Online consumer reviews – Platforms reach for the stars

Report Overview

Online consumer reviews – Platforms reach for the stars

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Online consumer reviews – Platforms reach for the stars
Online reviews are a vital input for consumer decision-making. However, reviews are easy to manipulate, and widespread fraud is undermining credibility and raising the issue of consumer protection
Facebook, Google, and Amazon utilise reviews to improve the consumer experience, but also to sell advertising to businesses and to address fraud. These companies leverage their data superiority to better utilise reviews on their platforms, and possess a competitive advantage, versus sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and eBay
Demand for expert opinion remains strong, yet is supplied only by publishers and Which?, a small segment in terms of share of traffic relative to platforms

Contents

Idiosyncratic goods, reviews’ core constituency

Reviews and platforms

Credibility issues

The platforms response: in-depth review management

Opportunities for expertise

Conclusion

List of charts/tables

Figure 1: Consumers massively read reviews, despite doubts

Figure 2: Resources for consumer choice

Figure 3: Two consumer valuation patterns

Figure 4: Online review distribution by review site, 2018

Figure 5: Review sites most likely to be used before visiting a business, 2018

Figure 6: Distribution of online reviews by stars (%)

Figure 7: How businesses ask customers for reviews, 2019

Figure 8: Review sites reach in January each year, users 18+ (millions)

Figure 9: Review sites revenues and income ($m)

Figure 10: Survey showing average lift in purchase intention (indexed*)