Why user reviews are so powerful

the power of consumer reviewsOn the surface one would imagine user reviews to be somewhat less than meaningful for our own lives.  After all, we have unique circumstances that a stranger cannot even begin to understand, so what was useful to them in their life surely cannot be the same in our own.

Yet user reviews remain an incredibly powerful and persuasive force in our buying decisions.  Some research goes as far as to suggest that user reviews influence our buying decisions more than anything else.

Therefore some new research published recently into why this might be so should be essential reading to marketers everywhere.

The research found that complete strangers were much better at predicting our pleasure than we were ourselves.  All of which suggests a few things.

  1. We kinda suck at knowing what we'll enjoy
  2. Our unconscious is much better than our conscious mind at predicting future pleasure
  3. Strangers can tap into this just by looking at our faces

So the moral of the story is that people even remotely similar to us are actually very good at predicting what we'll find enjoyable.  This research suggests we should pay more heed to other people's advice as it can be better than our own judgements.


With this information at our disposal it's clear that there has never been a better time to solicit as many user reviews as you can from your customers.

9 thoughts on “Why user reviews are so powerful

  1. Hmm, that is interesting. If it's all done because a stranger can see our unconscious though, would it really work with an online review?

  2. Sometimes we're so caught up in ourselves that we miss things that are blatantly obvious to others. That and things like our insecurities get in the way of seeing what's really there.

  3. In the old days we hired a bunch of scientists (experts) to tell us what we thought and wanted. Now — the new science is in understanding how to tap the feedback from disparate sources. The next level here is to have groups/teams providing feedback.

    • That's right David. I think the next stage will be using better artificial intelligence to gauge the overall sentiment of the feedback we get from different sources. At the moment it's still a bit hit and miss.

    • Think we must follow the same sites David, that\’s in my \’to read\’ pile. Hopefully be able to get round to it this afternoon. Thanks for the reminder.

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