Thursday, October 13, 2016

Grouch If Store Reviews Are Grouch-Free

Encouraging criticism of your store may seem like a strange way to attract customers. But a substantial stream of consumer behavior research finds that a sprinkling of negative reviews adds believability to the positives. Shoppers say that when there is no mention in the reviews of areas for improvement, the shoppers’ trust in the reviews fades. Further, when the shopping decision is an important one, reviews that include both strong positives and a few negatives will develop curiosity in prospective shoppers. The curiosity can lead to the shoppers wanting to check things out for themselves at your store or website. When positives far outweigh negatives, you’ve won a customer.
     Studies at Israel Institute of Technology, Open University of Israel, and Tel Aviv University discovered that a few one-star reviews also help when the shopping decision is more routine. However, the reason it works is different than with the significant decisions. Here the reason has to do with the fact that most consumers like getting less important purchase decisions completed promptly, but feel a need to do at least some evaluation. The researchers found that reading a few grouchy reviews among an abundance of highly positive ones leads shoppers to conclude they’ve done their homework. In the studies, the comment accompanying the one-star rating was largely irrelevant to important purchase criteria. It was the rating itself rather than the relevance of the criticism which gave the shopper a sense of adequate vigilance.
     The position of the grouch in the sequence of reviewers also counts. Researchers at Stanford University and Tel Aviv University considered the case of restaurant reviews in which the positives are highly favorable about the food and ambience, while the negative is about a less central criterion, such as the ease of parking. The finding is that when consumers encounter that type of negative review after a few of the positive reviews, reading the negative makes the positives especially influential.
     Should you encourage grouches to identify themselves? Yes. When consumers reading a negative review are 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 consumers have already developed positive feelings about the store, the consumers often emphasize to themselves the ways in which they are different from the reviewer so the consumers can discount the negative review.

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

Click below for more: 
Encourage Balanced Customer Reviews
Dial In to Dialectical Thinking
Look Simple, But Offer Complexity
Have Comfort with Shoppers’ Decision Comfort
Encourage Reviewers to Identify Themselves

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