The internet has made consumers more empowered and businesses more accountable than ever. Businesses can no longer hide from the truth and as a result we now have legitimate power to make an educated and well-informed decision on the products we purchase.
Whether it’s purchasing cosmetics, hotels or electronics, we’ve all been in the situation where we have had to jump online for a quick review. For me, a review is essential for any purchase I make. If it’s a restaurant I’ll head to Zomato or for hotels i’ll hit up TripAdvisor, however no matter what, I’ll know every detail about what I am buying before I make my purchase. We’ve become a society that values making an informed decision and businesses have been forced to adapt.
Managing online reviews has become one of the biggest challenges for businesses. As suggested in the article When Positive Product Reviews Backfire for Retailers, businesses have to strategically manage their reviews to ensure they appear legitimate and honest. Deleting bad reviews and only leaving the good ones can make an organisation seem dishonest. Consumers want to read unbiased reviews that show both the good and bad about the products they are purchasing, therefore by aggravating angry customers, businesses can push consumers to find alternative avenues to be heard with many heading to social media.
Looking at the Australian fashion brand Shakuhachi, who over the past year has received significant online backlash, we can see a great example of how difficult it is for businesses to now run from their mistakes. Currently Shakuhachi has a productreview.com rating of 1.1 and an Instagram page riddled with complaints. This Australian brand evidently brought this negativity upon themselves by running a lengthy and vigorous sale promotions campaign, where they listed their expensive pieces of clothing for up 60% off and as a result became inundated with orders they could not fulfil. Shakuhachi, like many other brands chose to promptly delete these unfavourable comments on their Instagram page creating even greater backlash and eventually causing their tumultuous fall.
So let me know your thoughts. Do you read products reviews? If so, how confident are you that they are truthful?