Sydney, 06 March 2020 – Research conducted by the world’s largest provider of authentic online shopper-generated ratings and reviews, Bazaarvoice Inc, among more than 10,000 consumers across Australia, the US, the UK, France and Germany, finds almost three quarters (72%) of shoppers feel the retail sector needs a new set of standards to combat fake reviews, with 69% of Australians agreeing.
In particular, these standards should stipulate that only verified shoppers are allowed to post reviews (37%), all new products should be tried and tested by such shoppers before their launched into the market (38%) and that customer content should be reviewed on a daily basis to weed out fake reviews (24%).
Trust is at stake for brands
Locally, trust remains of the utmost importance, with 72% of consumers in Australia stating that if a product is of poor quality or damages easily, this would result in them losing trust in a brand.
However, once trust is lost, a whopping 90% of consumers state they would avoid purchasing a product from the brand ever again, signifying that consumers have no qualms with taking their purchasing power elsewhere.
Meanwhile, 23% of Australian consumers are taking the step of leaving a negative review for a product they have purchased and had a poor experience. In addition, 13% of shoppers are also showing their discontent by posting their negative product experience on social media (Twitter post/Facebook status).
Kate Musgrove, Bazaarvoice’s Managing Director APAC, comments: “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.”
“It is vital that brands and retailers pass consumer reviews through technology and human moderation with an accredited third party. Bazaarvoice’s clients benefit from fraud detection technology and moderation services to protect them from fake reviews,” Kate Musgrove adds.
Turning a negative into a positive
Another important lesson in keeping good faith between brand and consumer is the accessibility of negative reviews. Two thirds of Australian shoppers (63%) express negative reviews are as important as positive reviews in their decision to purchase a product, because they contain more detailed information on the product pros and cons and are less likely to be fraudulent.
However, on the flip side, fraudulent reviews from other customers are just one way of losing trust. Dishonest brand and product information (61%), problems with customer service (54%) as well as breaches in data security or privacy protection (50%), are all ranked by Australian shoppers as more likely to break their trust of the brand than what other shoppers may have said.
Kate Musgrove concludes: “Bazaarvoice’s research shows that 98% of Australian shoppers rely on online reviews to make purchasing decisions. Where brands are prioritising honesty, responsiveness and transparency as core values, they are safeguarding shoppers’ trust. By harnessing the right tools and expertise, brands can draw on new insights from genuine shopper-generated content that can help enhance product design and production quality, improve the effectiveness of marketing and strengthen operational efficiency, which all come together to elevate shopper experiences and brands’ bottom lines.”
The research was commissioned by Bazaarvoice and conducted by Savanta among 10,000 consumers, with 2,000 respondents representatively sourced per region in Australia, the UK, the US, France and Germany.
Each month in the Bazaarvoice Network, more than a billion consumers create, view, and share authentic user generated-content (UGC) including reviews, questions and answers, and social photos across more than 6,200 global brand and retailer websites. From search and discovery to purchase and advocacy, Bazaarvoice’s solutions help brands and retailers reach in-market shoppers, personalize their experiences, and give them the confidence to buy.
Founded in 2005, Bazaarvoice is headquartered in Austin, Texas, with offices in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. For more information, visit www.bazaarvoice.com/uk