Consumers reviews - do you trust them?
We've seen consumer reviews make a large difference in conversion rates online, and we've known for quite some time that people trust other people's opinions. Here are the numbers according to Nielsen. 70% of consumers trust consumer opinions posted online. This is higher than trust of TV, newspaper, magazine, radio and all other mass advertising listed in the survey. (Thanks Kristina for sending this to me earlier this week.)
If you are not letting consumers post reviews on your website, is it maybe because you don't trust your consumers?
What percentage of consumers would trust a review that a user posted on that website? While posting negative reviews of a particular wine can give the site and the winery credibilty and transparency, it still could be risky for the winery if the reviews are mostly negative. Perhaps long-term there could be a benefit to the winery (e.g., making better wine), the short-term consequences could be problematic.
For me personally, I would trust a review more if I felt they were authentic. I typically don't trust "testimonials" that I see in brochures and other print pieces. (Hopefully every company has at least a few customers willing to right glowing testimonials).
As for too many negative reviews... the consequences could be problematic, but you probably have problems already. (People talk about wine, word of mouth spreads, and your wine is being reviewed elsewhere). Not posting a negative review won't make your problems go away, or your wine taste better.
Do any wineries actually post unedited comments on their wines on their sites now? I haven't paid attention before, but it is something I will start doing. There are external sites that will post reviews both negative and positive, such as Yelp. It's good to know what people are saying about you, both good and bad. But a winery doesn't need to post the seeds of its own destruction.
I'm pretty sure that if a winery has a Facebook fan page, and comments there start turning overwhelmingly negative, that page will be turned off.
Andrew - It is less about trusting your consumers and more about trusting your product! If what you do is good, the comments will follow.
My original comments were pretty much based on what I see on sites such as Yelp, which attracts people who like to grumble, are unpleasant, and most of all, disagree with me.
You do also have testimonials and quotes from publications. So I'm going to edit my comments (well, add to them). If you make good wine and are passionate about it, a comment section can work very well for you.
And I am going to try your wines!