The intent of replicants is to be, a human replication, to the point the best replicants don't even know they are one. This would be subverted if replicants could be easily told apart. The 4 year safeguard is to avoid the Replicants to develop human cognition to the point they can't be detected.
So what is the point of replicants in the first place? The 4 escaped replicants in the movie serve as a soldier, an assassin, a nuclear material handler and a prostitute (so dangerous and undesirable jobs).
Why would they want them to be indistinguishable? Well in some jobs (like prostitution and assassination) looking like a real human would make all the difference. Some people might distrust replicants (like Ripley distrusts Androids in Aliens), if they were identifiable. And finally, there is the uncanny valley phenomenon, where humans are unsettled looking at near life-like imitation of life (for example, a 3d render of a human, or a high end sex doll). So a perfect human would leave people at ease in many ways.
There is no reason given in the movie for the replicants being so human like, so the best we can do is guess.