UK consumers highly value online reviews despite a large number being fake

Press Release: January 08, 2024

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UK consumers highly value online reviews despite a large number being fake
  • Survey reveals 85% of Brits place value in reviews
  • A third of reviews are fake, with this number only set to rise
  • Fake reviews will be illegal from April 2024, with the introduction of the DMCC Act
LEEDS, UK. 8th January 2024 – A staggering amount of the UK (85%) places value in online reviews[1] when making a purchase from a company, a new report  reveals. However, it warned that over a third of reviews are fake, with this number only set to rise next year.[2]
The research, which used a combination of survey data and figures on fake reviews, was compiled by SEO agency It Works Media and fake review detection site TruthEngine®.  The trust in fake reviews can be harmful for both business and consumer, It Works Media says.
As mentioned in the 2022 Queen’s Speech, the Digital Markets, Competitors, and Consumers Act (DMCC Act) comes into place in April 2024. The UK government found 15% of online reviews are fake, yet TruthEngine has revealed this issue is much bigger. If businesses are unable to prove a review is not fake, they risk being fined 10% of their global turnover.
Ways of spotting a brand with fake reviews include identical IP addresses and time periods of the post, as well as similar subject matters across multiple reviews. Experts at TruthEngine revealed that a large volume of reviews is also a warning sign.
In addition, almost half (48%) of survey respondents said they would be put off buying a product or service with bad reviews.[3]  The false impression created by fake reviews also leaves the customer wanting to leave negative feedback, creating an unhealthy cycle for a brand.
Only a tiny amount of survey respondents (0.7%) said they never buy online, proving how brands need to optimise their digital marketing strategy now more than ever.
Steve Pritchard, Director of It Works Media, says: “As consumers value reviews from past customers, any amount of fake reviews means customers could have a negative reaction when their experience doesn’t match their expectations. Setting too high a standard will likely further exacerbate the issue, resulting in more bad reviews and an issue which will likely have a detrimental impact on sales.
“If you believe your company may be at risk of not complying with the new legislation in 2024, then we urge you to audit your current reviews immediately. Then, focus on providing a better customer experience and understand that every one of your competitors will be impacted in the same way, so get sorted early.”
ENDS

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