Using Your Consumer Product Review Forum to Increase Sales

If you have implemented an easy access consumer product review forum onto your site to allow your customers to review your products, you are among the most brilliant marketers in the business. Why? Nothing sells products like the word of mouth evaluation style of a consumer product review.

The latest and greatest in Internet marketing techniques is viral marketing. Why? Because viral marketing takes good old fashioned word of mouth out into cyberspace. One person tells another, who tells three more, who tells six more, etc, etc, etc. Now you have an unlimited network of people who know about your product, which means you have an unlimited network of potential customers!

Of course, in order to be able to properly promote your product they have to be able to say what they like about it-and what they don’t. No one knows more about a product than the person who buys it and puts it into action in their day to day life, which means that these are the people you want out there teaching others about your products. How are you going to do that? Through a consumer product review.

By implementing a consumer product review on your site you are allowing your consumers to get in there and be 100% honest about the ups and downs of your products. This is a tremendous asset when you are selling over the Internet because the very nature of the Internet means that your customers don’t have the chance to view your products first hand, or to take them for a test drive on their own. They’re always going to approach a sale with caution, because they can never be sure whether they’re buying a high quality product or paying for junk.

When they have a consumer product review from a real consumer to read, on the other hand, they have the opportunity to hear how a product really works when you take it down off of its virtual shelf and put it into action. Although they’re getting the news secondhand, finding out the product really works for other people will go a long way toward building their confidence in your products and encouraging them to buy.

Don’t be afraid of having a negative review on your site. Some of the most well known shopping sites on the Internet have consumer product review forums (conveniently matched up with their products to keep consumers from having to go searching), you’ll find almost as many negative reviews as you will positive. This doesn’t hurt their sales.

As a matter of fact, it’s exactly the opposite. All consumers are perfectly aware of the fact that only a fool thinks he can keep 100% of the people happy, 100% of the time. A company that’s willing to post the thoughts of that small percentage of the population that isn’t happy is an honest one, which is what consumers really want when they’re making a decision about where they want to spend their money.

Clues to Help You Chose Between Product Review Websites – A Lesson in Internet Shopping

For this example, let’s assume that you wish to learn to play the piano, and are searching the Internet for information. You will find many choices and many review sites which discuss even more choices. Your analysis process should include all of the points(clues) discussed here. This article is more about the selection process than the product or vendor.

In case you didn’t realize it, the typical Internet Product Review site will likely steer you to the product which nets them the highest commission. Shocked? Don’t be – this is absolutely normal marketing in every aspect of life. It’s all about maximizing their profit. However, and fortunately, not everyone does this. There are some obvious and some subtle clues which will help you decide who to trust, especially shopping on the Internet. Don’t be fearful – be informed. Read on.

Been shopping in town lately? Dealt with any commissioned sales folks lately? How about those, oh so helpful folks who keep asking if you found everything, and or, do you want to super size your order? Trying to maximize the store’s profit really is normal and widely practiced. Nothing to be concerned about yet.

Speaking of commissions – In all Internet purchases, the seller, also known as the vendor, pays the salesperson (known as an affiliate or associate) a small commission. The lowest is about four (4.0) percent. The price to the buyer doesn’t change – it costs the same where ever you go. (The price can vary a tiny bit in the physical product areas, for example – keyboards and pianos. This is due to volume wholesale purchasing and distribution costs. The sales commission doesn’t factor in this.)

The commission usually automatically goes to the last affiliate site you visited before you clicked through to the product detail / sales page and made a purchase. This is tracked automatically by the computers with little chunks of data called “temporary cookies.” The vendors who transmit the cookies to your computer explain it all on their privacy or terms and conditions web pages. It is nothing to be concerned about. It’s very normal and business like. Most people have never actually read these pages.

So, the Big Question – what distinguishes a trustworthy product review site of any flavor? Listed here are critical clues. Some are more obvious than others – all are worthy of your consideration.

