News by Topic
- Search Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Loyalty Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Social Marketing
- Viral Marketing
- Trends & Ideas
- Internet Marketing 101
Research: The reality behind deceptive product reviews
A new report suggests the phenomenon of 'deceptive reviews' is far more widespread than expected and perpetrated, not by shady gangs of rogue reviewers or competitors, but by existing customers.
According to a new report, 'Deceptive Reviews: The Influential Tail', written by MIT Sloan professor Duncan Simester and co-authored with researcher Eric Anderson of Northwestern University, negative reviews are "not just due to the strategic actions of firms bolstering their image or competitors trying to damage that image. Instead, the phenomenon extends to individual customers who have no financial incentive to influence product ratings".
Simester and Anderson researched reviews posted on a well-known private-label clothing firm, of which there were thousands. The firm in question does not allow other retailers to sell its products.
Unlike a hotels or restaurants, the huge number of products and competitors in the apparel market means the motivation to write negative reviews about a single competitors' product is weak, and the impact on sales negligible.
It was surprising, therefore, to find that 5% of product reviews on the clothing website were written by existing customers who had never purchased the product being reviewed. These reviews were far more negative, with far lower product ratings than the remaining reviews written by customers.
Furthermore, these 'deceptive reviews' could not be attributed to a small group of rogue reviewers or a competitor bent on steering custom their way.
"It is very unlikely that the effect is due to agents or employees of competing retailers submitting negative reviews to induce substitution to their own products," concludes the report.
"Instead the low rating effect appears to be due to actual customers engaging in this behavior for their own intrinsic interests. In this respect, the findings represent evidence that the manipulation of product reviews is not limited to strategic behavior by competing firms."
Image via Shutterstock
- The most shared video clips depend on region
- Top tax tips that will protect your information
- Report: Millennials spending more time with UGC
- New AdWords format includes detailed consumer opinion data
- Quarter of UK's top finance brands have no mobile website, apps
- Report reveals men's emerging role in household supermarket shopping chore
- How data will impact businesses in 2014
- Report: Social pushing coupon search, use
Featured White Papers
- Choosing the Best Web CMS for Customer Experience Management
In this paper, learn how to choose the right CMS for you and your business from the eyes of a...
- Mobile Marketing: The Time is Now
Consumers are now more comfortable using retailers' mobile applications that can help them find specific products and brands, or just...
- The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation
Why is marketing automation so hot right now? This guide will show you what marketing automation is and how it...
- The Inbound Website: Getting Found with SEO & Social
Extend your inbound marketing strategy to your entire website with actionable tips and best practices that help you increase visitors,...
- 17 Ways to Build a Great Brand Today
This white paper highlights 17 developments that are influencing brand-building today and what great brands are doing about them....
- How to Stop Webpage Speed from Killing Your Marketing
Your website visitors have high expectations about how quickly your web site should load on their desktop and mobile devices....