Customer Review Sites are a necessary ingredient in any buying decisions. They alert consumers to faulty products, best buys, and wanted features. Many consumers have made seeking out reviews a needed part of the purchasing process. They are enabled to not only understand the products they are buying, but what to expect from various models and brands.
This not only applies to in-store and Internet products being purchased. It also applies to consumers traveling, go out for an evening, shopping for the best place to get a hair cut. Any type of service can be scrutinized and reviewed dependent on the buyer’s personal experience while receiving the service. Many of these review sites have changed from a simple review to now looking a lot more like consumer advocacy and reporting than ever before.
Businesses are also understanding the invaluable nature of these sites. As such, some bundle reviews and offer marketing firms and businesses the ability to buy them. Others provide ability for businesses to tweet good review directly from the site.
The focus of some sites to bundle reviews occurred because reviews affect business sales. The buying experience on the Internet is very different than in-store, and with many more consumers choosing to purchase online the power of the Internet is felt by all. This is especially true when considering the huge savings that exists on the internet.
In-store discounts are often very frugal, making online shopping sometimes preferred. Shopping from the comfort from your own home and having products delivered to your door is often reviewed as wanted or even necessary. The convenience on the Internet is something physical shopping malls, and superstores can’t compete with. Because of this, and needs to understand the customer, online reviews invaluable to businesses and product developers.
Real and virtual shopping have now converged into one sales market. Some consumers prefer online shopping, some internet shopping. In both cases reviews assist in making buying decisions. Online purchasing, however, does allow for the opportunity to buy used merchandise, which in some cases is preferable. Some businesses have also begun releasing products on the Internet first, or offering promotional coupons only available online to brought into the store. There are other times when some products will not be available at all in-store.
Some electronics are only available for download on the internet, or are promotional items only offered on websites. These items highly depend on reviews, and customers can read reviews before signing up for the free item or prior to downloading. This system allows all to affect the buying decisions of others with reviews, especially those comparing one product to another.
This allows for a more intimate and personalized buying experience. This is especially true as the difference between large and small businesses is leveled on the Internet. Anyone can be a success or a failure, and sometimes, reviews can lead to ultimate success or failure. Consumers may now find themselves communicating directly with their favorite authors, musicians or artists as business owners, across the board, become ever more aware of the potential and powerful results of customer review sites.
The Tattoo Shop
Image by Stuck in Customs
I did a Google+ hangout last night where I worked on this photo. I took it just recently at the San Francisco PhotoWalk with Thomas Hawk. It was a great night… so many sights to be seen there.
As usual, I had two cameras with me. One was for quick street shots with a 50mm prime. The other had my 14-24mm (see Nikon 14-24mm Review) on for these sorts of shots. I find that if I want to be on the sidewalk and take a photo of the store in front of me, I really need this kind of lens to squeeze it all in!
– Trey Ratcliff
Read the rest, including some neat stuff about Google Ripples, here at the Stuck in Customs blog.