News Byte: Half of Consumers Doubt Authenticity of Reviews

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Online reviews get mixed reviews.
Online reviews get mixed reviews.

Half of consumers in the United Kingdom and 48% in the United States believe that at least one of the product and service reviews they read online is phony, and a majority in both countries think that companies remove negative comments. Nonetheless, 70% of people in both countries turn to reviews before making a purchase, according to a new survey.

Brand reviews, it appears, are the Wikipedia of online commerce. People have their doubts about the authenticity of the information presented, but turn to them anyway as a simple and accessible means of research, according to a survey of 3,000 consumers in both countries conducted last month by Bazaarvoice.

More than 80% of survey respondents said they would be more trusting of reviews if they knew they were screened by a neutral third party for fraud. What‘s more, 55% of Americans and 45% of Brits said they believed such monitoring needed to include human analysis as well as automated filters.

Bazaarvoice is the provider of the Authentic Reviews Trust Mark, a certification service whose “b” logo on reviews indicates they are managed by a third party.

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