Why are ratings and reviews so versatile and powerful?
Because they provide insight into the customers' preferences and experiences. It also gives credibility and social proof of how different suppliers are performing based on peers' experiences. According to Nielsen's Global Trust ratings and reviews rank among the top factors impacting purchasing decisions, coming in at #2, just behind price. So, in short, the only way a supplier of a commodity good can justify a higher price is to demonstrate a better performance.
Ratings are subjective!
Yes, ratings are subjective, but this is actually one of the advantages, because of what is known as the "Power of Perceived Value". If the customer is always right, then the customers' perception is reality.... but the subjective statements cannot stand alone and need to be supported by some facts.
Supported by facts.
Ratings or reviews can never stand unsupported. There has to be some sort of validation, to ensure the authenticity of the rating. Many examples have been seen people reviewing a family member's restaurant or someone giving a bad review because of personal reasons. Our ratings in BunkerTrust are supported by our proximity check and by Statement of Facts in our continuous endeavour to validate the data we receive.
The power of averages.
"The power of averages" means that "wild west" ratings where buyers or vessel crew are rating a bunker delivery to (dis)credit a supplier or bunker barge will be evened out by the average. This means that if a barge or supplier has 500 ratings, then 5 good or bad ratings will not make a major impact. But if the same supplier or barge has 100 good/bad ratings, then this will surely show a tendency of the performance.