Friday, June 17, 2011

Encourage Reviewers to Identify Themselves

When a consumer posts an online review of your store or of a product or service you provide, that review is more influential with a shopper if the shopper feels a similarity to the reviewer. So suggest that reviewers who express positive opinions of your products also post a profile of themselves. Then link the name in the review to the profile. Anonymous reviews don’t carry as much weight with consumers as do reviews with names attached. Actually, this happens even if the names sound genuine, but are fictitious.
     Following this logic, it might seem that anonymity would be helpful when a review about you or your products is negative in tone. Shoppers would figure the reviewer with the criticism is hiding out in order to avoid responsibility for their statements. This would make the review less credible, and so less influential.
     This is, in fact, how it often happens. But not as reliably as a retailer might expect. Researchers at Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, and University of South Carolina looked at the effects of reviews of restaurant, vacation, and music retailers. The researchers assessed both positive and negative reviews. Some were posted by people who included their name and identifiers such as a photograph or city. In other cases, the review included nothing more than a username.
     When a shopper reading a negative review is unsure about the identity of a negative reviewer, they often assume the reviewer is like them, adding credibility to the review. When a negative reviewer is clearly identified and the shopper already has developed positive feelings about the store or product, the shopper often emphasizes the ways in which they are different from the reviewer so that the shopper can discount the negative review. They want to like the item.
     It’s not that shoppers avoid negative reviews. As a rule, consumers who are having a difficult time selecting between alternatives appreciate—and may even seek out—criticism of one of the products or stores. This helps the consumer make the decision.
     However, researchers at University of Michigan, McGill University, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology concluded that we are more willing to take purchasing advice from someone who likes the same things we like than from someone who hates the same things we hate.
     Encourage online reviewers to identify themselves whether or not the review is positive or negative.

Click below for more:
Make Your Product Reviews Credible
Mind Your Ps & Qs in Reviews
Arouse Lovers by Flaunting Haters

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