Lazada Vietnam delivered me the earphones I ordered on their website few days ago. For some reasons, the package was extremely deformed and the delivery staff seemed to be not so happy doing his task. That led me to post a feedback with complaining content in the “comment” section of product introduction site and guess what? Not even a call or reply reaching me for neither apology nor compensation. More importantly, my feedback still stayed there.
Seriously? In this Internet era?
I wondered if these online enterprises still have not recognized how destructively the consumers’ negative feedbacks can affect them, especially when they do not have any reaction.
Online consumer feedback can be under a type of consumer review is the rating posted right on the company’s website or a third-party page, based on their peer experience of using the product and service (Mudambi & Schuff 2010). This online review type, in facts, can be considered as a form of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM), which indicates an online space where consumers can get together and share their good and bad experience toward any product or service. Online review, factually, play a major role on shaping the consumer’s purchase decision-making process by influence their perception and attitude via information provided (Hennig-Thurau & Walsh 2004).
Internet, therefore, offers consumer more chances to efficiently express their opinions towards the operation of a company. Before, it was difficult for you let many people hear about your peer evaluation using a product, let alone make your rating convincible. Nowadays, Internet has changed the affair when you are able to post your review in any place on the Internet. The company’s website, review sites, relevant forums or even your personal blog and any type of social networking sites. Your friends and family now can read your experience on a particular aspect and may share the information if they find it useful (Cheung, Sia & Kuan 2012), which means your evaluation does not stay in one place with 1 -2 people, yet spreads around and even is noticed by the press if the issue get serious. However, online review is not simply about writing a comment. Internet actually provides the consumer with audio-visual aids for supporting their evidence. A photo may be faked and not convincible enough to you? Then, how about a video recording the whole process of product’s package unbinding?
In 2010 and 2011, Tan Hiep Phat – a Vietnamese national beverage brand – was stuck in an extremely scandalous situation when a series of their products was denounced to be decayed (Vietbao 2011). This set up a huge drive of boycotting THP’s drinks in many popular supermarket and also the consumers. The start of this scandal came from a few You Tube review videos showing that there were unusual things insides the lemon green tea (Tra xanh 0 do) and Dr Thanh herbal tea bottles. The scandal yet was not over when owner of the video reposted the links under the description to connect with other review videos, which express the same circumstance of THP products.
Nevertheless, what I mean is not that online consumer reviews only threaten companies doing illicit business. Any enterprise can possibly face the dangerous scandals, especially ones caused by cyber-scammer’s reviews. Internet has opened a place where users can create their own online identities, some of which may be not even their real ones. Those who using unrealistic identities thus may have chances to avoid their responsibilities for anything they say online (Fried 2003). These fraud reviews can under form of extremely negative feedbacks that mainly aims at blackmailing, revenging, competing, taking down or simply offending the business.
It is true that online reviews may bring the business excellent opportunities for promotion, yet they can also be a severe threat for the enterprise. So if you are running your own business: be ethical and beware of Internet scams in each online consumer review.
If you have finished reading this entry, rate it with the stars by the end. Please kindly note that any “review” of yours is welcome in my blog.
Cheung, CM-Y, Sia, C-L & Kuan, KKY 2012, ‘Is This Review Believable? A Study of Factors Affecting the Credibility of Online Consumer Reviews from an ELM Perspective’, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, vol. 13, no. 8, pp. 618-35.
Fried, RB 2003, ‘Cyber Scam Artists: A New Kind of .con’, in SANS Institute InfoSec Reading Room.
Hennig-Thurau, T & Walsh, G 2004, ‘Electronic Word-of-Mouth: Motives for and Consequences of Reading Customer Articulations on the Internet’, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 51-74.
Mudambi, SM & Schuff, D 2010, ‘What Makes a Helpful Review? A Study of Customer Reviews on Amazon.com’, MIS Quarterly, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 185-200.
Vietbao 2011, ‘Hàng loạt nước giải khát của Tân Hiệp Phát bị tố hỏng’, Viet Bao, viewed August 7, 2014, <http://vietbao.vn/Doi-song-Gia-dinh/Hang-loat-nuoc-giai-khat-cua-Tan-Hiep-Phat-bi-to-hong/2131384886/111/>.