Hotpoint, Sharp and Toshiba to publish unedited, ‘good and bad’ customer opinion

I was interested to see, when trawling through the press releases on Response Source, that Hotpoint, Sharp and Toshiba will be joinnig Brother, Cannon, Indesit, Kodak and Kaspersky in publishing customer reviews on their official websites, courtesy of Reevoo.

According to the press release:

With ratings and reviews now the second most important site feature behind search*, customer reviews have become a focus for manufacturers. Reviews boost conversion rates on average by 10 per cent** while engaging customers and building brand loyalty.

Presented with the opportunity to significantly increase online sales, manufacturers still face the challenge of providing an adequate volume of user-generated content to accompany their product data. Recent cases of astroturfing and the posting of fake reviews have also highlighted the need for better control over the provenance and impartiality of customer reviews.

The idea behind this is one step on from the usual PR trick of using clichéd journalist reviews to try and induce consumers into buying a product.

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer (I work for Edelman, if you didn’t know that, check out About Me) consumer trust in business is at a lowly 38%, and the word of ‘people like me’ is just as important as that of a seasoned hack.

So to incorporate unmoderated reviews into a main site, the first port of call for an inquisitive consumer, is quite a step forward.

The next step of course is to aggregate all user comments across different social media platforms into one source viewable on their homepages, totally unmoderated. Will we see this soon? Maybe not, but large companies are very slowly coming round to the notion that the consumer is not just always right, but also important in influencing the purchasing decisions of fellow consumers.

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