How Do Online Product Reviews Help Consumer Decision Making?

With the growth of online shopping on the internet, online product reviews sites are of great help in the decision making process for consumers. After all, they cannot gain physical access to a particular object one is considering to buy, such that they merely utilize the information provided for them by these sites to come up with a decision.

Online product reviews are known to be the latest emerging marketing strategy on the internet. Aside from the sites intended mainly for posting reviews about certain products, old or new, in the online market, there are also forums wherein people who have recently used the product can provide useful information for decision support on other consumers. In some cases, the feedbacks listed on the site can forecast the actual performance of the product or model upon launching on the market. After all, the pre-release marketing has been considered as one of the strongest factors that could indicate actual performance, especially with the high level of accuracy that reviewers have provided.

At its core, online product reviews sites are intended to provide product information and is geared more towards personal usage experience at the core of the review and evaluation of the product. Each aspect of the product or model is analyzed to suit each individual user’s needs and preferences. Whether users value affordability, utmost functionality, ease of use, or innovation of technology, each of these aspects are evaluated during product reviews for an idiosyncratic match. It is also a great way to promote the word-of-mouth marketing and create more buzz about a certain product.

For the reviewers, they use varying metrics to come up with a benchmark for a particular product or model. It is therefore a valid way to provide useful information for different population segments and come up with realistic feedback.

Aside from consumers, sellers also make good use of online product reviews. It allows sellers to come up with the counteractive marketing strategy to respond to the consumer reviews published on various sites online, which particularly tackle on two basic questions: when and how. The information provided on the consumer review utilizes two aspects of information regarding the product: the information attributed to the product and the information formulated by the buyer or tester of the product. The latter type of information has more weight since it expounds on the actual product performance aside from what the product claims to do or deliver.

The timing of release for consumer reviews for certain products therefore set as a strategic variable that both parties (consumers and sellers) can use to their advantage. Of course, how one person utilizes the information provided in the review is dependent on the individual preference and criteria that a consumer has created for them. Hence, one can notice the increasing amount of online product reviews currently available on the internet since they serve as a good source of information for those who want to make intelligent buying decisions. Just make sure that if you are going to utilize this information is to look at the site’s credibility to ensure that the consumer review information you got is valid.

Clues to Help You Chose Between Product Review Websites – A Lesson in Internet Shopping

For this example, let’s assume that you wish to learn to play the piano, and are searching the Internet for information. You will find many choices and many review sites which discuss even more choices. Your analysis process should include all of the points(clues) discussed here. This article is more about the selection process than the product or vendor.

In case you didn’t realize it, the typical Internet Product Review site will likely steer you to the product which nets them the highest commission. Shocked? Don’t be – this is absolutely normal marketing in every aspect of life. It’s all about maximizing their profit. However, and fortunately, not everyone does this. There are some obvious and some subtle clues which will help you decide who to trust, especially shopping on the Internet. Don’t be fearful – be informed. Read on.

Been shopping in town lately? Dealt with any commissioned sales folks lately? How about those, oh so helpful folks who keep asking if you found everything, and or, do you want to super size your order? Trying to maximize the store’s profit really is normal and widely practiced. Nothing to be concerned about yet.

Speaking of commissions – In all Internet purchases, the seller, also known as the vendor, pays the salesperson (known as an affiliate or associate) a small commission. The lowest is about four (4.0) percent. The price to the buyer doesn’t change – it costs the same where ever you go. (The price can vary a tiny bit in the physical product areas, for example – keyboards and pianos. This is due to volume wholesale purchasing and distribution costs. The sales commission doesn’t factor in this.)

The commission usually automatically goes to the last affiliate site you visited before you clicked through to the product detail / sales page and made a purchase. This is tracked automatically by the computers with little chunks of data called “temporary cookies.” The vendors who transmit the cookies to your computer explain it all on their privacy or terms and conditions web pages. It is nothing to be concerned about. It’s very normal and business like. Most people have never actually read these pages.

