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Distrust of Online Content Grows

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By Published On: January 16, 20240 Comments

Bazaarvoice has found Aussie online shoppers are growing more sceptical about the legitimacy of online content.

Over a year ago, Bazaarvoice published their The 2022 Fake Reviews Report which found that 55 percent of Australian respondents confirmed they would not buy a product if they suspect a fake review and that fake reviews make many lose trust in a brand. The consequences go further with 86 percent saying they would avoid using a brand again after losing trust in it. 

Entering 2024 this concern for fake reviews has only grown as shoppers spend more cautiously online. 

Bazaarvoice have released the results of their latest consumer research which is based on a survey of more than 1,000 Australian and 8,000 global shoppers as well as 415 brands of which 52 were Australian. 

The survey has found that fake reviews continue to weigh heavily on consumer’s minds when it comes to their shopping habits and are looking for brands and the government to take action in order for them to feel confident in the content they’re consuming online.     

“Fake reviews undermine confidence in online content, dissuading shoppers and negatively impacting the online sales of brands and retailers.” Said Andy Chakravarty, VP of Research at IDC Retail Insights. “Validating authenticity of product reviews improves the customer experience, giving shoppers peace of mind as they make informed purchasing decisions.”  

78 percent of shoppers expressed concern over fake reviews. With 32 percent of Australian consumers having fallen victim to fraudulent content while shopping online, they want the government to take ownership of the issue and address it. 64 percent of shoppers place the onus on the Government as compared to 60 percent expect brands and retailers to address and solve issues of fraudulent content online.  

Shoppers aren’t only concerned about fake reviews, but with the rise of AI and sponsored UGC, concerns are rising about authenticity across all platforms. 

Bazaarvoice found 78 percent of consumers are concerned about fake images, 76 percent are concerned about fake videos, and 72 percent are concerned about fake questions and answers. 

This distrust extends to social media content.  69 percent of respondents are concerned about fake social media content with 43 percent saying that they had some distrust or no trust at all in influencers. Only 3 percent of respondents said they had high trust in influencer content. 

“This study underscores the absolute necessity of user-generated content (UGC) being authentic,” said Zarina Lam Stanford, CMO at Bazaarvoice. “Brands and retailers need to ensure that their customers trust the content they consume online. If shoppers can’t trust UGC, it loses all of its value, and companies will lose out on sales.”

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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