Facts Revealed About Online Reviews

Face It, Consumers Are Trained

Consumers are trained to investigate reviews on the web prior to making a purchase regardless if the purchase is made online, over the telephone, or even in person.

Internet research firm YouGov reports that 93% of consumers will occasionally check product reviews prior to making a purchase with a full 25% of the segment always checking reviews before purchasing an item.

Now, not every future customer may believe all of the negative reviews or all of the positive reviews about a particular business.  Yet, it is the sheer belief by business owners that consumer’s buying decisions are affected in some way by online reviews that can cause them to enter into a complete state of paranoia.

The Facts About Online Reviews

Manage Negative Reviews Called FlamesYouGov offers some very interesting insight as to the trends and statistics surrounding online reviews by consumers.  For example:

21% of those surveyed admitted to reviewing products they had never purchased or tried.

The motives for such activity by consumers varies.  Of this segment, the following is a break down as to why consumers post fake online reviews about businesses and their products:

– 33% of those surveyed said they “just felt like it”.

– 23% of those surveyed said they posted the review on behalf of someone else.

– 22% of those surveyed said they posted the review because they did not like the idea of the product.

– 19% of those surveyed said they posted the review because they did not like the manufacturer or service provider.

– 10% of those surveyed admitted to posting spoof or fake reviews.

A New Era of Accountability

Hadeed Carpet Cleaning pursued litigation against what it believed were defamatory reviews posted through the online review website Yelp.  In January a Virginia court agreed and required Yelp to disclose the computer IP address of the individuals that had posted defamatory reviews about the company.

Hadeed_Carpet_-_Alexandria,_VA_Yelp_-_2014-04-18_12.17.16

The decision that was handed down by the court maintained the position that the first amendment rights of real patrons to the business were protected but the same could not be said for those who were never patrons of the business.

What does this ruling now say to those users who elect to post fake, malicious, and defamatory reviews?  The answer is that more and more power is being put back into the hands of businesses, and, that the fear of legal retribution is very real.

How Are You Managing Online Reviews?

Almost all businesses are subject to online reviews, both good and bad.  Being able to mitigate negative reviews about your company is an important aspect to building and maintaining a quality online reputation.

If your organization finds itself in the midst of an online reputation crisis, or, simply in need of an online reputation review we encourage you to contact us to schedule a confidential appointment.

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