Retailers join forces to rebuild trust in online reviews

Electricals retailers and technology brands have joined forces to try and improve online customer reviews after recent criticism over the trustworthiness of some reviews.

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A “trusted reviews manifesto” and logo has been created by social commerce company Reevoo to counter allegations of fake reviews, paid-for reviews and selective display of only positive reviews.

Retailers signed up to the manifesto will display the Reevoo Mark logo to reassure customers that the reviews carried on their site are reliable, and not skewed in favour of the product.

Reevoo promises that all the reviews will be genuine, from people that have purchased the product. It will also display every review posted by consumers, good or bad.

Richard Anson, co-founder and CEO of Reevoo, says that 81% of online shoppers claim they use reviews to influence purchase decisions, which makes having a scheme they can trust “vitally important for consumer protection”.

The initiative will also protect retailers and make their online review offers credible.

Andrew Winton, head of sales at Everything Everywhere, says: “It’s very important for us to provide honest, impartial information on the products and services we sell; this gives our customers the confidence that we are being open and transparent with them. In a world where online reviews and recommendations are available almost everywhere we need to make sure that what we offer online stands out as being as trusted as a loyal friends’ insights would be.”

Anson adds: “If people stop trusting the reviews on any given site because they’re unsure whether they’re legitimate or not, then there is an inevitable and consequent loss of consumer trust in the brand or retailer.”

TripAdvisor was recently forced to remove the strapline: “reviews you can trust” from its website following an ASA investigation into allegations of fake reviews on the site.

Reevoo’s scheme is compliant with the ASA’s new regulations on user generated content and ties in with the Government’s desire for a self-regulatory mark for consumer reviews as suggested by Consumer Minister Edward Davey earlier this year.

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