  • First and foremost is your gut level comfort level as you look over a site.
  • Can you identify a human with an address and contact information?
  • Does the reviewer discuss any negative aspects of the product? Few products are so wonderful that nothing negative can be found and pointed out to you, the shopper and possible customer.
  • Does the review include information and opinions not found on the vendor’s site? (All reviews where the reviewer is an affiliate for the vendor will have links for you to click on, taking you directly to the vendor’s site. Perfectly normal and to be expected.) In case you never thought about it, consider this: Vendor’s love affiliates – they are outside non-employees with no benefits, etc. who get a tiny reward (called a commission) only after a sale occurs. If no new information is on the review site, could well be that an actual review did not take place. Major clue.
  • Study the information provided, validate the customer testimonials if possible, and make your own decision. Use your normal decision making process. For example, I personally read the testimonials very carefully when researching products. Do they sound authentic – not made up. Can they be verified? Will the seller provide you contact details if asked? This is rare, but sometimes occurs.
  • Frequently digital download products are sold with 100 percent money back guarantees. The full details are always part of the information / sales letter. They are commonly placed right at the bottom end, right after the price information. Guarantees are always a very important part of the purchasing decision. Another clue to trustworthiness. Doesn’t matter on review sites – but it does matter on the vendor’s site.
  • A good reviewer owns many, but not necessarily all of the products he reviews. When you are are deciding, remember to keep in mind what your situation is (your own wants, needs, desires, etc.) It’s about building trust and confidence. Do you feel pressured? Another major clue.

So, after lots of searching and looking at several – many websites and competing products, let’s assume you have made a product selection decision and are ready to buy. Please consider giving a vote of confidence to the affiliate review site that actually provided you with useful information. Please go back to that review site just before making the actual purchase. That is what triggers that ‘cookie’ thingy I mentioned earlier. And that results in that small commission we talked about. And that is what motivates affiliates to produce meaningful review sites.

I trust that I have enlightened you a bit. Shopping on the Internet is quite safe, especially if you pay attention to the clues. As always, the final choice is yours. Now you know more about how to sort through all the choices and chose the best product for you.

When you find the right one for you, you can purchase it right away. (Remember that often the best product does in fact, cost more. Also normal.) No waiting – parking – standing in line – all the joys of Internet shopping. Fear not – Enjoy.

Product Reviews of Shopping Cart Software

Your website and the ability for customers to check out quickly and easily is incredibly important. As many website owners know, all too often a customer will place an item in their cart and go to check out. However, for whatever reason during checkout they change their mind and never complete the transaction. This could be due to any number of reasons, but in many cases it is simply because the checkout procedure is too much of a hassle. If you don’t want to lose sales at the last critical point then make sure you have the best shopping cart software. How do you do this? There are several ways, but one of them is to read product reviews.

Product reviews are important because it allows you to see from a website owner’s point of view the benefits and drawbacks a particular program might have. This is important because before you can learn from other’s experiences before you buy and install the software. You want to avoid as many lost sales as possible and the best way to do this is by reading product reviews and finding shopping cart software that will meet your needs. There are a few things to look for.

First, you want a software that makes it easy to checkout as well as make changes or return shopping. Some individuals may be in the process of checking out and realize they forgot to look through the clearance items. The last thing you want to do is have them start over so you need a shopping cart software that will easily let the customer return shopping and then back to the shopping cart with no confusion and seamless transition.

There are many different shopping cart software options on the market and some are great while others are just so-so. You don’t want a so-so shopping cart software but rather one that is right in line with what customers want from a checkout process. They don’t want to have to fill out a lot of forms, they don’t want to have to create an account, and they want to be able to make changes to their order and see the immediate price changes whether this be with shipping, taxes, or simply adding or removing items.

Finally, make sure your shopping cart software is never the reason why a potential customer leaves with her cart half full. This is the worst possible situation and if you are doing what it takes to get customers to your website and then making a purchase then the last thing you want is for your shopping cart software to turn them away.