When it comes to making buying decisions, people want to make a good choice, and for that, they turn to the internet to get the the information they need. As a customer yourself, you want to make an informed decision, so you look around. You do the research.
If you want to keep things affordable, for instance, there are numerous tools you can use to track prices. For example: Lifehacker’s Five Best Price Tracking Tools article shows the top 5 price tracking tools as voted by their readers.
But the most effective way of getting all the information you need to decide is through looking at product reviews. For that, simply look at Amazon’s rating system as the best example out there.
- Amazon looks to improve customer-reviews system with machine learning.
- Amazon Improves its 5-Star Review Ratings
Amazon prides itself on keeping their product ratings and reviews honest because their reviews system is incredibly important to selling products –and as the world’s biggest e-commerce company, Amazon’s continued survival is all about the sales. Good reviews — and a cutting-edge review system– is good for their business.
Customer’s can’t touch or examine products displayed online, and so, keeping the reviews honest helps protect the reliability and trustworthiness of Amazon’s brand And customer-supplied proof of product quality helps support all the customers and the marketplace. It’s social proof and information-sharing.
Even within the recommendations the reviews themselves are weighted by customers who can vote on relevance and helpfulness of the review. Those are the ones voted on as ‘The most helpful positive review’ and “The most helpful critical review.’ This lets in on a more balanced view point of the product in question.
Also, even the price-tracking tools mentioned above were voted on, with each vote cast including the reason why the reader voted for their choice. It’s not just plain numbers supporting the product, but shared information as to why the voters think their nominee is the best price tracker out there.
Turn the tables and shift your thinking from a customer to a business owner, and you now understand that you have a very powerful selling tool when you apply the right strategies in using product reviews.
How much do you know about your product?
Don’t assume that the information is self-evident. Customers generally don’t need to know everything about a product, only that it does what it’s supposed to do.
How confident are you about your product?
Again, don’t assume that your customers will take your word for it. People are much more savvy now about where the put their money, and with all the apps and information they can get at their disposal, they can have the advantage in deciding where their money goes.
When you know what your market wants, it’s easier to find ways to show them how your product can fill that need. In this direction, you need to get into the minds of your target market. You made your product to serve a specific purpose, or solve a particular problem, and you need to be able to communicate that to your market so you can connect your product to their specific problem, and show them the value it will provide them.
1) You can share your understanding and research.
Using the product yourself gets you an first-hand knowledge of beginner’s mind and can help other newbies be more comfortable using it.
For example: Researching and getting case studies of other people’s experience can help get more credibility and popularity.
People like to get information from experienced, knowledgeable sources, and having information shared with them can also make them feel part of the in-group. The more people they see who have positive experiences with the product, the likelier it is that they’ll want to use it themselves.
2) You can tailor your communication.
A generic message addressed ‘To Whom It May Concern’ usually makes for a tepid response if you get one like it, right?
Tailoring your communication to connect with your audience is good business sense, and knowing your audience is crucial to the process. Knowing your audience and understanding the specific needs they want fulfilled is critical.
- Different people have different concerns. You may be selling bags to a professional businessman as opposed to a wilderness hiking expert, and so the tone, the approach and the emphasized features would be very different for each.
- You need to be able to tap that particular tone and empathy for your review style, so that people reading them feel they’re getting the clearest, most relevant information possible.
Including a clear call to action and adding in special offers helps provide clear directions and links to where the product can be bought.
- A hard sell in a product review itself may turn off potential customer for being so obvious, but the link and the call to action itself can be provided in something as simple and inoffensive as the “Click here to buy now,” or “Add to cart” links, as well as “Click to see special discounted offer.”
The most important factor in writing product reviews is to keep them honest. Misrepresenting the results or skewing the review erodes long-term customer confidence for short-term financial gain, and that’s not how you run a business. A scam, maybe, but not a business.
Now, a product overview includes the features and capabilities of the product, which is very helpful for people in a hurry and who want to see the most important information all in one place.
Keep in mind that one product can’t be “all things to all people.” Suitability is something you can incorporate in your reviews to make them more helpful.
- Think of how toys are classified with ‘suitable for ages 3 and up’ age-range identifiers. That helps parents decide which toys are more appropriate for their children.
- In the same vein, you can address specific needs by explaining how your product is more suitable for this-and-this situation, or particular level of experience, etc.
- The more details you can include to help the customer decide, the more confident the customer gets that he’s making the right choice.
Along the same line, you can also redirect customers attention to other, more suitable products by making recommendations. You can side-sell (similar products) or up-sell (suggest bundles or packages, for example, with more value for the money — or ‘more bang for the buck.’)
3) For every potential issue, present a solution.
This goes back to not being “all things.” It’s important to let your customers know about any perceivable shortcomings in a product. People who want to make informed choices appreciate being told up front what a product can or cannot do, and what you think may present as a possible issue may be perfectly acceptable to the customer — to whom everything else makes that so-called ‘issue’ negligible.
The point of presentation is highlighting the good points of the product. You accentuate the positives. There is always a mental plus-and-minus balancing act when it comes to making purchasing decisions, and you can help direct your audience’s attention to the plus column to help them decide quickly.
Other ways to help them decide:
1) Comparison with similar products can help assure them they’re doing the work of making a good decision, and gives them the information they need at a glance (all in one place, like a comparison chart).
2) Summary of personal experience with the product: Sharing the way you discovered its usefulness and benefits with others helps increase the chances of your readers and visitors accepting that the product can help them too.
What’s more, using pictures or video of the product in action provides serious credibility to your account.
3) To add even more value, sharing tips and advice on using the product to maximize it helps your audience visualize how it can help them, and that visualization makes it easier for them to decide in your favor.
When you get them to play out a better scenario in their imagination using your product, you get them emotionally invested in attaining that better place, and that helps them decide towards committing to the purchase.
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