It’s universally accepted that not all reviews on the Internet are genuine. For a fun example, take a look at these musings on a pink pen available on Amazon.
Many fake online reviews are, however, a lot more sinister in nature. With over three-quarters (78%) of online Americans relying on online reviews in their purchasing decisions, it’s no wonder that companies are doing everything they can to ensure that their own products and services are written about in more favorable terms than those of their competitors. Unfortunately, for the consumer, the rewards of a sterling online reputation have led to an increase in shady practices designed to part the review-seeking public from their money:
Despite these practices, three-quarters of consumers think the information presented in online reviews is generally fair with only 16% saying it is overly negative and 9% saying it is overly positive. And according to PunchTab research, 64 percent of Moms read online reviews before making a purchase.
So how do marketers assess if their online product and service reviews are contributing to the bottom-line? Here are some pointers on what consumers look for when seeking impartial information before making a purchase: