Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mind Your Ps & Qs in Reviews

Whether you’re selling green peas in a grocery store or hotel rooms online, the quality of grammar in what is said and written will cue the consumer about how much to trust the recommendations.
     Researchers at New York University evaluated the various factors in online product reviews that influence a shopper’s decision to purchase a specific item. They discovered that among the more important ones were the ease of reading the review—which increased when the grammar was correct—and the accuracy of spelling in the review. Demand for a hotel was greater when reviews on TripAdvisor and Travelocity got a good grade for grammar from the researchers. Sales of items on Amazon were higher when the reviews would have received a nod of approval from your former English teacher.
     The researchers found this to be true even with reviews that included what might be considered criticism of the product or service. Well-phrased critiques build credibility. You want site visitors to trust the positive information in the reviews.
     Research at Stanford University finds that a product review is especially effective when the person qualifies themselves as an expert and then presents their conclusions with a bit of uncertainty. One way for a reviewer to qualify themselves as an expert is to give specific points of comparison of the product with alternatives that would fulfill an equivalent function. Therefore, in encouraging customers to post reviews, say something like, “Please describe some of the ways this item compares more favorably and less favorably to alternatives a shopper might consider.”
     Consider whether you’d like to tidy the grammar and spelling in those reviews without changing the content. Knowing the importance of proper language to credibility with shoppers, online retailer Zappos has been doing this sort of cleanup with customer reviews that appear on the Zappos site. I would expect consumers to be much more likely to appreciate than to mind that.
     As the old English expression urging proper language usage puts it, “Mind your Ps and Qs.”

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more:
Encourage Balanced Customer Reviews
Make Your Product Reviews Credible
Sell More by Being Less Certain

No comments:

Post a Comment