Online purchases have increased in recent years as more and more Americans choose a comfortable experience instead of an in-store item verification. Simultaneously, online product reviews become more important as part of the purchase process. But can reviews really help your shopping experience? How can they influence you when you plan to buy a product or a service?
Online customer reviews are now part of the shopping process – after you decide what you want to buy and before making a choice determined by price. They include relevant information that makes your shopping experience safer and maximizes your trust in the seller.
How Online Customer Reviews Work
You might already know what’s a review or a testimonial. It’s an opinion that a buyer shares about a product’s performance, packaging, and transportation. Other said reviews make the internet versions of word-of-mouth. There are three types of discussions, depending on their author:
- Experts: Expert reviews take the shape of articles which thoroughly analyze a product. They may either work as single reviews or analyzes by comparison. Chart-type articles typically consider both clients’ observations and specialists’ recommendation. As researched on TodayBestReviews.com, one such website, charts include everything that makes a product unique – price, specs, brand reputation and resistance.
- Influencers or bloggers: These usually take the form of YouTube video unboxing materials and written analysis. They typically receive the products for free, or the articles are paid. However, even if they seem to address a single product, they usually include comparisons when it comes to specs.
- Customers: They are visible all over online stores. Customer reviews are raw opinions about a product’s performance after the first use or longer time.
Why Online Product Reviews Matter
These testimonials have a strong influence on customers. According to a study, customers attentively read reviews and even provide them with feedback – such as if they were helpful or not. Even though rating systems sometimes have weaknesses, they ease the decision-making part of the overall purchase.
Such information resources can reveal:
- Seller’s reputation. Above all, reviews contribute to the seller reputation. The more reviews a product has, the higher goes the seller’s credibility. That’s why some sellers reward customers who write reviews with discount coupons or awards.
- Buyers’ preferences. Each product comes with a unique opinion. If a buyer has allergies or feels side effects of a particular item, its performance will be in the review. You may notice if the product works better or worse for a category of buyers you might fit in.
- Additional information. Reviews include more information about the products than the product descriptions themselves. You can find out if shipping is fast or done well. Surveys show whether the packaging has an appropriate seal or the product’s current available edition.
How to Use Online Product Reviews to Improve Your Shopping Experience
Your online purchase should be risk-free. However, most of the times, it’s not. You worry about your product while waiting for it. Some ask sellers additional questions, while others are unsure whether the product fits them until the delivery company calls. Testimonials are especially helpful whenever you purchase a product for the first time or buy from a new seller.
You can fully explore the efficiency of online product reviews by following the below steps. Integrate them into your shopping before choosing where to buy a specific product from a seller.
Choose Products with Many Ratings
Items which have many reviews will build you a more precise image of the product. A large number of reports also increases the brand’s credibility as it guarantees that more purchases were already made.
Authentic testimonials usually come with a tick that states that the product was actually bought.
Read all the Reviews
Carefully read all the reviews of a product. However, remember that throughout the process there will be exceptions. If a product doesn’t fit a person, it might still fit you. Notice what the reviews have in common and consider that specific information.
You might discover that shipment lasts longer than usual or if a product comes with an appropriate seal. Some product even has hidden ingredients that trigger allergies which you might find after reading reviews.
Check out the Side Information
Unfortunately, there are also customer comments which are either irrelevant or unrealistic. Check the side information that each review also contains. Most such opinions have ratings – whether they’re helpful.
Also, notice how the seller responds and addresses the issue. An authentic negative review usually comes with a reply that promises a refund or product change.
Go Offline with the Reviews
Gather information from your friends and acquaintances who might use the product you plan to buy. Notice how they feel about them if they work in the long run and observe comparisons.
Offline testimonials could integrate into daily conversations and bring them more relevant information. Such discussions usually focus on the long-term performance of a product and how it works associated with others.
Leave Your Own Review
A good deed brings another one. Therefore, if you purchase a product which arrives fast, flawless and works well, feel free to leave a comment.
Other buyers will appreciate a complete opinion which includes both pros and cons. Leave feedback and help other customers too.
Making the Purchase
Online product reviews are widespread and continue to develop. Amazon is a massive online store which focuses on user-generated reviews. Moreover, the store announced that it would establish the possibility for customers to upload video testimonials. The option follows the overall digital trend towards video instead of written comments.
Both sellers and customers benefit from a well-written comment. While sellers improve their brand and communication with clients, the last ensure they purchase well-made products which live up to their expectations.