Are Online Reviews Always Accurate?

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The number of people searching for suppliers and service providers online is increasing rapidly in the last few years, due to increased smartphone usage. often the online shopper has little information about the seller, other than the information which is posted online. Usually, if the buyer is purchasing the product or service online, he will check the reviews before making a decision, it is difficult to sell products with more negative reviews. Online fraud has increased so many online shoppers are asking can you trust reviews online? The answer depends on a number of factors which are discussed below.

 

Review source

First Page. The online reviews of the business are posted on different websites, and these websites use different criteria to ensure that the reviews are genuine. In some cases, the reviewer will be asked to use his social media profile, while other websites will check whether the reviewer has actually purchased the product or service. So though this verification method will ensure that only genuine customers are posting their reviews, there is no guarantee that the reviewer is not offered incentives for posting false positive or false negative reviews.

 

Business ethics

Some businesses are extremely ethical and will not pay others for positive or negative reviews. In other cases, the business may be ethical, but the digital marketing they have hired may not be very honest. The digital agencies are aware that search engines are considering the number of reviews and ratings while listing the business in the search, and businesses with more reviews are likely to get ranked better. So the digital agency may be offering incentives to reviewers for posting reviews or asking individuals who have never purchased the product to post reviews

 

Competition

For some products, especially high-value products, customers are more likely to do online research before purchasing a specific product/service. So having a large number of positive reviews can help in increasing the number of sales. Conversely having negative reviews can adversely affect sales. So the business will try to maximize the number of positive reviews, offering incentives to customers to post positive reviews, though they may not be fully satisfied. Unethical companies may also pay people to post negative reviews of their competitors, which adversely affect the reputation and also sales of the competitor.

So while a majority of the online reviews at reputed websites are accurate, about 20% may be fake reviews,so online shoppers should learn to find out if the reviews are genuine.