Importance of Customer Reviews for Online Marketing

Marketing communication plays a very vital role in marketing products or services. It is one of the means for crucial planning, deciding on and designing strategies for marketing as well as rolling out these initiatives. This also answers the question- ‘How do customers’ reviews help marketing?

Customers’ reviews of the products and services have been used as a feedback mechanism to gather customer opinions about the same. Earlier it used to be left to ‘by- word-of-mouth’ propaganda, or through conducting face-to-face interviews to gather customers’ opinions about products. Now it has shifted to being an online process. 

What is an online review? 

We surely know about the importance of product reviews and cannot deny the fact that it has a direct impact on product marketing and a direct bearing on revenue earned. However, how do we define ‘Online review’? Well! Taking the clue from the word “Online” we all understand that it has something to do with remote exercise, using the internet/ phone. The meaning of the other word ‘review’ is obvious. With its connotation to marketing, it implies existing customers’ views or opinions on various parameters, about the product used by them.

How important are online reviews? 

The importance of customer reviews cannot be overemphasized from the point-of-view of marketing be it offline or online. However, a large number of customers, experiencing the convenience of online purchase, are in the habit of buying products or booking services online. For such customers, or even otherwise, it makes sense to run through the online positive reviews by existing customers, before making the purchase. They feel assured about buying the product already validated by someone who has reaped the benefit of the product. While answering the question- ‘why are reviews important; it also explains clearly why positive reviews are important?

  • It helps the provider of service or a seller of products to improve in getting a better insight into customers’ minds and accordingly make improvements. 

How do customers’ reviews help a new customer form an opinion about the product?

Apart from providing feedback on products to the manufacturers/ seller, there are many benefits of online reviews for customers. Let’s try tounderstand a few of these:

  • Customers feel elated to become a part of your brand building exercise. They feel that their opinions matter. 
  • They are also empowered as valued customers to have a say in influencing the opinions of new customers’ purchase decisions.
  • While providing a negative review the customer has the choice of remaining anonymous. 
  • Customers get social credibility by using a product and providing a review about it online. 

What is the importance of reviews in media? 

Gone are the days when the marketing heads of companies had to wait for the marketing survey report to take corrective actions to resolve customer dissatisfaction. Now customers’ review online on media provides instant feedback, if not real-time, for timely corrective action towards resolution of any customers’ dissatisfaction.

Satisfied customer reviews help in: 

  • Market promotion of products by validating the products’ credibility among existing customers.
  • It also acts positively in the formation of positive buying decisions with new customers. However, negative reviews are markers for appropriate actions to be taken to prevent further customers from being affected due to dissatisfied customers’ negative reviews.
  • It improves the product’s ranking on the media. By virtue of posting a positive review on the media, the customers display brand loyalty and act as the brand ambassador for the product, in turn promoting sales.
  • Satisfied customer review encourages other customers to post their reviews on the media.  

Online reviews are in vogue for very apparent reasons and more. 

  • Itprovides a great opportunityto attract consumers’ attention and thereby increase sales. 
  • The significance of customer reviews is remarkable.They have a direct impact on the sales bottom-line. 
  • Furthermore, it provides instant reaction from the customers about the product’s acceptability.
  • Helps the marketing and customer relations team to understand customer behaviour and expectations.
  • Quick resolution of customer dissatisfaction has been possible due to online reviews. Thus, preventing further damage to the brand.
  • Brand visibility and brand image have been assisted using online reviews.

Online Reviews are here to stay. It has become a very important marketing process now days. Potential buyers online always look for positive customer reviews before deciding to buy any product online. Such reviews have a greater impact than realized by many, on the company’s bottom line. It also lends a platform to loyal customers to indirectly act as the company’s marketing associate. 

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