Digital Retailing: Understanding and Communicating with the e-Consumer

Consumer reviews are an important part of the buying process in the digital age we live in now. With the rise of e-commerce and online marketplaces, customers can now easily find a lot of information about products and services before making a purchase. Consumer reviews, in particular, have become a powerful way for customers to make well-informed decisions and for businesses to learn important things about their products and services. Customer reviews also have an important effect on businesses. Positive reviews can help a business make more money and sell more products, while negative reviews can do the opposite. Dimensional Research did a study and found that 90% of people said that online reviews affected their decisions about what to buy. Also, businesses that responded to reviews saw their sales go up by an average of 9%. This shows how important it is for businesses to keep an eye on their reviews and respond to them quickly (Pantano et. al, 2017).

How many reviews is just right?

Depending on the product or service, the best number of reviews can be different, but in general, having a lot of reviews is good for both customers and businesses. Customers can learn more about a product or service if there are a lot of reviews because they can read about it from different people’s points of view. This can help customers make better decisions about what to buy. Also, businesses can learn a lot about their products and services from a lot of reviews because they can see what complaints and feedback customers have in common.

But it’s important to remember that both the number and the quality of reviews are important. Even if a product or service has a lot of reviews, that doesn’t mean it’s good. A business should also think about the average rating of the reviews and whether or not the reviews are real. Also, when there are a lot of reviews, it can be hard for businesses to respond to each one, so it’s important for them to have a system in place to manage the reviews and respond to them quickly.

In general, 10 to 20 reviews is a good number of reviews for an item. This number lets customers see different points of view and experiences and makes it easier for businesses to keep track of the reviews and respond to them. And also think about how real the reviews are, since fake reviews can lead customers astray and hurt the business’s reputation (Lin, 2022).

Authenticity

It’s important to think about how real the reviews are, because that can have a big effect on how much you trust and believe them. Fake reviews can come from a number of places, like competitors, paid reviewers, or even the business itself. These fake reviews can be used to change a business’s ratings and reputation, which can make customers buy from that business without knowing enough about it. Businesses should know that fake reviews are possible, and customers should be wary of reviews that seem too positive or too negative. There are several ways to spot fake reviews, such as looking for patterns of similar language or reviews that seem to be fake. Companies that verify reviews from the outside can also be used to make sure that reviews are real (Lin, 2022).

Recent Reviews

In recent product reviews, the number of customers leaving reviews on Amazon, Yelp, and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. has gone up. These reviews have been about a wide range of products and services, such as electronics, home appliances, fashion, food and drinks, travel, and more.

Customers have been writing reviews of new products like smartphones, laptops, and smart home devices. The focus of these reviews has been on the products’ newest features, designs, and overall performance. Many customers have also left reviews on new products, like the latest gaming consoles, giving feedback on the graphics, gameplay, and overall experience.

In the fashion and beauty industries, customers have been writing reviews of the newest clothing and makeup lines. Many of these reviews praise the products’ quality, fit, and style. Customers have been leaving reviews of the newest restaurants, cafes, and food delivery services. Many of these reviews praise the quality of the food and how quickly it is delivered.

Overall, recent product reviews have been giving customers useful information about the latest products and services and giving businesses valuable feedback that they can use to improve their products and services. The growing importance of customer reviews for businesses is also shown by the number of reviews that have been posted recently on different sites (Mantz, 2021).

Photos and Video Included

Photos and videos have become important parts of customer reviews because they give customers a better idea of what the product or service looks like. They can help customers learn more about an item they are thinking about buying, and they can also tell customers things that may not be in the written review. A photo of a product, for example, can show its size, color, and details, while a video can show how the product works in action. Photos and videos can also be used to show how good the product or service is, which can help the business gain trust and credibility. But businesses should know if the photos and videos are real and make sure they are not misleading or changed in any way so they don’t trick customers (Mantz, 2021).

Products in Real Life

Product reviews can tell you a lot about how a product works in the real world. As customers use a product, they often learn more about its features, how it works, and how it works overall in a variety of situations. This information can be put in reviews, which can help people who are thinking about buying the product. For example, a customer who writes a review about a vacuum cleaner’s suction power, how easy it is to use, and how well it picks up pet hair can tell you a lot about how the product works in real life.

Customers often give detailed information about how a product works, including its pros and cons, which can help other customers make better decisions about what to buy. For example, a customer who writes a review about a camera’s image quality, how well it works in low light, and how long the battery lasts can be helpful to someone who wants a camera for a specific purpose, like taking pictures in low light.

Also, product reviews can tell you how a product works in different situations and how people use it. This can be helpful for people who have specific needs or preferences. For example, a customer who writes a review about how long-lasting, water-resistant, and comfortable a backpack is while hiking can be helpful to someone looking for a backpack for outdoor activities.

Product reviews can tell you a lot about how a product works in the real world. They can help customers decide what to buy by giving information about a product’s performance, how it works, and its overall quality. Customers should read reviews from a variety of sources and over different time periods to get a better idea of how a product works in real life (Mantz, 2021).

Negative Reviews

Even though bad reviews of a product might seem like a bad thing for a business, they can actually be helpful in the long run. First of all, businesses can learn a lot from bad reviews, which helps them find problems with their products or services and fix them. This can lead to changes that make the product better and make customers happier.

Second, bad reviews can also make good reviews of a product more credible and trustworthy. People are more likely to trust a product that has both good and bad reviews. This is because it shows that the reviews are real and not made up. Also, bad reviews can help customers make better decisions about what to buy by giving them a more balanced view of the product.

