Recently, we kicked off a series about how your personal shopping habits can help you become the office superhero when it comes to keeping things stocked up and running smoothly. In our first installment, we took a look at the shoppers who know the value of exclusivity, both at home and at work. This week, we take a look at another savvy shopper: the rave reviewer.
This shopper loves recommendations, ratings and reviews, whether it's asking close friends for their experiences, reading online reviews, or browsing the star-ratings of local restaurants before picking a place to go to lunch. It's the safety net for shoppers everywhere, enabling you to learn from others' mistakes… and successes. Of course, there's no Yelp or TripAdvisor for business buying. So what's the best approach?
In the days of print-only catalogues and faxing purchase orders, it was a little difficult to really find out what other buyers thought of the business products you were considering. But as B2B providers have beefed up their e-commerce presence, the information at your fingertips has become more robust, more accessible, and more helpful when you're trying to make a decision.
"I would give this a 5-star plus rating. I absolutely love this sit-to-stand desk riser. "
Rocelco ADR Sit-to-Stand Adjustable Desk Riser; Staples #2106176
Here are some tips on getting your ratings and reviews fix when you're shopping for work:
- Expect your vendors and suppliers to have an ecommerce platform that supports ratings and reviews, from viewing and leaving them to sorting your search results by highest rating. There are a lot of options when you're buying for business, and looking for the key areas that suit you as a shopper when you're trying to decide is a good way to help narrow down the field.
- Read the "fine print." When you find a product you're truly interested in, dig a little deeper into the reviews to find out why it's rated particularly well, or where some of its lower ratings came from to help you make your decision.
- Find ways to talk to your peers! Whether this is through LinkedIn or other online forums, or with industry peers and colleagues at networking events, the people who can give you the best feedback from experience are the people who are have roles, responsibilities and companies similar to yours.
- Ask your account representative for help! They may be able to provide you with case studies from customers who have faced similar challenges, or they may even be able to provide you with custom recommendations from product and manufacturer experts.