Who says you can’t make a second First Impression?

January 3, 2013 Published by

A recently published journal has shown that truly there is such a thing as a second First Impression. According to this journal, online reviews seemingly have a real impact on people’s perceptions, which helps them determine as to whether they should or should not carry out an action online (for example, buying a product, subscribing to a service etc.) The most impactful is an early positive review – consumers are less likely to change their mind with subsequent critical reviews if the first online comments they read are positive.

Manufacturers and marketeers strive to ensure that all reviews are positive but it’s interesting to note that the research above found that an initial negative perception can be changed more easily than a positive one, so companies with teething problems do not despair if your products don’t hit the ground running, you still have a chance to make a second First Impression.

So what does this mean for consumers?  Our advice is:

  • Read a small range of reviews, but make sure you’re aware that you’re likely to give more credence to the first few reviews.
  • Make sure you are making a properly informed, balanced decision and not being blinded by overly positive first impressions.
  • Don’t waste time reading lots of different reviews – after a while, you’re unlikely to change your mind.
  • Beware of ‘spammy’ reviews that are from those who have a history of leaving irrelevant reviews for different products.
  • Websites such as Amazon allow you to see who are frequent and reliable reviewers on the site, so you can trust their recommendation of products or services.

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This post was written by Dr Amanda Gummer

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