Lastly, responding to and fixing bad reviews can also help a business’s reputation. A business that takes the time to respond to bad reviews and address customer concerns shows that they care about customer satisfaction and are willing to take steps to improve their products or services. This can make customers more loyal and spread good word of mouth about your business.

Even though it might not seem like it, bad reviews of products can be good for businesses. They can give useful feedback, boost the credibility of good reviews, and help a business’s reputation. Businesses should keep an eye on bad reviews and respond to them quickly to show that they care about their customers and want to get better (Mantz, 2021).

Conclusion

In the end, reviews from customers have become an important part of the buying process for both customers and businesses. They give customers important information that helps them make good decisions and give businesses important information about their products and services. Consumer reviews have a big effect on businesses. To stay competitive in the digital age, businesses should keep an eye on their reviews and respond to them quickly. Also, businesses should be aware of the quality of the reviews and the possibility that some of them could be fake. Overall, customer reviews have become a useful tool for both customers and businesses, and they will continue to affect how we choose what to buy.

References:

Mantz. (2021, December 2). Beyond star ratings: 10 things consumers should look for in product reviews. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://vocalvideo.com/resources/beyond-star-ratings-10-things-consumers-should-look-product-reviews/

Lin. (2022, December 4). 10 Online Review Statistics You Need to Know in 2023 – Oberlo. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://www.oberlo.com/blog/online-review-statistics

Eleonora Pantano, Bang Nguyen, Charles Dennis, & Sabine Gerlach. (2017). Internet Retailing and Future Perspectives: Vol. Second edition. Routledge.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Ben Wilder

    Hello Jordan,
    I also did my blog post based on the topic of customer reviews. After writing my own post and reading your post based on the topic, the impact of customer reviews has become very apparent to me the last few days. One thing I would like to point out is how strongly customers tend to trust customer reviews. Almost 90% of people being affected by consumer reviews during the purchasing process is wild to me, I never would have realized how reliant consumers are to customer reviews. Personally, I tend to value the opinions of friends and family more than a review from the internet. But in the past, there have been situations where customer reviews have helped steer me away from a potentially faulty product, so it is not like I completely avoid them. I also liked how you mentioned the use of photos and videos can make customer reviews seem more trustworthy. In a survey I found that asked how visual content can influence customers, it was found that 62% of customers were more likely to purchase if they see photos and videos from reviews who bought the product. (Salazar, 2021). This makes perfect sense as with the use of real customer’s photos and video, other customers are allowed to see the product in a way that is not highly marketed, or the actual size of the product compared to other similar products. Both consumer photo and video are typically marketing tools that businesses tend to stay away from, even though it can be beneficial if there is enough faith in the product quality and the consumer’s enjoyment for the product. Another point from your blog post that I thought was interesting was the paragraph about recent reviews. I agree with you that it can be helpful to look at recent reviews in order to get a greater understanding of a product. I could see recent reviews being most helpful when buying a video game that was recently released as generally you can find a general opinion of the game’s quality when looking through all the reviews posted on the internet. Lastly, I would like to ask a question, have any of your recent purchases been influenced by a customer review and if so, in what way did the review influence your decision.
    References:
    Salazar, D. (2021, December 9). Survey highlights importance of user-generated product reviews, images. Store Brands. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from https://storebrands.com/survey-highlights-importance-user-generated-product-reviews-images

  2. Sergio Jaramillo

    Hello, Jordan thank you for your input on customer reviews and just how important they are for online retailing businesses. I would like to start off by saying that I agree with the relative importance of a business having the ability for customers to be able to give reviews on their product or service. They allow consumers to make better decisions when purchasing online by giving them more useful information during the shopping process. One of the problems that comes with e-retail is the fact that there are perceived risks by the consumer involved with purchasing items online. Consumers are not able to feel or touch any product or item before making a purchase and if they do end up purchasing the merchandise and not liking it then they face having to deal with delivery and how to return the product through shipping. Having something like a video or photo as well as comments provided by other genuine consumers provides a better sense of trust and authenticity in the product and the consumer is less likely to not be satisfied with their purchase. One of the biggest barriers to online shopping is economic risk and the probability of making a poor purchase decision. (Pentane, 2017). Customer reviews allow for those consumers who are hesitant to make a purchase to feel more at ease and secure with their purchase.

    I want to point out that customer reviews that are negative do seem to have a way of making most people think they should be completely avoided and are all bad, but I like how you put into the spotlight the advantages and ways a business can turn these negative reviews into a positive for their business. It is beneficial for the business themselves so that if they do get many of the same complaints about their product they can find ways to change or improve it. In addition it does help to give a better sense of credibility as nothing but positive reviews that seem worded the same can make it seem unauthentic from a consumers perspective. Although, it is worth mentioning that smaller businesses don’t get a huge number of reviews, therefore, even a few negative comments can have a significant effect on public perception. (Kassabov, 2019). To add to this many customers are quick to voice their opinions when they are upset more than any other time so it is important for a business to show that they are listening to these complaints and addressing them.

    Overall, customer reviews are becoming more integral as businesses must immerse themselves into online retailing to stay competitive in today’s world. Customer reviews are a useful tool for a business to communicate and understand it’s customers and provide them with a satisfactory product/service and online shopping experience.

    References:
    Kassabov, K. (2019, July 24). Council post: How to deal with negative reviews. Forbes. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2019/07/24/how-to-deal-with-negative-reviews/?sh=3f956af63ea3
    Pantano, E., Nguyen, B., Dennis, C. E., Merrilees, B., & Gerlach, S. (2017). Internet retailing and future perspectives. Routledge.

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