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Are Fake Online Reviews Crushing Consumer Confidence?

   Five-star reviews may seem to be great when you are interested in a product. In fact, the quantity of great reviews could ultimately sway a consumer into buying a product. It seems logical to base your final decision to buy based on online reviews left by previous buyers. Positive five-star reviews, especially if there’s a large amount of them, builds confidence for the product or service advertised. However, an important question then comes up. If an item has only five-star reviews, can its reviews truly be trusted?

Although it’s common sense that consumers should be cautious about the authenticity of online reviews, consumer-generated content is too valuable to be overlooked. 67% of individuals read and base their purchase decisions on customer reviews (Source). If you visit a website and all you find are five stars and the reviews seem too glowing, logical thinking will let you know that something is off.

Online Reviews and Consumer Reports: It’s a Trust Issue

When potential customers don’t feel they trust consumer reviews on a website, the website will not just lose out on purchases but also on potential customer loyalty. When consumers are consistently finding online reviews that are suspicious, they will be far less likely to trust the website.

Finding Authenticity in Online Reviews and Consumer Reports

Buying online can be a challenging task, and for this reason online reviews prove to be useful. The comment sections are where consumers can write their straightforward opinions of a product, an eating venue or a hotel. Comment sections are valuable resources for determining if something may be worth purchasing.

However, not all reviews are trustworthy. Businesses like Trip advisor have recently been brought into the spotlight for allegedly failing to protect consumers against bogus reviews. Some companies pay reviewers to publish positive reviews without even handling the product. These businesses do it to increase sales, which comes at the expense of an unhappy buyer who feels ripped off by their purchase.

Now it’s time to wise up.

Here are six ways you can spot a fake online review:
  • The reviewer has reviewed nothing else.
  • The reviewer publishes multiple articles and reviews with similar language.
  • The reviewer’s words are oddly specific. Think of reviews for products that have lengthy names, like “AMX Hydra Helix Sport swatch 1000x Chrome.”
  • The majority of commenters will not write out the entire brand name several times, but will rather simplify it to something like the “Hydra Helix.”
  • Bogus reviewers tend to go all out, writing out the entire name whenever possible, since it pumps up SEO for the product or service.
  • When there is excessive punctuation and too much enthusiasm.

How to Tackle Bogus Online Reviews and Build Confidence Online:

  • Verified reviews: For instance, Amazon verifies if a reviewer actually purchased the item.
  • A lot of websites with commenting features call for consumers to log in via social media. This puts a face to the review. It’s easy to visit that person’s profile and see yourself how “real” the reviewer is.

Hopefully, you have found this article to be helpful. Don’t be discouraged by the overwhelming statistics regarding fake online reviews. Instead, build your online confidence by learning how to spot the fakes. Don’t get fooled by the phonies.

Tackle bogus online reviews and build confidence online!

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