On 21st November, AppleInsider reported that Apple had removed all its product reviews from all the product pages on its website.
Since then, a lot of people have been wondering why Apple did it. I think that it was long pending and we are going to see a lot of companies follow Apple’s footsteps (like they always do).
If you too are curious to know why a company would do it or want to present the same decision to your company’s board, here’s why product reviews are redundant and counter-productive if you aren’t a marketplace.
No brands sell homogeneous products on their own website. Product reviews are useful when you are a marketplace like Amazon selling hundreds of homogeneous products. They help people decide if a charging cable from brand A is better than a charging cable from brand B. However, once a prospective customer is on A’s own website because they have seen their reviews, trust the brand, have used them before or have been recommended by someone else, brand A’s ultimate goal must be to convert the customer as quickly as possible. Product reviews work as a blocker because they are naturally distractive and delay purchase. Instead of adding to cart and checking out, your customers are now busy reading others’ opinions about a product that they were already sure about. Now that they are reading your product reviews, there are three possibilities:
- You are very highly rated — as exciting as this may sound, your prospective shoppers are going to dismiss them as unreliable since they know you manage them. But the good news is they’ll make the purchase irrespective because they were going to make that purchase anyway.
- You are averagely rated — this is when you send your customer looking for better alternatives in the market. You just shooed away someone who came to make a purchase.
- You are poorly rated — well, we all know what happens in this case.
In all of the cases above, product reviews create absolutely no additional conversions or sales. They delay the purchase and in many cases, lead to lost sales. Product reviews evolved from marketplaces and we see businesses incorporate these with no reasoning.
A brand’s goal should be to get people to trust their brand. Once that is established, they will trust everything the brand sells. Establishing brand trust has been the main reason behind thousands of brands use tools like Trustpilot, SiteJabber and Trustvocate.
Before you go, imagine choosing a restaurant to eat at looking at reviews on Yelp/ Zomato only to find item wise reviews on the menu card 🤦🏻♂️ Pretty pointless, right?
Get people to trust your brand and then, convert, don’t confuse.