Brick and mortar businesses know that reviews on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor are extremely important for getting new customers in the door. Online businesses rely on good word of mouth, and sellers on Amazon heavily rely on their review numbers. Reviews are a great way for a potential customer to see the experiences of previous customers. The thing is, sometimes you will only get two outlier groups of reviewers. The first are those that had such a great experience that they have to share with others. The other type of reviewers are those that had a terrible experience and want to warn everyone to stay away from your business. It is tough to get those people that had a pleasant experience, nothing great but nothing terrible, to review. Instead you get tons of 5 stars or maybe bunches of 1s and 2s. If you are lucky, your fanbase will love you so much they will review just because they like you.
Another issue is getting fake reviews. A Harvard study estimates that 15-30% of reviews online are fake. These reviews could be from a disgruntled former employee, a competitor, or maybe just a troll (someone who is just messing around for no good reason). These reviews can be detrimental to your company. It can also be difficult to get these reviews removed. Of course everyone wants to hide all their 1 and 2 star reviews. Sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor are well aware of this, thus they make the process tough to ensure companies aren’t just hiding negative comments.
Amazon is taking a strong stand against fake reviewers. Some of these reviews may have been paid for, or were made by competitors. Amazon is now suing the people that post these fake reviews. TripAdvisor users want to see more strict verification for those leaving reviews. This will help cut down on the fake reviews. According to Naked Security, there was a Twitter campaign called #noreceiptnoreview. This sounds like a great way to verify that a reviewer is actually a customer, as Amazon does with their “verified purchase” stamp on reviews. There are issues with using a proof of receipt, as some have pointed out. Businesses looking to increase their rating could hand out fake receipts to reviewers.
According to an article on Marketing Land, 90% of consumers say they are influenced by online reviews when they buy something. Making sure you provide a great experience every time is a key driver of positive reviews. But weeding out the fakes can be tough.
See what Marketing Land suggests in the battle against fake reviews.
Don’t Be Deceived: Fake Reviews Are A Real Marketing Problem
By Sara Spivey Marketing Land