The state of online reviews
Online reviews have gone mainstream, and the majority of people either write them, or at least view them, making purchasing decisions based on others’ opinions. But something is shifting. The problem with some of the big review sites are considered by some to be an outmoded one-size-fits-all solution.
Why is that a problem? The world is going niche. Justin Parfitt, CEO of HeyLets has expertise on how reviews are used by consumers, and says that the next generation of review sites and apps will more intelligently utilize your personal data and contextual preferences to make more thoughtful recommendations.
Consider that HeyLets can already show you a personalized feed of recommendations from users who have similar interests, and use your social data to inspire you to try new things across the full range of your interests.
Even more impressive, next-generation apps like HeyLets will soon learn over time how you live your life, and be able to do things like:
- Anticipate your needs and propose activities for particular days by using information about past movements and even the weather forecast.
- Automatically disregard reviews from people with distinctly different preferences (i.e. a vegan diner who posts a at a non-vegan restaurant).
- Help you avoid less reliable reviews from “Debbie Downers” — people who only post critical updates and negative content.
8 ways online reviews will be different by 2020
In his own words below, Parfitt offers eight ways he says online reviews will differ from today in coming years:
- Anticipate your needs and propose activities for particular days by using information about your past movements and even the weather forecast. (i.e. if you like bars and surfing you’ll get a recommendation for beaches where the surf will be good that also have bars you’ll enjoy)
- Disregard content from people with different preferences (i.e. a vegan diner who posts a at a non vegan restaurant).
- Seek out the experiences locals enjoy.
- Help you avoid people who only post critical updates.
- Put little quirks and minor issues (i.e. “they take only cash”) into context and treat them as tips.
- Allow you to truly find the “diamond in the rough” – truly something that very few people have experienced.
- Focus on the positive, and automatically avoid negativity.
- Expand your network to automatically put you in touch with people who are more likely to become your best friend, based on extremely similar interest.