How Harmful Are Fake Online Reviews? [Infographic]

The takeaway for this post is that: Fake reviews are like cancer-causing junk food to your online business. They may look delicious and tempting, but they could deal a fatal blow to your online business eventually. Fake reviews and testimonials are much more harmful than most people know, and according to Invespcro, more than 90% of online shoppers can easily detect fake reviews. In other words, you might not get away with Fake reviews if you tried it.

From the consumer point of view, fake reviews pose a problem when it comes to making product research before making a buying decision. Multiple studies have shown that 90% of online shoppers will conduct market research before making a buying decision. According to Podium, 93% of online shoppers will only make a buying decision after reading online product reviews. As a matter of fact, 31% of customers will spend more to purchase a product with positive online review from other previous buyers. No wonder some retailers will be tempted to sneak in fake reviews. According to Curtis Boyd, the scale of fake review problems is in millions.

How Harmful Are Fake Online Reviews? [Infographic]

The potential impact of fake online product reviews on your business

There are generally two main ways fake online reviews come about: one, the business owner could generate fake online reviews by hiding negative reviews, paying for or buying positive reviews from bloggers or giving incentive to customers to post positive reviews. Secondly, fake reviews can be generated by the competition in order to dent your credibility or make you lose sales. Other ways include current and ex-employes writing positive and negative reviews respectively and customers writing exaggerated or inaccurate reviews based on their subjective perspectives.

Having said that, you risk losing 22% of your online business if just one negative review is discovered by shoppers who are considering purchasing your product. If you happen to have 3 negative reviews, you risk losing 59% of customers. Yes! The stakes are quite high. Very high.

With fake reviews, your credibility is at stake…

Which customer would want to purchase a product with fake reviews?

According to Invespcro, 54% of consumers will not buy a product they suspect have fake review. In fact, having absolutely no negative review is a good indicator that you are posting negative reviews. So censoring negative reviews could have as much negative impact to the credibility of your business as actively generating non-existent positive or exaggerated positive reviews.

The domino effect of fake positive review

The paradox with fake reviews is that they result in false expectations. For instance, a customer may see a glowing review and as a result develop more than average performance expectations of the product. Eventually when the customer purchases the product and it doesn’t fulfill those expectations, they are going to be motivated to actively generate negative reviews and even more shoppers to do the same. In this case, your one fake positive review has set a stage for a lot of real, negative reviews which will be hard to control.

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