As consumers decide which products and services to purchase, they consider several information sources including advertising, opinions of others, and celebrity endorsements. For the consumer electronics (CE) category, an increasing number of shoppers are paying attention to peer reviews. Marketers must learn how to harness this information to improve their brand’s position.
CE shoppers check out 11 product reviews during their purchase process. This sector has long been associated with professional reviewing, a trend that started several decades ago as a way to educate buyers. Not surprisingly, consumers are suspicious of these reviews. Now, about 77% of consumers are paying more attention to peer reviews than to professional reviews (23%). But even peer reviews are subject to skepticism. Nearly 80% of consumers do not always believe these reviews are authentic. About half (51%), believe that the reviews are plants. Unfortunately, reviews can also negatively impact purchase intent. For many shoppers, a negative review rate of 30% is enough to make them move on to another brand or model.
Since peer reviews are now a key component of the shopping experience, enterprises should try to optimize this information source and use it as a marketing tool. When soliciting consumer opinions, marketers should encourage reviewers to provide the following data which holds sway with shoppers:
- Reasonable and fair feedback 32%
- Well-written 27%
- Contain statistics, specifications, technical data 25%
Analysts also recommend that enterprises design their product marketing pages in the form of peer reviews, thus making it easy for shoppers to discover the information they want. Enterprises can also improve the reviews of their products when they actively engage with shoppers and quickly resolve problems. At the same time, they should promise not to pay for or other influence the content of reviews.[Source: Consumer Reviews Wield More Power. Weber Shandwick.com. 7 Jan. 2013. Web. 16 Jan. 2013]