Monday, 16 November 2009

5 star rated products get my money every time

I was sifting through a particular section of Amazon books when I suddenly realised how many products I was ignoring. Not because of titles or front covers but because of user reviews; if a book had less than 4 stars (out of 5) I was moving on.

Was this a fair strategy? On reflection I figured that, if the book had a good number of reviews (and therefore screening out the extremes), it probably was.

Then I started to wonder why I had chosen this particular filter to select the books I should or shouldn’t buy.

When I start reading a book it’s usually because of positive word of mouth. Whether it’s a magazine review, TV interview with the author or a friend telling me about the latest must read.

Now when I go online looking to buy something I want the same level of trust that I associate with the aforementioned sources.

Is this just me?

Since my time on Amazon books I’ve asked several people how much faith they put in user reviews. The answer? An overwhelming amount used and were influenced by what others had to say.

One person I asked chose their holiday destination and accommodation almost entirely on the user reviews left on trip advisor.

And that’s not all. If the reviews others are leaving (on sites such as Amazon) are anything to go buy, people seem to be following suit. People often leave reviews referencing comments or opinions of others which ‘made them buy the product’.

How does this affect business?

With social platforms continuing to grow online and with people able to share opinions, content and comments on products and services, businesses should be considering the buzz/word of mouth about their product, brand or company and how they can influence it.

Taking a tip from Emanuel Rosen the best way to achieve this is to start with maximising positive customer experience. Enabling users to share and comment on your offering would also be a good start.

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