The Dawn of Online Reviews: 3 Reasons Everyone Loves Them•
In a time where there is no shortage of information and opinions floating all over the web, it has become incredibly important to be able to distinguish what’s valuable and what isn’t. For example, what counts as a baseless opinion from a questionable person vs. a valuable first-hand perspective from a thoughtful, experienced person?
Enter review platforms.
Review platforms are perfectly designed to collect and decipher this abundance of information from a multitude of sources. Some examples that you yourself have probably used include Amazon, Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes, Goodreads, Angie’s List, TripAdvisor, kununu, Letterboxd, and many more.
So why does it seem like there’s a review platform for everything? Why the sudden craze?
It’s because they’re good at what they do, so good that people go nuts about them.
If we break it down even further, there are the three main reasons why people use them and value them:
No other sources have the same type of information, at the same volume
The first contributing factor to review platforms rise to fame is that by nature, having a platform, or a place to house reviews, allows for the centralization of their equitable wealth of information.
Because so many people are writing about so many things, the only thing stopping a consumer from learning about something is how many reviews he or she is willing to read.
These platforms are also informative because even though there are so many unique reviews written, eventually there is a consensus. This allows the reader to take multiple accounts into consideration, compare that with the majority, and ultimately discover if the product or service is delivering on what he or she is after.
The trust factor
Even before these platforms were in existence, people have valued recommendations as a credible source of information. So it only makes sense that the online library of reviews exists for consumers to consult a broader variety of this information when deciding if products or services are worth an investment.
Every valuable review is written from a real experience; this fact contributes to the overarching validity of reviews – the reviewer is speaking to what he or she personally experienced. One study suggests that 88% Of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
With almost 9 out of 10 people trusting online reviews, the best way to make an informed decision is to consult as many sources of information as possible and by trusting other’s experiences rather than taking information at face value.
We all live review-consuming lifestyles
The final contributing factor to the dawn of online review platforms is that reviews are becoming more integrated into our lives, whether we actively acknowledge it or not.
For example, Google now gives more weight to consumer reviews in visibility and rankings in its local search engine algorithm, which means that if there are any reviews out there for a local business you’ll see it on Google. And also, our platform here at kununu – a site entirely focused on providing employer reviews – was automatically integrated into Google’s new “Google for Jobs” feature because of the value of information that’s naturally being generated here. This means that if there are kununu ratings an employer, you’ll see it in that Google job listing.
These are just a couple of examples of review platforms being folded into our everyday lives. But now think of this – how often do YOU consult a movie review site before deciding which movie you’re gonna see, or read consumer reviews on an e-commerce site before finalizing a purchase?
Review platforms have become more than just a useful tool, they’re informative, trustworthy, and part of everyday life. And we, as consumers, would be wise to use them to their fullest to provide feedback and ultimately create a more pleasant experience for everyone.