As the end of the year approaches, it is common practice to reflect on what we did, who we met, and where we are going. It is only by examining the past that we can avoid making mistakes and— with determination and a little bit of luck— move forward unhindered.
New Year’s resolutions abound – we promise to ourselves never to do that or to always remember this. Yet time and time again we fall into the same traps or fail to learn from prior experiences.
This may sound like some philosophical rant or the beginnings of a self-help article, but it isn’t. I’m simply reflecting on how this time of year is full of so much promise but as holidays and time off fly by and we resume our day-in and day-out, we quickly forget our intentions to change.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a constant reminder, a warning of errors made or of good advice heeded? Wouldn’t it be great to be alerted on what you did and whether you’d want to do it again? Wouldn’t it be useful to display information based on prior experiences for the benefit of others?
Well, good thing for the Internet, the all-mighty record keeper that helps access past experiences. If this sounds like a helpful trait to which the online community can assist, then you know this very same trait exists in e-retail.
Shopping online affords us with a distinct advantage: Yes, I’m talking about written product reviews.
How many times have we gone to a store, an event (like a concert), or even a restaurant and wanted to review the service or product in question? E-commerce sites like SkyGeek provide you with a chance to determine the value of your experience based on either the site itself or the product you purchased.
If you love a certain type of grease because it possesses many features (e.g. it has a wide operating temperature range), or you absolutely hated the cheap material a certain piece of hardware was composed of, a product review offers a means to get the message out.
Figure 1 – How to write a product review (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
When you think about it, a product review is an opportunity for change. Giving a product a 1-star or 5-star review can make or break a reputation. Honestly, how many times have you based your purchasing decision on the number of stars it has received? I know I have. Some people go so far as to not buy anything with less than a cumulative score of 4-stars.
Of course, we all know that reviews can be somewhat misleading. What happens if there is only one review and it is 2-stars and it was because the item accidentally was cracked during transport? What about if there are two reviews, one is a 5-star and the other a 1-star? Which one do you trust? And then you have reviews based on shipping or some other factor dealing with delivery and not on the merits of the product itself. Truth be told, a review is important but it is not just the stars that reveal a product’s fate.
Actually writing a review with details can be cathartic; it can help a customer vent their frustrations due to inferior craftsmanship. It can also be a means of unintentional advertising. If you absolutely loved a product wouldn’t you want to share it? Word-of-mouth isn’t only good for figuring out if this week’s newest movie hitting theaters is worth seeing. A product review that speaks highly of an item’s uses is like a shiny badge of honor that every shopper can see. Now future customers will know what products are of greater quality and value. In this way, reviews help the person that has bought the product as well as people that may buy the product.
Figure 2 – An alternative way to write a review (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
And it also helps the e-commerce site. Think about it this way – if an item earns a reputation for being poor in quality, do you think the site will re-order any more once stock is depleted? Consistently bad reviews will lead to an early grave for an unreliable product. Thus, from a sales and purchasing perspective, a customer review is an important form of feedback. A customer becomes a salesman and is directly responsible (to a degree) for an item’s success or failure in the marketplace.
Figure 3 – The Submit Review form that is easy to fill out (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
So how do you write a customer review on SkyGeek? It’s really quite easy.
There are two areas to look for on a product page. First, if there are no reviews written, a blue link will appear directly below the “Add to Cart” button; click the link that says, “Review this item” (See Figure 1). However, if there is already one or more reviews, you can either click the link next to the star-rating, or click on the “Reviews” tab; from there click the button that reads, “Rate & Review this Item” (See Figure 2). Once done, a new screen will appear with a short form (See Figure 3). After completely filling in the mandatory dialogue boxes, click the “Submit Review” button and you are done. Just like that you have contributed to the ongoing quest for finding quality products and stating which ones fly off the shelves and which ones gain cobwebs.
Consider this: a product review is your voice that can be heard forever on that site. Let your voice be seen and your choices serve as an example for others.