One star, two stars, three stars, oh my! Now that you can find reviews for almost everything online, how much do you rely on them?

I have to admit, I read reviews a lot, especially if I’m struggling to decide whether to purchase a particular item or not. I rely mostly on reviews when making a big purchase such as a refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher, etc., and even when planning a vacation. They also come in handy when searching for a new restaurant to try.

So, what exactly is an online review? Basically, it’s an evaluation shared by a customer based on their experience with a product, service, or their overall customer experience.

As we know, reviews expand from products to all types of services. From hotels to restaurants, and painters to plumbers, you can always find peoples’ opinions and experiences about all kinds of products and services.

Reviews can be as influential as a recommendation from a family member or friend (sometimes even more influential). Think about the last time you made a big purchase or chose a new service provider. Chances are you read the reviews about that product or company.

How often do you read and rely on reviews? Let me know in the comment section below!

Online review stats

Check out these interesting stats about online reviews from LinkedIn.

95% of consumers read online reviews before buying a product
89% of consumers make an effort to read reviews before buying products online
94% say bad reviews have made them avoid a business
97% read reviews for local businesses
81% of consumers say they are likely to check Google reviews first
74% of consumers say that reviews increase their trust in a company

Reviews are a vital indicator of a company’s online credibility, and directly influence purchasing decisions in a major way.

Be wary of fake reviews

Reviews are important as consumers depend on reviews to make, what they hope to be, the right decisions.

With lots of scams going on these days, we also have to be aware of fake/scam reviews.

According to the BBB, there are ways to recognize if a review could be fake:

  • Look out for generic reviewer profiles. If a reviewer has a very common or generic name, such as John Smith or Jane Doe, that is a red flag.
  • Read reviews by customers with verified purchases. Many sites will indicate if a purchase is verified.
  • Examine the quality of the review. If you see that a product has several five-star or one-star reviews with just a word or two written in the review, it may be a fake.
  • Did the reviewer receive a free product? Although free product programs are usually legitimate, if you see that almost every review of a product comes from someone who received it for free, or if the only satisfied customer is the one who received a free product, then you might want to think more about whether to make the purchase or not.
  • Look at the quantity of reviews. If a product only has a few reviews, especially compared to similar products, it could indicate that the product may be less than reliable.

For NCP Panel Members

If you purchase and report a product to NCP, but you end up returning it, you won’t be able to tell us about the return. But, of course, if you purchase a replacement product, be sure to scan and report that purchase. Thank you!



More from NCP:

Decisions, Decisions (February 12, 2024)

Rate of Returns (October 3, 2023)

Be Aware of Social Media Scams (February 2, 2023)

Keeping Cyber Secure (October 11, 2019)

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