Years ago, you just hoped you bought the right product. There was a certain amount of information available, and word of mouth and personal recommendation carried a lot of weight. In 1995 Amazon was the first organization to request online reviews from customers. This began a trend that has been largely adopted across the marketplace.
If someone publishes a book on Amazon for example, their priority is to get as many reviews as possible. It boosts customer confidence but also helps your book rise the search engines.
If you are a company selling substandard products and receiving a high degree of complaints, you will make yourself vulnerable if you allow people to post reviews anywhere online. From a potential customer perspective, this provides an added protection!
Let’s have a look at five big named product review websites – Amazon, Google My Business, Facebook, Trip Advisor, and Yellow Pages. There are many other large players, but we will cover these.
As we have already touched on, Amazon was the forerunner of e-commerce. They are a massive global concern, and they diligently studied what their customers want, as well as their reviews. Interestingly, people use Amazon for reviews even if they don’t intend to buy the product.
Amazon began to request online reviews for its different products and advised the public how to do it. In turn, customers felt like their opinion mattered. Amazon treated them as they were valued customers who had a right to an opinion. Amazon isn’t just about books like it may have seemed once. You can buy masses of things from them, and write a review for everyone to see.
First of all you are asked to select a star rating, and then write an optional set of comments. I expect you have submitted reviews yourself and read other peoples’ on occasion. You can also advise Amazon if a review was ‘most helpful’. This will float to the top along with the most recent review for that product.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
This has been rated as a top American product review site. Any business can use this for free to manage their presence online. If a product review website uses advanced technological data to produce the daily ‘spot’ price for residential property, it is crucial that the information given is accurate. Google My Business obtains trustworthy information from companies that others can rely on. For this reason, companies have to set up verified accounts with local directories.
Customers have the option to leave reviews on the site. Interestingly, Google Maps draws review information into the app to assist potential customers.
Facebook is a massive social media platform where people post, comment and share a host of different things. Businesses have also harnessed its power by creating business profiles to create an online presence and raise brand awareness. Facebook advertising is big business too.
You can post a review on Facebook, and some people even post photos showing broken products or packaging. You can also decide who will be able to access your review – if it’s to be private, just seen by your friends or seen by anyone.
This is the biggest travel site in the world and you can book rooms, restaurants, entertainment, and flights. Half a billion monthly travelers use this site. Before you proceed to book, you can view a host of comments from previous customers. Imagine getting information on the flight, the food and accommodation, any travel links and excursions all in one go. The site also contains helpful holiday and travel information. Understandably, it’s a goldmine of information. Your reviews help others, and others’ reviews help you.
This used to be a yellow book but has now grown into a huge online directory. Businesses can choose to feature in the listings, and millions have. The site covers finance, health and medical, pets, home and garden, legal and automotive. It’s good for your business to feature here, and there are financial gains in turn for your local community.
As with the other sites we’ve covered, you can review whoever you’ve had dealings with. They state that you can’t get in trouble for posting an adverse review. You can also read about top reviewers and the most reviewed businesses as well. Huge companies like those named above indirectly serve as watchdogs for potential customers. If you’re the first person to review something, you have taken a chance with your purchase (but you may be able to get a refund!) but at least the next person will have an opinion to consider. Reviews are valuable and they are here to stay.