Why Should I Trust You?

The New Year has begun, the January sales are under way & I am looking for a new television that will meet all my requirements (including those I don’t yet have) at a fantastic price.

I have looked in a number of stores, consulted a number of guides on “what you should look for when choosing a TV” & now I feel armed with all the knowledge I will need to find the right TV.

I visit a number of sites where the retailer details the specifications of each TV, & there isn’t a single one that meets all the specifications I have decided I want. Each retailer does however tell me why this is the TV I should choose…isn’t it interesting that I can look at a number of TV’s, all the same size, same brand etc, each with different specifications …& each one is ‘perfect’ for my needs.

Bored with reading about why each TV is perfect for me (I don’t have enough rooms in my house to buy all the ‘perfect’ TV’s), I start reading consumer reviews.

Not only do these reviews tell me which TV’s really don’t live up the reputation that the retailers gave them, but they also tell me the stronger & weaker attributes of the TV, enabling me to make a decision based on the specifications that are important to me.

So I wonder ‘Why should I trust you, (the retailer) when you tell me that this is the TV that will fulfil all my needs? It is clear that you simply want my money, yet a consumer who has reviewed a product has (I can only assume) no such vested interest in writing about the product.

If a consumer takes the time to write a review not only has he engaged with the site, but he/she feels passionate enough about the product to help others to make the right decision about whether to purchase the product.

A consumer review fulfils a need we didn’t realise we had – it reaches out to those of us who are ‘humanistic’ & ‘methodical’ shoppers – see personas detailed by Elastic Path http://www.getelastic.com/email-persona-types/ .

We (humanistic & methodical shoppers) want not only to hear what others think of the product prior to making a purchase, but we also want to hear how they used it, what features they found to be strong (& weak) – in fact we really want to read as much as we can about the product, so that we can build a detailed picture of it in our minds, so much so, that we feel completely familiar with the product before we have even purchased it – let alone set it up in the living room & plugged it in.

So how can the retailer maximise on the benefits of consumer reviews?

Reviews can be published not only on the website – product pages, landing pages & home page; but on all marketing material such as flyers, catalogues & emails, in-store point of sale materials, invoices, receipts etc.

In limiting the publication of reviews to online only, the retailer is limiting the potential that they can provide – there is nobody who can better increase sales than consumers, they speak on the same level as the person reading the review (consumer to consumer).

Consumer reviews can increase online conversion by over 30%, so why publish them only online? Even ‘negative’ consumer reviews can increase conversion, so there is no reason for any reputable retailer to be concerned about offering a tool that can result in a few ‘less than optimum’ reviews.

Trust cannot be under-estimated in the current economic climate.

In offering a tool to consumers that encourages them to be honest about the products they purchase from you, you are building trust in your brand; showing that you have nothing to hide. Isn’t that the type of retailer you would choose to return to time after time?…….

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