There’s been a huge vote of no-confidence in online reviews, often used for marketing by many online agencies and some traditional ones too.
A survey conducted by Feefo shows that some 89 per cent of consumers in general are worried that fake online reviews are distorting what people buy.
This is a 14 per cent increase on the 75 per cent who expressed the same concern in Feefo’s research last year.
The research is not confined to agency reviews, but it explores the attitudes of 2,000 UK consumers towards online reviews in general.
This latest Feefo survey found that only 17 per cent of respondents believe that reviews are policed appropriately while 27 per cent have been misled by a review into making a purchase they regretted (or know someone who has done the same).
In the research findings, most respondents said it takes between six and 25 reviews for them to trust a company’s review system, with men more likely to be influenced by a platform providing evidence that the reviews are from real customers.
Middle-aged and older shoppers are more likely to be influenced by sentiments expressed in reviews, which they can filter using smart technology, whereas younger consumers respond more readily to visual cues such as product images.
“Consumers are reading reviews like never before, but increasingly demand they are credible and posted by real customers” claims Matt West, chief revenue officer at Feefo.
“The advent of a new ISO standard for reviews is a great opportunity for positive change. Brands have so much to gain from publishing real reviews on an agile platform that boosts their reputation for transparency and trustworthiness” he adds.