One of the more obvious benefits of widespread Internet access is the ease with which consumers can research a particular product or service before making a purchase. Rather than consulting a store employee who may have a vested interest in selling a product, consumers are now able to conduct thorough research that allows them to base their decision on the experiences of consumers who have used the product in question in the past. While this is undeniably beneficial, Kim Bettasso warns that a careful approach is often warranted.
According to Bettasso, who is used to conducting deep analyses in her role as a financial advisor, consumers must be able to determine which reviews best reflect the quality of the product or service and which reviews represent outliers. Almost every product on the market today will have at least one overwhelmingly negative review, so caution is required in being able to discern whether that consumer’s experience was the result of something other than a poorly designed product. Bettasso believes that the best way to arrive at an accurate assessment is to conduct a thorough review of the full range of consumer opinions. Using this strategy, a purchase should only be made when there is a sense of confidence that the product or service is as advertised.
When making a purchase, it is recommended to read a healthy cross-section of reviews. The positive reviews will focus on what the product or service is able to do well, while the negative reviews will focus almost entirely on the product’s shortcomings. While reading these reviews, it often becomes clear that the prior expectations of the consumer highly influence their assessment of the product. It is therefore the case that consumers who thoroughly research a product before making a purchase can determine whether their own expectations are in line with what the product is able to accomplish.