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Reasons Why Consumers Leave Product Reviews Online

Why Do People Leave a Review?

Have you ever left a review? I have, and I have to say, when I’m less than happy with the product, I tend to not review. Then I saw this research from Jungle Scout (MarketingCharts). It seems I’m not alone. It seems when we are the most likely to review is when we are going to say: Excellent, 5 stars!

Reasons Why Consumers Leave Product Reviews OnlineI really like that a large portion of reviewers leave reviews for altruistic reasons. Nearly 40% of people leave a review for the noble reason of helping others with the product or service. Most of us love to read the reviews, especially for more expensive items. Yet, this kind of research shows that reviews can be deceiving. If the majority of people leave a review when they are satisfied and a large percentage don’t when they are unsatisfied, then the numbers are skewed in favor of positive reviews.

Even more worrisome is that 30% get an incentive for leaving a review. I know economists would say that incentives drive all human behavior, but how accurate is a review that you need an incentive to post? And wouldn’t those reports be distorted due to Robert Cialdini’s theory of persuasion reciprocity, which states that human beings are wired to return favors or gifts. It is our subconscious or nature to feel obliged to those providing the favors or gifts.

So the next time you read a review, remember that there is more behind the review. And please rate my blog. I’d be happy to give you a mention in my blog if you do.

Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.

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Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.