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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 02, 2008

PowerReviews gives SMBs online review option

Just as online shoppers have come to expect product images and detailed descriptions, they will soon come to expect user reviews, too. The role of reviews in online buying behavior is such that they're no longer a helpful site addition, they're an essential feature, but what if you can't afford a couple of thousand dollars a month to implement and maintain such an improvement?

by Helen Leggatt

Recent research by Rubicon Consulting found that online reviews are second only to word-of-mouth in influencing consumer buying decisions. Marketers need to implement user-generated reviews to stay abreast of the competition and add the social element so many shoppers are looking for.

Smaller companies, in particular, benefit from online reviews. Not only do they often selling unique, niche products that aren't reviewed elsewhere, they also need to demonstrate to consumers that their size doesn't make them less reputable than larger outfits.

However, implementation and management of online reviews is not cheap, costing around $2,000 each month, according to, making it hard for small- to medium-sized businesses to participate. Until now. has introduced a new application called "PowerReviews Express", specifically aimed at SMBs.

"Today's savvy retailers, regardless of size, understand the need for customer reviews to create a shopping experience their customers can trust," said Andy Chen, CEO of PowerReviews. "With Express, smaller retailers finally have a cost-effective tool to harness and leverage their customer's voice to drive higher sales."

Tags: online reviews, online shopping, PowerReviews, retailers, SMB, word-of-mouth

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