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Online reviews have transformed how customers buy services and products. As there are genuine users who write honest reviews, there are malicious users also who spoil by writing fake reviews. Review websites like Google Reviews, Trustpilot, and markets like Amazon are beleaguered with fraudulent checks. According to Guardian, 3.6% of the reviews given on TripAdvisor were fake. As per Statista, 46% of given 2.7 million fake reviews removed in 2021 were five-star reviews!

Fake reviews online are misleading as customers shop offline, and online reviews depend on reviews for making purchase decisions. Also, fake reviews create more problems as they cheat consumers into spending a product or money with a company they might not have chosen otherwise.

In this blog, we have discussed the significance of reviews for retailers and brands, identifying Amazon's fake reviews, and steps e-commerce companies could take to deal with fake reviews.

Significance of reviews for Retailers and Brands

Customers never purchase anything blindly. Customers read old reviews before buying products. Statistics indicate that despite the industry, getting a positive presence online is important and has become an essential portion of branding. This also suggests that customers have high confidence levels in associated consumers' opinions. Overall, positive online reviews and ratings can assist in skyrocketing your e-commerce sales.

Customers are likely to buy more if other unfamiliar customers agree that the product is good. Reviews can also make the brands more noticeable.

Why are fake online reviews so effective?

The main reason here is that the ROI to get fake reviews raises sales and profitability multiple times. For instance, an additional star on Yelp may increase a restaurant's revenue by around 5 to 9%. According to FTC, the expenditure on fake reviews can offer a 20x return. Though incentivized and fake reviews are a significant problem. Among the biggest e-commerce marketplaces, Amazon has barred incentivized reviews since 2016. It has taken suspicious reviews down and has taken legal action against the sellers that violate the policies.

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How to Identify Fake Reviews on Amazon?

Google, marketplaces, and review websites like Yelp can find thousands of reviews daily. In a PCMag survey, they interviewed 1,000 US shoppers looking to shop on Prime Day 2020 Sale, and merely 16% were confident about finding fake Amazon product reviews, while 24% of them were confident that they would do it. Let's go through some of the finest tips to spot fake reviews on e-commerce websites like Amazon:

Duplicate Content: In case you see dozens of reviews having the same title and description, like if they got copy-paste multiple times, most probably, they are fake reviews.

Inappropriate Language: Fake reviews may come from people outside your region. If you observe multiple studies with similar common errors and incorrect words, they may be fake reviews, and somebody has paid the reviewers for writing them.

Several Reviews on One Day: One more documentation of fake reviews is if there are multiple reviews on one day. There could be a lot of both negative and positive product reviews.

Unidentified or Unverified Reviewers: You can observe if a review has come from proven Amazon buyers. Brands could also check in case they have purchase records of the reviewers to remove fake reviews.

What should eCommerce brands need to do?

Follow a zero-acceptance policy for fake reviews

The primary step is to ensure that fake reviews are never uploaded to your website. Allowing negative fake reviews will affect your business. You could hire a third-party moderator who utilizes anti-fraud and data-driven methods for review evaluation. This will become a quicker and more successful step in defending your brand reputation.

Don't delete negative reviews.

While getting negative reviews could be the worst dream, they're needed for any successful UGC program. Consumers will probably buy more from a business that reacts to all the reviews with negative reviews. Customers believe that negative reviews provide more detailed information, whereas 32% believe they're less expected to be false. Besides, brands that respond to negative reviews get customers' loyalty and trust.

Be clear about how you gather UGC.

Brands can make sure that customers believe in user-produced content by being authentic about how they have collected it. Companies must never use incentivized or paid positive reviews. In its place, brands should allow their customers to give honest feedback. If you're providing free products, an opportunity to win something, or discount coupons in return for a balanced review, you should specify how you have collected it. For instance, you can mention that "this reviewer has received a free coupon or product in return for the honest feedback.

Keep trust

Using fake reviews results in losing trust, as many consumers think they have read fake reviews for offline and online businesses. Removal of fake reviews doesn't help in brand trust and revenue, and it also assists brands in maintaining trust among current and future customers.

Conclusion

Fake reviews are among the giant reputation killers and have become a big problem for brands, customers, and e-commerce platforms. Brands must take all the required steps to minimize fake reviews' risks and develop businesses amongst authentic users. Though modern text generation tools have become more capable of writing truthful reviews, there are ML and AI-based tools which can accurately distinguish reviews written by machines.

Need assistance in tracking online reviews or ratings? Or interpreting customer sentiments from reviews that they've left for products? Contact Actowiz Solutions for more details! You can also reach us for all your mobile app scraping and web scraping services requirements.

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