It is no secret that many brands today are using fake reviews on their digital accounts. And, this is becoming a critical issue that is progressively on top-of-mind for modern consumers. With this concern, Bazaarvoice has conducted a study with more than 10,000 consumers from five different markets – spanning the U.S, the U.K, Germany, France, and Australia.
The latest study, titled “Consumers call for action on fake reviews” highlighted some interesting insights. The retail industry needs to set new standards to combat fake reviews – nearly 73% of shoppers demanded so. They also indicated for severe punishment for violating the terms and noncompliance.
As per the study, nearly 95% of shoppers rely on ratings and reviews to learn more and decide on a product. Today, consumers evaluate authenticity and research thoroughly before deciding on any product. Joe Rohrlich, CRO at Bazaarvoice, mentioned in the company blog post, “Thanks to increased media coverage, shoppers are aware and evaluating reviews for authenticity. Consumers have become more shrewd and skeptical of marketing and advertising practices as a whole…they look for red flags. ”
The study took a closer look at how brand trust is built and can be broken in no time! More than half the consumers, close to 54%, confirmed that they do not buy a product if they suspect it to have fake reviews. Fraudulent reviews are affecting their capacity to pick brands’ offerings as a trusted source.
It is a primary factor for brands to execute textual moderation, and not just positive reviews and five-star ratings. Also, a data-driven anti-fraud operation is needed to ensure review relevancy, keeping the trust of the consumer. Joe Rohrlich also mentioned, “Brands and retailers need to embrace authenticity and transparency and continuously work to combat fake reviews. Shoppers are hardwired to seek word-of-mouth, and we need to ensure they can confidently turn to ratings and reviews as trusted sources.”
I trust in a brand is lost, 85% of consumers reported they would avoid it in the future. As per them, the most common ways a brand could lose its trust is with poor quality (66%), receiving false brand information (55%), and fake reviews (43%). Clearly, brand trust is supreme for customer loyalty – it encourages consumers as an invaluable asset for the brand.
Lastly, in the words of Rohrlich, “Fake reviews can be devastating to a brand. Simply put, once shoppers suspect a company of having fake reviews, trust is in question. In an era of misinformation and fake news, brand integrity is essential to building consumer trust, which directly translates to profit.”