What are Consumer Ratings?

Christine Hudson

Consumer ratings are collective grades given to products and services based on customer feedback. These ratings are usually gathered initially from test groups which give feedback of what they like or don’t like about a product. This helps a company perfect the new product before making it available to the general public. Many large companies heavily depend on honest reviews from these test groups in order to produce and even sell their products. Once the product or service receives a high percentage of positive reviews, it is released to the public along with the initial consumer rating to generate interest and drive sales.

Many people use consumer ratings to determine which products to purchase.
Many people use consumer ratings to determine which products to purchase.

When a product or service is made available to the general public, the company or third parties may survey those who’ve purchased it for their feedback. This has become so common that most people looking to buy a product or service will search for consumer ratings and customer reviews first. Most of these reviews will rate a product on a scale or by a grade or percentage.

In surveys, a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 is common. Once feedback is gathered from a set number of consumers, the median “grade” is found and published as the consumer rating. Higher numbers typically mean higher overall satisfaction with the product. Some rating scales are operated much like the United States school grading system, with A+ being the best mark and F being the lowest.

Percent scales might work a bit differently in consumer ratings. These are usually used when a very large number of people are surveyed and counting points or grades is not feasible. Instead, a simple “yes” or “no” is counted for each individual, and the percent generated represents how the majority of the test group feels. A high percentage will generally mean most people like the product.

Consumer ratings are very prevalent in the car and technology industries. Inventions and innovations are constantly being made in these industries, and customer feedback is crucial to understanding the way a market is thinking and evolving. It is also a form of market analysis for companies in these ever-changing industries, so they have a higher success rate by giving the consumers what they want.

Sometimes consumer ratings are given in a comparison test. Usually two to five similar products from different companies are given to the test group with no way of the group knowing which product is from which company. The people in the group then test each one against the other and decide which one they like best and why. This helps a company get into the minds of its customers and is a good way to generate interest by being better than the competition.

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