Online Reviews: Get One Step Ahead With The 4R Formula

Online Reviews: Get One Step Ahead With The 4R Formula


Online reviews are the second most trusted "media" after recommendations of friends and family

A focus on just boosting the quantity of reviews will not provide a sustainable edge

Brands need to look at Ratings, Recency, Richness and Response to stand out

Online reviews play a very important role in driving conversion. 86% of people consider reviews when making a purchase decision and online reviews are the 2nd most trusted ‘media’, after word of mouth recommendations of people you know (PowerReviews, Nielsen Global Trust study). Online reviews also drive offline sales and the phenomenon of ROBO-read online and buy offline is quite common.

As result brands are focusing big time on ensuring they have positive reviews at all the key online shops like Amazon, Flipkart, First Cry.  However if even your competition has lots of reviews, how does one stay ahead and be different.

Bazaarvoice, the global leader in review collection and distribution analysed 10 million reviews across 20 plus countries over 30 plus product categories. They found that while having a minimum number of reviews is job number 1, there are 4 more factors which are important for a successful reviews strategy

Use The 4R Formula To Take Your Reviews Strategy To The Next Level

Ratings Of Reviews


The Star Rating is the easiest way for a potential buyer to judge a business.

87% of Potential customers won’t consider businesses with lower than 4-star ratings. However quite often, reviews with low ratings happen due to issues beyond the brand’s control like improper use of the product. Once your rating has gone down, moving it up is not so easy. So it’s important to get it right from the launch.


Ensure proper onboarding of buyers so that initial reviews are 4 star plus rating. Product manuals are not very user-friendly consider online programs with gamification for onboarding. Explore beta testers program at the time of launch where genuine prospects.

Relevance  And Richness Of Reviews


More helpful reviews drive more sales conversion, as on Amazon the default is to show the review with most helpful votes first. Just a few sentences saying “it is a good product” does not give the reader the full picture on the product. Also, reviews with more images and videos get read/clicked more often


Make sure you are tracking the length (word count) of your online reviews. Aim to have reviews of at least 50 words point. Also, keep a tab on the number of reviews with  images and videos and number of helpful votes

Recency And Regularity Of Reviews


Consumers know that experiences could change over time, so they like to judge a business or brand based on recent customer reviews. In fact, a study shows that 73% of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant. Also, consumers often discard reviews that seem to come from a “blitz”.


Limit ad-hoc review campaigns and have a program that creates an on-going stream of fresh and authentic reviews

Response To Negative Reviews


No product has only positive reviews. In fact, consumers are suspicious if there are only 4 and 5-star reviews. Most consumers also tend to read reviews with 1-2 star rating to understand potential issues in the product. 82% of shoppers specifically seek out negative reviews as per a study done by Power Reviews in 2017. Also, 41% of consumers say that brands replying to reviews make them believe the company really cares about their customers


Instead of worrying about negative reviews, focus on responding quickly and in detail to negative reviews. This will ensure that the potential buyer reading the review and response has both sides of the story.

In conclusion, brands and businesses need to ensure there is a regular stream of positive & helpful reviews and negative reviews are responded to properly and promptly. Tracking own as well as competition’s reviews trends is also critical because it is the second most trusted “media.”

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.

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