Who Uses Online Reviews?
Over the past couple decades, the internet has grown at an almost incomprehensible rate. As a result, it now allows us to quickly, easily, and effectively share knowledge all across the globe—including our experienced-based opinions about the products we buy and the services we use.
Because of this phenomenon, word-of-mouth recommendations have become the most powerful—and most sought after—form of advertising. In fact, during a 2013 Nielsen “Global Trust in Advertising” report, 84% of global respondents stated that direct “recommendations from friends and family, often referred to as earned advertising, are still the most influential” factors when deciding whether or not to purchase a product.
But the reality is that it doesn’t just stop with friends and family, because in today’s uber-connected world, consumers are relying more and more on online customer reviews when making their purchasing decisions. As such, according to this 2012 report, “Approximately 72% of consumers surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.”
Pretty cool, right? But what in the world does this have to do with you? Let’s find out.
The Importance of Leaving Online Reviews
Think of the power the internet gives each and every one of us. For the first time in history, a complete stranger can read about our experiences half a world away in just minutes. And as we noted in the first section, this can have a huge impact on their purchasing decision. So in a very real, tangible way, this gives us a fantastic opportunity to do so much good, and it’s important that we start seizing it. But why?
The unfortunate reality is that some “less-than-stellar” (as we affectionately call them) companies are focused purely on profit, and willingly sacrifice their product quality and their customer service in order to make more money. However, they also intimately understand the power that customer recommendations can wield over their sales volume, so they’ll do whatever it takes to make you think that they have a good reputation—including posting fake online reviews with the express intent of misleading you.
Ultimately, this means that while customer reviews can be used for good, they can also be used to exploit modern consumers on a level never before seen. After all, in today’s world, it’s often the case that you don’t know who you’re buying from, where they’re located, or where their products are manufactured, and you rely on customer reviews in order to help you gain a clearer picture about each company you do business with.
With all of this in mind, it’s fairly clear that top-notch businesses have a lot to gain by listening to what their customers have to say, and then using this feedback to improve their products and to increase positive feedback through old-fashioned hard work and dedication. Unfortunately, a small minority of companies turn this idea on its head, and often make a bad name for the legitimate ones out there who are truly focused on quality.
What Does HighYa Do to Protect Our Readers from Fake Reviews?
Here at HighYa, we specialize in reviewing products and services within unregulated niches such as “As Seen on TV,” nutritional supplements, and the weight loss industries. And because they’re largely unregulated, it should come as no surprise that running across one of their scams is as easy as clicking your mouse. However, legitimate customer reviews act as a beacon of light that consumers can use in order to make informed decisions about whether or not a product is right for them.
Because of this importance, HighYa is constantly working on improving our algorithms in order to ensure that the reviews you read here are 100% legitimate. These ongoing “tweaks” are necessary because we know first-hand the great lengths that some companies will go to in an attempt to manipulate our filtering system. In fact, some have even offered to pay us to remove negative customer reviews about their products, which of course is something that we would never even consider. However, we are considering following Yelp’s example by publicly shaming companies who we’ve verified to post fake reviews on HighYa.
Becoming a Voice of Reason
With all of this in mind, here’s the main point: Because some “less-than-stellar” companies will always try to game the system, it’s up to you to help bring the truth to light. In other words, the more consumers who leave legitimate reviews, the more factual information we can collectively rely on in order to make good purchasing decisions. Ultimately, this results in better quality products that give us the most value for our hard-earned dollar. After all, good companies will use customer feedback to improve their products, while the bad ones will fade away into oblivion, which is perhaps where they rightfully belong.
As such, we should all consider making it our duty to habitually write reviews and share our experience about the products and services we use. By doing this, instead of being simply consumers, we can also become contributors!
How Can I Leave a Review on HighYa?
Times have changed, along with our buying habits, so are you ready to take responsibility for helping your fellow consumers chop through internet clutter, while also letting less-than-stellar companies know that fake reviews are unacceptable? Fantastic! A great place to start is by reading through HighYa’s Review Guidelines, which provides in-depth answers to all of your most important questions.
Then, all you need to do is locate a product you’d like to review, and then let your words fly! And if you don’t see a product you’d like to review on our site, be sure to let us know and we’ll work to get it listed.