WHY READ ONLINE REVIEWS?
If you’re reading this, chances are you already read online reviews!
Recent studies show that 80 to 90% of Australian consumers read and rely on online reviews when researching the products and services they’re considering buying.
Before making a reservation at a restaurant or hotel, buying a major electrical appliance, or even a book, consumers are actively trawling the internet in an attempt to find as much information as possible.
HOW MUCH CAN WE REALLY TRUST THE REVIEWS WE READ?
The truth is, there are many ways businesses can manipulate their online reviews.
Just as prominent as buying “followers” on social media platforms like, Instagram, business owners can buy “fake reviews”.
In fact, there is a thriving market for it.
SO, HOW DO YOU KNOW THE REVIEWS YOU READ ARE GENUINE?
Last year the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) announced an investigation into alleged cases of businesses manipulating their online reviews.
Does this mean we should ignore online reviews or online review sites? Absolutely not…
In your own online searches for product or service reviews, you will more than likely come across websites that show businesses with low star-ratings. This is because people will usually only post reviews when they have something to complain about!
Even so, the number of people who read online reviews has risen dramatically in the last few years.
- Around 68% of respondents reported reading online reviews or blogs prior to making a purchase
- On average, respondents reported reading an average of eight reviews before making a buying decision
- Approximately 45% of respondents were aged between 18 to 29 years of age, and 45% of them were aged between 40 to 49 years. According to the report, these respondents were more likely to write reviews.
Holidays, travel and accommodation were the most popular topics for review, followed closely by Doctors, Dentists and other general retail stores.
Online reviews are fast becoming the go-to resource for consumers. In Australia, the ACCC published, “Online Reviews – a guide for Businesses and Review Platforms”. This guide outlines the laws for businesses and online review sites, assisting both businesses and consumers in understanding that fake online reviews breach Australian Consumer Laws, (and there are hefty fines involved for those who don’t follow the rules!)