Lanit Updates 4/2020
What a start to April!
A lot has changed since our last newsletter but quite honestly I think we've all heard enough of everyone's conjecture and assumptions about things they don't really understand so I'll skip pass the easy "elephant in the room" subject and talk about something I actually do have some knowledge about.
Let's discuss online reviews this month.
If you're like me and tend to do most of your shopping online for pretty much everything besides TV's, shoes, and coats (I know, odd choices but I have my reasons) then you're probably in the same boat as I am and try to find as may reviews as possible before spending hard earned money on whatever doodad I feel I need at the time. There's just something satisfying about purchasing something that Kim from Boston says "it's the best thing ever...5 stars!"
In fact, studies shows that organizations and products that have higher online ratings enjoy an additional 28 percent in increased revenue versus lower rated products. That's quite a jump thanks to reviewers like "Kim from Boston" and makes online shoppers feel like they've made an informed decision and are confident in their purchase.
...but how is it that we trust someone's opinion that we've never met before, maybe she has horrible taste in curtains or likes her tires on her car to wobble, maybe she's never seen a good TV and doesn't mind poor colors on her TV and so on...or the most likely answer, she doesn't actually exist. A little time searching around the web I found thousands of jobs available for doing nothing more than writing online reviews and plenty of areas to purchase reviews for my product or company.
Most YouTube reviewers are paid to review their products they have on their channel and are constantly getting free swag from companies for positive reviews along with commissions from purchases when you "Click the link below for this super awesome doodad". Even the good ole Consumer Reports now has direct links to Amazon shopping from their websites that makes commissions on sales and still requires a paid subscription to read their full reviews.
The opposite holds true too, people seem to be more motivated by irritation and anger than they are with satisfaction. I've seen a lot of uncalled for bad reviews on products I know to be good but they give it a low rating since it arrived a day later than expected, the shipping company kicked the box up to the front door, or maybe there was a piece missing or the color wasn't quite what they expected. Whatever the issue they feel their voice needs to be heard and berates a product that really doesn't deserve it.
Of course not all reviews are conjured up by a massive telemarketing like firms sitting behind their keyboards reviewing away on products that they have no knowledge of as they get paid per entry, I've even reviewed a few things myself in what I hoped to be in an objective way sharing my true experience to try and help the next person trying to make the same decision that I just went through.
So where do you turn? Honestly it's hard to say. Common sense still goes a long way and better yet, go put your hands on it if that's an option, even if you come back home and order it from an online retailer to save a few bucks. Really it boils down to taking a risk with every online purchase you make. When you're at the local store and picking something off the shelf but see a damaged box, most people will slide that product out of the way and grab the one without the damaged box or decide against a purchase once we see how cheaply built it may be. We are giving that freedom away when shopping online, sure it's convenient but there's also hidden cost to consider not only for surprises that show up at your doorstep but also losing local brick and mortar stores and the "usually" friendly service that comes with it.