Dishing the dirt: 8 in 10 consumers “like negative reviews”

Over a quarter of global consumers want a fine of over 20% of the business’ total revenue for posting fake reviews.

The vast majority of UK shoppers (84%) think negative reviews are either as or more important than positive ones, according to new research. 


The study, from Bazaarvoice, released its latest research, based on a survey of more than 10,000 global shoppers. 


The report explores the effect fake reviews and authenticity have on customer trust, and the subsequent actions shoppers take based on that trust. 


Brands and retailers need to embrace the fact that while allowing or creating fake reviews on their website may seem like an easy way to gain customers, they actually very much hurt businesses – and their bottom lines.


U.K. survey highlights include:

  • Fake reviews break trust: 55% of British consumers said fake reviews make them lose trust in the brand.

  • Loss of trust is costly: 83% said they would avoid using a brand again after losing trust in it, while 40% would leave a negative review of the product or brand, and a further 11% would post about the company on social media.

  • One fake review spoils them all: 77% said that if they notice a fake review for a product on a site, it would impact their trust in reviews for other products on the same site.

  • It spoils the sale as well: If they suspect fake reviews, 54% wouldn’t buy the product, 52% wouldn’t trust the brand, 36% wouldn’t trust other reviews, and 26% wouldn’t buy from the site

  • People actually like negative reviews: 84% think negative reviews are either as or more important than positive ones.

  • They want rules for fake reviews: 73% of British consumers think the retail industry needs a new set of standards to combat fake reviews. They want the standards to dictate that only verified customers be able to post reviews (65%), all products be tried and tested among legitimate consumers before launch (52%), daily reviews of customer content to weed out fake reviews (46%), and websites publish the reviews process or third party they use (32%).

  • They want consequences, too: Almost a third of UK consumers (30%) think 11-20% of revenue should be fined as punishment for brands in breach of these standards, with a further 25% believing it should be between 21-30%.

  • They don’t know what current laws are: 53% of Brits said they have no idea what their consumer rights are when it comes to fake reviews and 42% said that they have a little bit of information. Just 4% of UK consumers know their rights having researched it.

  • When UGC is trusted, it sells: People trust UGC when used in an ad (41%) more than brands advertising without UGC (27%). In fact, people most like to see UGC everywhere they shop online (43%).


    “We’re well aware of the importance of UGC and the need to ensure that it is genuine and authentic”, said Nicolas Fillat, Marketing Business Leader, Customer Care and Feedback at Adeo. “To do this, we need a trusted third party and a partner with significant functional experience and expertise regarding reviews. Our partner Bazaarvoice comprehensively delivered on those requirements.”


    “Brand trust is one of the most valuable assets on the balance sheet”, said Zarina Stanford, Bazaarvoice CMO. “Harnessing the power of the voice of the customer is crucial for today’s always-on commerce. Authentically posted reviews – both positive and negative – is by far the most powerful way to utilize the voice of your customer to earn trust and purchase conversion.”


    Ed Hill, SVP EMEA at Bazaarvoice, adds, “Fake reviews are unbelievably harmful to a business. Consumers have the right to trust the reviews they encounter and, more importantly, businesses have a responsibility to ensure all reviews are legitimate. All feedback - negative and positive - has an important place within the shopping experience; the entire marketplace benefits from the exchange of honest feedback and this practice needs to be safeguarded and protected - this is fundamental to Bazaarvoice.”