Why would someone bother reviewing a product or service that has been reviewed 3,795 times already, given that writing a review takes time and effort? Many websites will insist that the review be a certain number of words, in addition to asking the customer to provide a rating. So why put in all that time and effort when other people have already done so?
As customers increasingly begin the buying process online, the entire sales cycle has changed. Trust and authenticity are no longer established exclusively through handshakes and face-to-face meetings. Online reviews serve as a powerful signal of quality and drive purchasing decisions before a first meeting is even won.
While the social web has been slow to deliver on all of its commercial promise, we are approaching a new era of trust, authenticity, personalization and eventually, commerce. Prepare your online foundation of connections, trusted reviews and broad presence for the opportunity, or risk being left behind!