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Product reviews have become an essential part of the consumer shopping experience and journey in the digital age. With the rise of e-commerce, customers no longer can see, touch, or try products in person before buying. This is where online reviews come in – they provide a way for consumers to get insights from other buyers before making a purchase decision.

Product reviews in Canada are more than just helpful for consumers. They also provide vital feedback to businesses on how their products are perceived and where improvements can be made. As the Canadian e-commerce market continues its rapid growth, with online sales expected to hit nearly $79 billion in 2022, product reviews will become increasingly integral on both sides of the retail equation.

10 Reasons Why Product Reviews Are Important in Canada

Product reviews serve valuable functions for both consumers and businesses. As online shopping continues to gain dominance as the preferred way Canadians shop, product reviews allow customers to make informed buying decisions and companies to gather invaluable. Product reviews are indispensable in the Canadian retail landscape for many reasons.

1. Reduce Risk for Consumers

Product reviews allow customers to reduce the risk of buying something sight unseen. By reading feedback from other buyers, consumers can better understand the quality, value, fit, and other attributes before spending their hard-earned money. This gives them more confidence to click that “Buy Now” button.

2. Manage Expectations

Along with reducing risk, reviews help set accurate expectations about the product’s pros, cons, features, and performance. Consumers can realistically calibrate what to expect when the item arrives on their doorstep, minimizing disappointment and increasing satisfaction.

3. Identify Quality Products

Sifting through the sheer variety of products listed on Canadian e-commerce sites can be overwhelming. Reviews act as a vetting system, surfacing high-performing, quality items versus inferior knockoffs or defects. This helps shoppers eliminate the clutter and make better buying choices.

4. Learn from Other Customers’ Experience

Product testing and expert evaluations certainly have a place, but there’s no substitute for learning from other real-world users. Customer reviews provide first-hand testimonials of how the product held up during actual ownership and usage over time. This on-the-ground intel is invaluable during research.

5. Comparison Shopping

Reading multiple reviews for similar products allows for useful comparisons between models and brands. Shoppers can analyze relative strengths and weaknesses and weigh input from owners when choosing between options. This level of competitive analysis is extremely valuable before hitting the checkout button.

6. Discover Accessories & Compatible Add-Ons

Product reviews often give tips about useful accessories, hard-to-find replacement parts, and other compatible add-ons. This can expose expanded options to improve the original purchase’s usefulness, customization, and longevity. With reviews, these hidden gems may be uncovered.

7. Get Answers to Product Questions

Reading reviews allows shoppers to tap into the collective wisdom of other owners and get answers to questions about an item’s specs, features, assembly, warranty, technical configuration, repair tips, and much more. This can fill in critical information gaps during the consideration phase.

8. Identify Great Deals

Savvy shoppers read product reviews to discover diamonds-in-the-rough-under-the-radar products that overdeliver relative to their price points. These hidden value buys may be subtle and heavily marketed, but reviews confirm they punch well above their weight. This allows bargain hunters to pinpoint unheralded deals.

9. Drive Better Purchase Decisions

Ultimately, product reviews enable consumers to make far more informed purchase decisions. Shoppers can leverage the experience of existing owners to determine if an item deserves consideration, lives up to expectations, and is suitable for their unique needs. Reviews provide the cloak of invisibility to “try before you buy.”

10. Provide Vital Feedback to Manufacturers & Retailers

Just as reviews offer indispensable intel for shoppers, they also give manufacturers and retailers incredibly useful consumer feedback. Product teams rely on reviews to identify shortcomings, quality issues, feature requests, and areas for innovation in future releases and updated models. Meanwhile, e-commerce managers use trending review data to fine-tune inventory, merchandising, and partnerships. Reviews are crucial intelligence for optimizing selection and dialing in winning products that move off physical and digital shelves.

How to Use Product Reviews

When shopping online, it’s essential to read product reviews before making a purchase. Here are some in-depth tips on how to use product reviews effectively:

Carefully Vet the Reviewers

As you analyze product reviews, the first step is to vet the credibility of the reviewers. Scan their reviewer profile, see how many reviews they’ve contributed, and read some of their past write-ups. This helps determine if they are thoughtful, experienced reviewers versus random one-timers. Also, confirm if they purchased the item with a verified buyer badge. Reviews from actual paying customers carry much more validity versus opinions from random website visitors just weighing in.

Optimize Sorting & Filters

Rather than manually scanning all reviews, utilize built-in sorting and filtering to prioritize the perspectives you care most about. For example, sort by most recent or highest rated. Filter by certified purchasers or your country/region. You can also filter by star ratings, keywords, or attributes like “durable” and “long-lasting.” This shows the most hard-hitting praise and complaining, so you get a balanced download.

Spot Trends & Look For Outliers

As you analyze detailed reviews, don’t simply focus on standout positives or isolated criticisms. Rather, look for broader trends, patterns, and outliers that point to wider truths. Pay extra attention if multiple buyers call out the same defect or rave about the same game-changing feature. Align your expectations to the overall consensus while noting dissenting perspectives that may or may not apply.

Probe Further with Q&A

Many review platforms allow shoppers to ask follow-up questions to reviewers to probe deeper into considerations important to them. A reviewer may have yet to cover battery lifespan expectations, child safety features, overseas voltage compatibility, or many other use case questions. Engage in a back-and-forth via Q&A to address your unique needs and fill in information gaps.

Consider Incentivization Bias

A disclaimer when reading glowing reviews: be cautious of potential incentive bias where the reviewer may have gotten the product for free or been offered other perks in exchange for a write-up. This doesn’t automatically negate the feedback, but it’s worth weighing how this dynamic may skew positivity or gentle handling of shortcomings. Seek out non-incentivized perspectives for balance.

Verify with Multiple Sources

Rather than staking your entire purchase decision on reviews from one retailer or platform, verify perspectives against other channels. Expand investigation to brand sites, industry publications, YouTube reviews, and specialty review sites to confirm widespread consensus. Various sources each provide unique real-world insight.


As e-commerce continues its rapid adoption, product reviews have become indispensable shopping enablers. Follow these best practices to tap into the consumer’s hive mind, align expectations, identify quality and value, and optimize purchase decisions. For manufacturers and retailers alike, ratings and reviews should inform ongoing product development and e-tailing strategies. Ultimately, the collective sharing of experiences builds a consumer landscape that benefits buyers and businesses in the long run.