to the next 4mins of your life).  So if someone is leaving a review, its for a damn good reason.

Reviews can also help you better understand your products. You can spend hours designing your product, and even using it, but customers may notice things you never would. That means that when your customers give you great feedback, it can give you ideas for improvements, or even insightful marketing ideas!

So what are the marketing implications?

Businesses, don’t be afraid of any negative review. If every review is positive, people might think the results are not authentic (#fakenews).

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Be aware of harsh negative comments. Some people, aren’t as fascinated with cat videos as us, and will spend their day reviewing stuff…..or they’re really pissed off with your product/service. Try to correct the mistake in the product or resolve the situation so that other customers and potential customers get your point of view, when making the purchase decision- Even if its offering them a free gimmick or inviting them back to the store to fix the product.

To those of us that use reviews to make a decision; when you look at the rating, check how many respondents left a review. Sometimes you might see that the rating is 100% , but only one person has put up the review. Obviously not the most reliable rating.

In summary, before you spend your money, check what other people have said about the product/service, most people leave a review for a particular reason, find out what that reason is…they could be saving you a lot of time and money.

I want to hear what you think; have you ever planned to buy something and then read online reviews? Did the reviews make you change your mind, or did it reaffirm your decision?

Shelley Barr-Waanders

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