By Maura Mitchell
95% of consumers consult online reviews, and 82% look for negative ones. If they don’t find them, they assume that the positive comments are fake.
Shoppers use poor reviews to understand the worst case outcome of making a purchase. They are reassured by negative reviews if the issues highlighted aren’t important to them. Additionally, most people check to see if the writer is like them. If not, they tend to ignore the comments.
Negative reviews that are very polite can actually improve consumers’ perceptions of a brand. Shoppers view businesses that receive critical but polite reviews as more honest, down-to-earth and wholesome. It appears people transfer the reviewers’ thoughtfulness to the brand.
It is tempting for businesses to ignore funny, but critical, online reviews. However, these are actually the most important to address. Humorous reviews get the most attention from other consumers.
People under 45 trust online reviews more than recommendations from friends and family. So brands need to encourage reviews, respond to them appropriately, and appreciate the value of both positive and negative comments.