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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : January 13, 2015

Americans rely on online reviews but most do not trust them

Online reviews are crucial to Americans when considering which products to purchase yet, according to research from YouGov, many can not be sure reviews are trustworthy.

by Helen Leggatt

More than three-quarters of Americans check out review sections before committing to a purchase and 90% say they are an important part of the purchase process. Yet, according to YouGov, the same number (90%) believe businesses manipulate reviews and that those who post reviews have never tried the product.


- 89% believe that businesses write negative reviews of competitors;

- 91% believe businesses write their own positive reviews (36% believe that this happens often);

- Only 13% believe online reviews are very trustworthy.


And, what of those consumers who contribute reviews? YouGov found that nearly half (44%) of Americans actively contribute reviews and the top reason for doing do is to help others make better purchase decisions (62%). Thirteen percent write reviews to draw attention to bad experiences and 12% to "expose" bad retailers.

Eleven percent of men and 13% of Millennials admit to "often writing reviews for products they have no experience of". Even the over-55s are at it, although just 3% claim to doing it "often".

According to YouGov, "if you want to trust a reviewer then try to find one from the Midwest - they admit to significantly fewer fraudulent reviews than those from the Northeast and South".

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ecommerce, product endorsement, review trends

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