Do Product Reviews Kill Business?

I recently designed a site for a relative who was skeptical about adding the option of user reviews into the site. Her concern was simple and a common one traditional business owners think about. To paraphrase, her response was something like this:

Her: What if they said something negative? People won’t buy if someone comments in a negative way, and people who like something aren’t going to bother to come post comments, only angry people do that.

Me: Of course implementing something like this opens the door for negative comments, but also positive reviews. Most people look online for reviews before a major purchase these days.

Her: I don’t. If I don’t, lots of people don’t. Lots of people don’t even use the Internet.

Me: That’s true, but you’re starting an Internet business – your target market has become people who DO use the Internet to look up information on businesses.

Her: Well then I’ll just market it offline and I definitely do not want comments on there.

Right then, so, she doesn’t have comments. We went back and forth on it for a while, but the overall issue was not one of just simple difference, but of significant business perspective differences. She thinks in terms of the brick-and-mortar business even when creating an online business, and I think of the online perspective almost exclusively. In my opinion, she’s thinking like a relic and she thinks I’m an insane evangelist to believe in the web so much. Ah, the joys of family 🙂

I happened across a set of slides on SlideShare that I’m going to email to her, just for fun – even though the argument has passed.

If you know anyone who thinks the same way… maybe you might have better results from your argument if you share this with them early on 😉

Where do you stand on this argument?

5 Replies to “Do Product Reviews Kill Business?”

  1. Hi Nicole

    The concerns that your sister has are rational and completely understandable to any business owner. On the contrary, what I love about this shift from old-school shopping to online shopping is that markets have become more transparent as a result. Buyers are now able to read reviews about products, and make more informed purchases. In the long run, this should improve efficiency. Some firms may be worse off, however the companies that do survive, will be the ones that are able to provide the best quality services/products at the lowest cost.

    Cheers
    Ingrid

  2. This is one of the best post i even seen today, many thanks for this and i was bookmarking your site. Hope to see more article from you in the near future. Thanks for this buddy.

  3. The concerns that your sister has are rational and completely understandable to any business owner. On the contrary, what I love about this shift from old-school shopping to online shopping is that markets have become more transparent as a result. Buyers are now able to read reviews about products,

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