Are Customer Reviews More Important Than Professional Reviews?

25 Jan

For marketers, an upside to social media and the inclusion of customer reviews at shopping sites is that firms and their products are more buzzed about than ever. For marketers, a downside to social media and the inclusion of customer reviews at shopping sites is that firms and their products are more buzzed about than ever. HUH?

Yes, companies and their products are being buzzed about more than ever. But today, more of the conservation — good and bad — is controlled by bloggers, customer critics, and others not affiliated with the companies. In many cases, messages by fellow shoppers (“real people just like me”) are even drowning out the voice of professional reviewers.

Click the chart to read more of this story from eMarketer: “A study of consumers who had recently made an electronics purchase, conducted by Weber Shandwick and KRC Research in September 2012, found that shoppers were more likely to pay attention to consumer reviews than professional reviews across every product category. Respondents favored consumer reviews by the greatest margin when buying headphones or earbuds, at 79%. Shoppers were most likely to take a professional critic’s advice when buying a tablet, but still only 39% preferred ‘official’ advice on such a purchase.”
 

 

12 Responses to “Are Customer Reviews More Important Than Professional Reviews?”

  1. Austin Patenaude January 26, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    As a customer, I also find myself looking for a custormer review over a professional review. The main reason for this is because I want a product that other people just like me believe is great. A professional is not necessarily looking at the product the same as the average user.

  2. Ezekiel Arrington January 27, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Customer reviews are obviously more important than professional reviews because they are a direct link to those who are targeted through marketing efforts. Professionals could very well be in a niche that is not designed to enjoy a certain product or service and produce unfairly biased opinions.

  3. Nickie Wong January 29, 2013 at 12:49 am #

    The professional standpoint seems to be slowly getting pushed away because heavy criticism is what professionals do and the average commoner is not looking for that. People want to hear stories from other people alike and be reassured of the product and its usefulness/functionality.

  4. Christopher Brooks January 29, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    I tend to only look at the customer reviews because they are average people like me looking for similar things in a product. The professional reviews may comment on things that I may not understand or maybe even not care about. I also believe the professional reviews may have some bias at times. The customers will say how they truly feel.

  5. Nickie Wong January 29, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    Professionals are professionals for a reason. It seems that their job is to nitpick at virtually everything except analyzing a product from an unbiased perspective. The average person wants to know how others, like himself, review the product because they share more similar mindsets/perspectives.

  6. Anastasia Calcasola January 30, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    Lately more than ever, customer reviews have been extremely useful in purchasing a specific product. These reviews come from people who have experienced the interested product. Obviously, the company is going to give their own product the best reviews however the customer is the real person who is involving themselves with this product. In their personal reviews, they can state positive and negative feelings, which is great and extremely helpful when purchasing an item. For example, if a company is selling earbuds, the company might not state that the earbuds might be uncomfortable for some. Thankfully, the customer who has purchased those particular earbuds might write a review about their comfort. I feel customer reviews are a crucial part in purchasing a new product.

  7. Liza January 30, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    I myself, like the majority of consumers referred to in this article, feel like consumer reviews is the way to go. But you have to make sure it is a reputable source because sometimes the company itself may be writing some of these reviews. I like to use a website called consumer reports.

  8. Nick Cavallino January 31, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Being a consumer, myself, as well as many other people, tend to listen to customer reviews. The customers that are reviewing the product or service have similar interests in choosing the best option for themselves, and unlike professional reviews, will state the positives as well as the negatives. No professional reviewer wants to say anything negative about his or her own product or service if he is an advocate for the company. Although customer reviews are very helpful, they can also be misleading. Everyone has their own opinions, and like what they like, end of story. It is very hard to change someone’s mind about a product they are using. It might prove to be efficient to listen to a professional review, as well as the customer review to hear both sides of the story and go from there.

  9. Chelsea Gillyard February 10, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    I think I’m more of an online consumer than an in-store consumer. I will never purchase anything off line unless I have read the reviews of both professionals and consumers from at least 2 years back if they go back that far. I also watch youtube reviews and reviews on electronics on sites like Cnet.com by both consumers and professionals. To really know what a product will be like once you purchase it, I believe it’s best to consider both professional and consumer reviews. If you discount one, you may be loosing out on valuable information.

    • Evans on Marketing February 10, 2013 at 11:02 am #

      What about going to a store to test out a product, learn about alternatives, or try something on?

  10. Chelsea Gillyard February 10, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Yes, of course one should value their own intuition and test out products themselves.

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