The power of online reviews: Knowing your purchasing power and how to use it

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The importance of a strong reputation, online reviews and positive customer sentiment have increased significantly since the rise of social media and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consumers (us!) have all the purchasing power and, realistically, we won’t be making these decisions until we read online reviews. In 2020, 97% of consumers used the internet to read reviews for local businesses and even 31% of consumers say they read more reviews because of COVID-19.

Did you know research also states that displaying reviews can increase a business’ conversion by 270% compared to not displaying them at all? As a consumer, I’m a lot less likely to buy something when it has almost no ratings or reviews.

You can’t always trust the marketing and remain skeptical when it comes to just reading the ingredient list. A product can have the best ingredients in the world, but it could STILL not work for your skin. The only way to find out, outside of buying and trying, is by reading reviews or comparing products that are recommended for your skin-type.

Let’s review some of the benefits as to why we should ALWAYS look at online reviews before making our purchasing decisions.

Consumers are more likely to trust online reviews over marketing

The marketing of a product can be powerful, but online reviews harness even more power. This is because you see thoughts and opinions directly from the unbiased customers just like you. At the end of the day, you’re less likely to buy a product that has zero reviews. Nobody wants to be the guinea pig for an unproven product!

I am an impartial blogger who provides my own thoughts and opinions. The fact that I am not getting paid to market or use a product naturally boosts the credibility of my claims. Besides online reviews, bloggers and YouTubers are able to go in-depth with their impressions of a product. From the packaging, to the texture/scent, all the way to the results ranging from 1 to 100 uses, you can assure everything will be dissected in great detail.

These types of reviews can say a lot more than the character limits on Sephora or the company websites.

Many influencers love a product even when they get sponsored. A blogger or influencer’s credibility is everything, and we wouldn’t dare throw that away to make a quick buck.

Online reviews give the company and their products credibility

Online reviews, both positive and negative, help make a business more trustworthy. Consumers will often think only five-star reviews are “too good to be true” because it’s almost impossible a product doesn’t receive any negative feedback. It will most likely be perceived as deliberate fraud and that’s the last thing we want to see as consumers, don’t you agree?

Here is also where bloggers, YouTubers, and Instagrammers also play an important role. We are free to state our opinion and don’t have to worry about our reviews being erased by the company.

I want to believe that companies aren’t lying to us by deleting the honest, negative reviews on their eCommerce websites, but having these reviews on social media puts the power in our hands, the consumers.

Negative reviews help form your opinion

As a consumer, I can form a better opinion by keeping those negative reviews in mind. Oh, this reviewer with oily skin didn’t like this product because x, y and z, for example. Perhaps that might be the case when I use the product, as well.

On Sephora, you can filter the reviews based on skin type, hair type, and a vast array of other criteria. This most definitely will help you in the long run too.

However, the industries most affected by negative reviews are hotels, hair salons, and restaurants (among others) where a negative review regarding cleanliness, for example, is likely to prevent 81% of women from visiting.

Here’s also where these industries should take advantage of negative reviews to improve their business and directly respond to the feedback of their actual customers. If they don’t… well… what can you do? They can only expect to hide the truth for so long until it really begins to negatively impact their business.

Should we always trust online reviews?

There have been a few situations where companies posted fake reviews to boost their sales and to appeal to their customers. Sunday Riley got caught a few years doing this and, trust me, they’ve definitely put their credibility at risk.

Sometimes, negative reviews can also just be unreasonable or unfair. As a consumer, it’s your job to determine if that particular review adds value to your purchasing decision or not.


My goal as an informed consumer is to continue to remain skeptical, even of online reviews. Make reading online reviews part of your research prior to your purchasing decisions. I can guarantee this will pay off in the long run!

Have any tips or tricks on how you remain a savvy shopper? Drop me a comment!

Until next time!

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10 Comments

  • Natalie Richardson says:

    Great post Fleur – thank you for sharing this information!

  • Dutchie says:

    Thanks for publishing such informative article, Fleur. In Europe we adore the sun and using SPF is not a very common thing. Also, I remember that in the early days, SPF didn’t go higher than 30 and we only used it while on the beach. And when someone got a sun burn, we just laughed and put slices of cucumber on it to cool it down. You are absolutely right, we need to include SPF in our daily skin routine. Now one more challenge to go: introduce this to my husband.

    • Fleur Boomsma says:

      Thank you for sharing this little story! If we can normalize the use of sunscreen a lot of skin cancer could be prevented! Luckily the skincare companies are getting more innovative with their formulas to make sunscreen attractive for everyone of all skin colors/conditions/types!

  • Eva B says:

    So informative! Thank you for the sunscreen recommendations xx

  • Jennifer says:

    Sunscreen can save your life!!

  • Sue says:

    Your hair looks lovely. I want to try this now.

  • Celine says:

    Hello! I want to ask, after using the innisfree super volcanic mask, you rinse it off and then do you apply your skincare after that? or do you just leave your bare face after rinsing the clay mask off?

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