Thinking of ‘buying’ a review? Think again


The BBC recently reported on a recent investigation by Which? on the use of bogus reviews and specifically accusing Google of not doing enough to counteract this way of enhancing product purchase. 

The practice of fake reviews is becoming more and more of a concern.  In 2019 Which? actually stated that in one thirty day period over 55,000 posts were found which offered free products for highly-rated reviews on Amazon.

In May last year, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched its own investigation into the authenticity of customer reviews on websites and warned they would ‘not hesitate to take action if retail sites are found to be disobeying the law.

Life for everyone has been very different this past year and due to the circumstances we’ve found ourselves in, there has often been no choice but to buy online.  This has meant that many people who may not have previously purchased much online, certainly within particular market sectors, now do so.  Without a physical item to see, touch, try out and discuss face to face, reviews have become even more important.

However, serves well to avoid the temptation of ‘purchasing’ positive reviews but instead ensuring that you earn them.

How do you go about this?

  1. Make your customers happy: If you provide great service, ensure you use accurate and informative product description and offer a good Q&A option, then they will want to recommend your business.  Don’t offer incentives for reviews.
  2. Build up your customer relationships: People buy from companies they like and that have values they appreciate.  Work on building a relationship by honing-in on your strong points and researching what customers like most about you.  They’ll be happier to pass on a review.
  3. Build up your customer relationships: People buy from companies they like and that have values they appreciate.  Work on building a relationship by honing-in on your strong points and researching what customers like most about you.  They’ll be happier to pass on a review.
  4. People like to be valued: Thank people for their purchase, for a review.  Meet their expectations and relate to their aspirations, lifestyle, pressures etc. This way you are more likely to generate brand ambassadors
  5. Remind customers about their experience: Don’t overdo this but you can email customers a link to remind them to post a review.  Make it easy for them to post a review with multiple access points.
  6. Don’t ignore the negative reviews: Take all reviews seriously, bad or good.  Often negative comments can lead to improvements.

Reviews are more important now than they’ve ever been and are an effective way to grow your business and reputation.  They can also support your SEO rankings by encouraging click through rates.