How Technology Could Help Restore Trust in Online Reviews
A 2015 Bright Local survey put the proportion of consumers who read online reviews for products and services as high as 92% and showed that as much as 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just 1 to 3 reviews.
This helps to highlight the power that online reviews have in influencing our purchasing decisions, and therefore the power that reviews have over the fortunes of a business. As any business that has experienced the result of one or more prominent bad reviews on e.g. Trip Advisor will know the negative impact on trade can be significant.
Although last year’s UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) report about online reviews and endorsements put the estimate of UK consumers who use online reviews at only 54%, it did highlight one of the major concerns for businesses that has led to a lack of trust in online opinions i.e. potentially misleading practices.
These include fake reviews being posted onto review sites, negative reviews not being published and businesses paying for endorsements in blogs and other online articles without this being made clear to consumers.
A recent piece by the BBC highlighted the mixed online reviews of a Manhattan restaurant to introduce the subject of how new technology could help to cut down on misleading practices in online reviews and endorsements. This could of course benefit businesses, customers, and those who are most likely to be influenced by reviews, those who haven’t tried your product or service before.
Some of the new technology that could help to restore trust in online reviews includes:
What Could These Mean For Your Business?
The wider adoption of quality based systems like these could quite simply provide more of level playing field for businesses and could help to protect you from some of the more obvious, frustrating and damaging reviews that you may have received as a result of potentially misleading practices.