How critical is the role of reviews?

American consumers state they’ve wasted $125, on average, in 2019 due to inaccurate reviews, according to a recent report. If we extend that across the adult population, as much as $25 billion in U.S. consumer spending has been wasted due to inaccurate (or fake) online reviews.

The study about the critical role of reviews was based on a survey of more than 6,300 adult internet users in the U.S., UK and France in December 2019; and carried out by UK-based research firm Canvas8.

According to the report, despite the decline in trust towards brands –  and the media, 48% of U.S. consumers rely more heavily on reviews today than they did two years ago. The stats also show that 89% of consumers globally – and 90% in the U.S. – check online reviews before making a purchase.

However, nearly half (49%) of consumers also “believe that ‘too many companies’ are creating fake reviews online.” Those consumers worry that fake reviews “will lead them to waste money on poor products and services” – hence the $125 figure.

A slight majority (55%) of respondents said they “would prefer to buy a product with a large number of reviews and an average rating over a product with a small number and excellent rating.” Consequently, 56% of respondents said they would “consider a 5-star rated product or service, but do more research before committing” and 16% simply believe 5-star ratings are fake. That’s a total of 72% of respondents who believe that 5-star ratings are not entirely credible or not credible at all.

Finally, 67% of respondents stated they would rather buy from a company “that seems to have made a small mistake and responded quickly” rather than one that has “never made a mistake.

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