Consumer Reviews: Do Your Customers Have a Place to Rave About You?

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Yesterday, the UPS man came to our house with a big brown package for my daughter. She tore into it with great enthusiasm, because she knew it was the Halloween costume she’s been waiting for – the bumblebee suit of any tweenager’s dreams, complete with a floofy skirt, striped leggings, a jeweled headband and wings. It turns out that the costume was even better than she expected. The way she expressed this surprised me.

“Mom!” she said. “You’ve got to go write them an amazing review!”


A New Generation of Consumers is Being Raised to Believe Leaving Reviews Is Part of the Deal

It’s impossible to ignore the power of teen and pre-teen consumers on the economy. While these demographic groups aren’t quite as influential as they were when we all had more money, they’re still doing their best to guide their parents’ purchasing decisions.

Another nifty fact to know: the majority of this generation has spent at least part of their time online playing role-playing games like Club Penguin and Neopets. One of the main activities on these sites is a form of virtual shopping, where kids ‘buy’ items to furnish their virtual houses. They rate and review items regularly, trading things with their friends, and even selling those items for virtual cash. It doesn’t take long for the kids to learn that it’s much easier to sell items with good reviews than it is to sell items with terrible reviews.

In other words, a good review adds value to the item the child owns. This is true in virtual spaces, and it’s true in the everyday world of apparel, accessories, toys, and electronics that our kids enjoy on a daily basis. Being able to leave a positive review enhances and augments the enjoyment the kids get from their purchases – and I’d argue, judging from a quick perusal of Amazon.com – that the same is true for adults as well.

Yet many e-commerce sites don’t offer their customers the ability to leave a review. Why is that?

Sometimes the absence of a review function has everything to do with the business owner’s fear. They’re worried that someone will say something bad about their products or services. By not offering a place for customers to leave reviews, the business owner thinks that they’ve eliminated this problem. However, that’s not true: disgruntled customers will share their feelings on other platforms, including their own social media sites like Facebook and YouTube. By being willing to host reviews on your site, at least you have the opportunity to respond to them – and maybe even rectify the situation that has your customer so upset!

And remember, if you remove the opportunity to complain, you’re also removing the opportunity to praise – just as a new generation of consumers, who firmly believe that you’re supposed to praise pleasing purchases!, comes into their own. If you don’t have review functionality on your e-commerce website, the time to change that is now. Not sure how to make that happen? Give us a call. We’re here to help.

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