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Why Fake Reviews May Damage your Brand

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By Published On: March 10, 20200 Comments

Damaging loyalty with customers can make or break your business. While some retailers may think fake reviews are an easy way to find success, it may hurt them in the long term.

In a new study from Bazaarvoice, 69 percent of Australian online shoppers want to see a ‘new set of rules’ regarding fake reviews.

The Power of a Review

Reviews are a crucial aspect of building customer retention and loyalty. Not only do they build awareness of a product that a customer is interested in, but it also sends signals to the customer that your business is transparent and honest. When a review is automated, created internally or faked, it may throw that trust out the window.

Bazaarvoice’s study found that trust is one of the most critical factors for retail. On average, 72 percent of Australian shoppers said they would abandon a brand if an item they purchased was damaged or breaks easily.

“Consumers have become significantly more savvy when it comes to identifying fake reviews, and one of the tell-tale signs that make consumers suspicious are multiple reviews with similar wording or an influx of very positive reviews, particularly over a short period of time,” explained Kate Musgrove, the Managing Director APAC of Bazaarvoice.

If a customer has a poor experience with a brand or retailer, 23 percent of Aussies said they would make the conscious effort to write a review of their experience. While this may prompt the need for retailers to begin faking reviews, it can harm a brand’s reputation if the customer has a bad experience, despite the positive feedback online.

Despite what some retailers may believe, having a negative review isn’t a negative concept. It may just increase your chances of building trust with the consumer.

Sixty-three percent of Australian consumers say that seeing a negative review is ‘just as important’ as seeing a positive one. This is because they have access to more details regarding the product, which gives them greater insight into the experience with that retailer.

The Problem with Fake Reviews

It can be easy to think that a fake review here or there can improve your brand’s image. However, it can do more harm than good. The Bazaarvoice report found that three key points will influence consumers to lose trust with a retailer. Dishonest brand and product information (61 percent) problems with customer service (54 percent) and data breaches (50 percent) are the biggest trust-breakers with consumers.

“It is vital that brands and retailers pass consumer reviews through technology and human moderation with an accredited third party,” Musgrove explained. “Bazaarvoice’s clients benefit from fraud detection technology and moderation services to protect them from fake reviews.”

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