Did you know that more than half of all new reviews submitted to Amazon are incentivized reviews? Third party review clubs have popped up all over the internet. “Get Products in Exchange for Reviewing them Online” they tell their visitors.
According to Amazon, this is acceptable as long as the reviewer discloses this fact. But here’s the major flaw in the system – product owners can CHOOSE who reviews their products. Thus reviewers are motivated to post positive reviews, so they can continue to receive free stuff.
Post an honest review that’s not positive, and you may never receive a freebie again. Post a positive review regardless of whether or not it’s honest, and the free stuff keeps coming.
For example, one reviewer has over 1,600 reviews, all of which are 5 star except for one lone four star review.
So how biased are these reviews? ReviewMeta analyzes online reviews and helps identify which ones are honest and which ones are less than honest.
On a study of 1.7 million reviews on 807 products…
– 7% received a lower rating from their incentivized reviews
– 6% received the same rating from their incentivized reviews
– 87% received a higher rating from their incentivized reviews
So what does this mean for you?
If you are selling products on Amazon, you can get incentivized reviews and they will almost assuredly boost your star rating.
But beware. As more and more shoppers realize what’s happening, there is a possibility it could hurt your product sales in the long run.
Best bet: Get incentivized reviews in the beginning just to get your first reviews. After all, a dozen or so incentivized reviews still looks better than no reviews.
From then on, let your reviews happen naturally.
And if you are buying a product on Amazon, you might want to insert the URL into the ReviewMeta analyzer to see what the reviews say minus the incentivized reviews.
For example, Xfinity Internet had an original rating of 3.7 stars. But the adjusted rating when you remove incentivized ratings is just 1.4. Ouch.
Marketers beware – there is no substitute for having a genuinely great product.