Promoting Truth and Transparency in Online Reviews

December 12, 2013

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According to a new report by social commerce company Bazaarvoice, approximately 50 percent of consumers in the US and UK believe that some of the online reviews that they read are fake.

It’s kind of sad because online reviews are our business. At the same time, we here at ReviewTrackers realize that the report serves as a challenge and opportunity to continue helping businesses and consumers alike identify and be more vigilant of deceptive information online.

(Check out: “10 Savvy Ways You Can Spot Fake Reviews”)

Despite the persistence of consumers’ doubts, the report still found that people continue to place high value on reviews. Reviews, after all, are the new word of mouth. In fact, 7 in 10 adult consumers in the US and UK read reviews before making purchase decisions: a source of information that’s consulted more than other types of content.

Moreover, around 55 percent of US respondents say that they are more trustful of reviews that have passed through human analysis and a technology filter (Yelp’s Review Filter, for example). Meanwhile, more than 33 percent of consumers say that they would trust reviews more if they know that policies exist to prevent businesses, brands, and retailers from directly asking for positive reviews – or to promote a transparent system wherein disclosures are made if consumers, for example, were offered an incentive for giving a business five stars.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: in an age when some businesses might try to game the system in order to improve their reputation, it’s important to rely on reviews that are free from fraud and spam.

“Reviews are a proxy for a live experience that can’t otherwise be replicated online, and that means they must be authentic to be useful,” said Lisa Pearson, Bazaarvoice chief marketing officer, in a statement. “Trust remains one of the few constants that inspire people to openly share their experiences.”

We definitely agree. That’s why we’ve created a platform that intelligently collects, centralizes, and analyzes local business reviews: so that business owners will be alerted and have the resources to manage whatever may not be right, or whatever could unfairly hurt their reputation. Discover for yourself why our clients love us: sign up for a free trial of ReviewTrackers today.

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