Word of mouth is still important on the Internet

Many Internet marketers would like to have us believe that success online is all down to various bits of technology. They tell us you need this kind of ecommerce software, or that kind of autoresponder, or a specific piece of unblockable pop-up advertising service. But none of these are really as important as good, old fashioned word of mouth.

I recently read “The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing” by George Silverman, which is an excellent, practical guide to exploiting word of mouth in business. One of the points this book makes is the power of word of mouth – in fact it demonstrates that above all other marketing methods, word of mouth stands out as the most significant.

So it should be no surprise that a recent study shows that a sizeable slice of the buying public check out online reviews of products before buying. In fact two out of three online shoppers check product reviews mostly or always before buying – and they need half a dozen or more reviews to feel comfortable. In other words, they are depending on word of mouth recommendations from other buyers before deciding whether or not to purchase.

For online retailers this means that the most important thing to concentrate on is getting those reviews from your customers. Instead of looking for the latest technological gadget, merely encouraging your customers to write reviews of your products and services is likely to do you more good. Once again, this study demonstrates that good, old-fashioned marketing methods will work even online and that you can forget all that fancy technological gibberish.

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