Stars and Stories

How negative reviews benefit your online sales


Reviews hold immense power over brands: they can either boost or hurt reputations. Companies are always improving their products to prevent as many negative reviews as possible, but let’s face it: nothing is ever one-size-fits-all. Negative reviews are inevitable, no matter how well-beloved it is by consumers. 

That said, as scathing as negative reviews can be at times, having them sprinkled across your website is not necessarily a bad thing. If anything, they offer extra perspective to help consumers see both sides of the coin before making an informed purchase decision. 

Let’s take a deeper dive into how negative reviews can actually benefit your business. 

Consumers are skeptical of products with only five-star reviews

According to, 82% of consumers take the time to read not only the positive reviews but also the negative ones. Those who see products with only five-star reviews become extremely skeptical. Consumers are more likely to trust the legitimacy of the product when there’s a comfortable balance of both positive and negative reviews. Here’s why:

1) Consumers want to hear both sides of the story

Products with a mix of both positive and negative reviews provide consumers with a more well-rounded perspective, which builds credibility and reduces the possibility of reporting bias. Negative reviews especially adds depth to the product’s overall rating as it warns consumers what they should look out for in the product apart from the positives. 

2) Extreme ratings are perceived as ‘lower quality’

Customers normally only publish online reviews if they’re extremely satisfied or extremely disappointed with the product. When reviews and ratings are only available on either range of the spectrum (either 1 or 5 stars specifically), it does not give consumers the best available judgement on the product’s overall quality and performance. Furthermore, readers may be more likely to read the negative reviews as opposed to the positive ones to fact-check the brand’s claims on the product. 

3) Extremely positive reviews can be dishonest and biased   

Depending on the consumer’s intentions, some positive reviews can be misleading due to dishonesty and product or brand bias. Some people enjoy presenting themselves as ‘the expert’ or may have left a review even though they have never tried the product themselves. Companies sometimes exercise censorship or manipulation by 1) removing or altering reviews, and 2) generating only positive reviews by incentivizing writers with money or gifts. 

Too good to be true

Contrary to popular belief, high ratings do not always lead to better sales results. When a product is saturated with end-to-end five-star reviews, it just looks too good to be true and consumers will identify that as ‘bait.’ Having five-star reviews is great, as long as a good combination of moderate and negative reviews is in place to balance things out and properly represent a mix of good and bad consumer experiences. 

Value your negative reviews

Consumers are entitled to share honest feedback, even if it means their experiences with your products were not ideal. Constructive criticism as such add further depth and dimension to overall insight into the product, elevating consumer trust and credibility for your brand. 

And why remove or alter negative reviews when you can actually learn from them? Constructive criticism is a wonderful segment towards progress and improvement, which can lead to higher customer satisfaction the next time you release a new and improved product.  

Are you in need of ratings and reviews to boost brand awareness and credibility? Schedule a meeting with our sales team today at

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