When it comes to online shopping, most times, buyers will buy an item only after they have read what others who have bought, have said about it. And the simplest way to know a customer’s sentiment? Your guess is as good as mine – Its reviews.

Several online purchases happen after careful consideration of star ratings and product reviews dropped by total strangers. 82% of United States adults have said that they at least check out online customer ratings or reviews before buying stuff for the very first time. And that is the verdict from a Pew Research Center survey, three years ago.

But do you believe in customer reviews when you plan to buy something online? And do these reviews even come from legit people saying legit things? Lets break that down.

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Fake Reviews Are Real

Customers, these days, are actually skeptical. At least Zach Pardes, director of advertising and communications, North America, at review platform, Trustpilot, agrees with me. Online shoppers make use of Trustpilot to know about companies and drop reviews, while businesses make use of it to get reviews.

“We live in a time when trust is completely under attack,” Pardes said. “This is the ‘fake news’ era. So people are reading (reviews) and consuming them more than ever before.”

“Shoppers are actually skeptical for a good reason. Fake reviews are very much real.” Words from Saoud Khalifah, CEO of Fakespot, which is an AI platform that analyzes online reviews.

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There are fake reviews bot-generated review and reviews the sellers influence themselves.

Fakespot reads various reviews per second and notes anything like how many reviews have been dropped for a product over time, the words used in the reviews and how quality the reviews are. Shoppers can make use of Fakespot’s website to break down reviews (by typing in a URL) for products at a lot of e-commerce websites, like Amazon and Best Buy.

So what is the reason for the high amount of fake reviews in circulation? Khalifah said consumers are scared of products that has no review or no stars at all. A few positive reviews here and there can actually make your product look better.

Legit Reviews Mean A Whole Lot

Definitely, not every user reviews you check out online are fake.

Authentic reviews are a very useful tool when you buy lots of stuff online. They assist customers to make vital financial decisions by knowing more about someone else’s experience. This can cater for the right hotel to book, the best place to eat dinner or the dopest brand of phone to spend money on.

Zach said TrustPilot has flagging mechanisms that can be seen by users, and AI tech plus a team ready to get rid of fake reviews immediately they notice them.

One of the very effective review websites is Yelp. This compares to our generation’s version of word-of-mouth.

Kathleen Liu, the company spokesperson, said, “Before platforms like Yelp existed, consumers had to rely on yellow pages, newspapers, magazines and local advertisements for information about local businesses.”

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“Yelp takes measures to ensure “high-quality content,” Liu continued.

Yelp lets Yelp’s community of business owners and users flag content that can go against the site’s terms of service, and it caters for moderation of reviews also.

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How You Can Separate The Lies From The Truth

Because real user reviews actually help, reviews should not be disregarded completely. But how can you actually know the difference between what is fake and the truth? It is nearly impossible for the regular customer.

But if you investigate properly, surely, you can pick the right product your heart desires.

Zach has an advice for you too. He said, “Check more than one review source.”

“If you’re about to book a $10,000 vacation, you’d never rely solely on the photos and the reviews posted by that hotel’s marketing team,” he says. “You’re going to want to use a third-party independent resource.”

“Read more than a handful of reviews. There is safety in numbers.”

In addition to that, pls look out for warning signs. For instance, is the review concentrating on the company and its customer support than on the product itself? This could mean a reviewer was paid by the company or the individual selling.

Also, be aware of the perfect review. Customers should not trust a flawless review that shows five stars. There really cannot be a five-star review in all category of your business. There must be definitely be something suspicious to beware of.

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