So, the Big Question – what distinguishes a trustworthy product review site of any flavor? Listed here are critical clues. Some are more obvious than others – all are worthy of your consideration.

  • First and foremost is your gut level comfort level as you look over a site.
  • Can you identify a human with an address and contact information?
  • Does the reviewer discuss any negative aspects of the product? Few products are so wonderful that nothing negative can be found and pointed out to you, the shopper and possible customer.
  • Does the review include information and opinions not found on the vendor’s site? (All reviews where the reviewer is an affiliate for the vendor will have links for you to click on, taking you directly to the vendor’s site. Perfectly normal and to be expected.) In case you never thought about it, consider this: Vendor’s love affiliates – they are outside non-employees with no benefits, etc. who get a tiny reward (called a commission) only after a sale occurs. If no new information is on the review site, could well be that an actual review did not take place. Major clue.
  • Study the information provided, validate the customer testimonials if possible, and make your own decision. Use your normal decision making process. For example, I personally read the testimonials very carefully when researching products. Do they sound authentic – not made up. Can they be verified? Will the seller provide you contact details if asked? This is rare, but sometimes occurs.
  • Frequently digital download products are sold with 100 percent money back guarantees. The full details are always part of the information / sales letter. They are commonly placed right at the bottom end, right after the price information. Guarantees are always a very important part of the purchasing decision. Another clue to trustworthiness. Doesn’t matter on review sites – but it does matter on the vendor’s site.
  • A good reviewer owns many, but not necessarily all of the products he reviews. When you are are deciding, remember to keep in mind what your situation is (your own wants, needs, desires, etc.) It’s about building trust and confidence. Do you feel pressured? Another major clue.

So, after lots of searching and looking at several – many websites and competing products, let’s assume you have made a product selection decision and are ready to buy. Please consider giving a vote of confidence to the affiliate review site that actually provided you with useful information. Please go back to that review site just before making the actual purchase. That is what triggers that ‘cookie’ thingy I mentioned earlier. And that results in that small commission we talked about. And that is what motivates affiliates to produce meaningful review sites.

I trust that I have enlightened you a bit. Shopping on the Internet is quite safe, especially if you pay attention to the clues. As always, the final choice is yours. Now you know more about how to sort through all the choices and chose the best product for you.

When you find the right one for you, you can purchase it right away. (Remember that often the best product does in fact, cost more. Also normal.) No waiting – parking – standing in line – all the joys of Internet shopping. Fear not – Enjoy.

Games And More With The HTC 7 Pro

Today’s mobile phones are not only about making phone calls or sending SMS messages. You can actually do more with mobile phones of today. This is most especially true with the new HTC 7 Pro.

Yes, if you are after things that you can actually do with your mobile phone, then the HTC 7 Pro is the one for you. Now, let us talk about Games and other stuff that you will enjoy with this new phone from HTC.

If you are sick and tired of carrying a different handheld game console with you all the time, then this mobile phone is perfect for you. This is because the Windows Phone 7 Game Hub will bring you new and exciting gaming experience that no other phone has ever given you. It comes with hundreds of titles from the famous Xbox LIVE Microsoft Game Studios, and not to mention other leading game publishers as well.

If you are a big fan of Xbox Live, then you can simply enjoy the power of the said famous game console in the palm of your hand. You can easily play with your friends, beat each others scores, share scores, or simply earn recognition for your every gaming achievement. You can also access your Xbox LIVE profile anytime and be able to take your 3D Avatar and props with you all the time while only using your HTC 7 Pro. You can now enjoy your favorite games like Fruit Ninja, Guitar Hero 5, Deal or No Deal, Assassins’ Creed, Halo and a whole lot more.

The HTC 7 Pro will also allow you to personalize your phone to your hearts’ content. Yes, you can easily personalize your handset with games, apps and music via the Marketplace Hub. This handset will also allow you to view games and feature apps or even browse for the things that you want. Reading and accessing reviews, screen shots, ratings, related content and others on the apps detail page is also possible.

Truly, there are lots of things that you can enjoy (May it be games or other apps) with the new HTC 7 Pro.