The way consumers feel about fake reviews is a key factor in understanding how trust influences people’s purchase decisions. Recent data from Bazaarvoice found that 54% of consumers across 5 countries would not buy a product if they suspected it to have fake reviews.
The study makes it clear that consumers would value a new approach: of the more than 10,000 surveyed, 72% think that the retail industry needs a new set of standards to combat fake reviews. The most popular stipulation among respondents was that only customers who have made verified purchases should be able to post reviews (43%), followed by the requirement that all products are tested among legitimate consumers before launch (38%). Consumers’ attraction to verification and legitimacy in the study indicates that the possibility of fake reviews currently stands in the way of their ability to trust a product before making a purchase.
Consumers want transparency from companies and this includes their reviews process. Some 34% of respondents would like companies to carry out daily reviews of customer content to eliminate fake reviews, and 20% want websites to publish their reviews process or the third-party vendors they use to monitor reviews.
It seems that retailers have nothing to lose and much to gain through regulation of their reviews process. Almost two-thirds (62%) of US consumers find negative reviews to be as important as positive ones in the decision to purchase a product, and globally 54% of consumers would buy from a brand again after a negative product experience if they felt the company hadn’t broken trust. Once trust is lost, however, 82% of consumers will avoid using the brand again.
As the e-commerce world incorporates new strategies such as influencer marketing to engage customers, customer reviews remain one of the most important mediums consumers lean on to make their purchase decisions. Retailers should be mindful of ensuring that their reviews process is an asset, not a burden.
Read the full report here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of more than 10,000 consumers across the US, UK, France, Germany and Australia, among who 72% feel the retail industry needs a new set of standards to combat fake reviews. Figures show the % who believe such standards should have listed stipulations.