Categories Customer Experience

Myths of Online Reviews

Busting three myths about online customer reviews.


The evidence is clear, online reviews are now an established and important part of consumers’ decision-making process. But myths still persist.


Here we bust three common myths about reviews.


1. Five-star is always best


Five-star reviews prove that your business is at the top of its game = true.

Only five-star reviews are worth your effort = false.

Mediocre and bad reviews are actually good for business because they:

  • Offer your business a chance to demonstrate exceptional customer service.
  • Provide valuable feedback on what your business can do to improve.
  • Give a genuine and believable account of customer experiences.

These three factors may be more valuable than a five-star review in the long term. In fact, 15% of British online shoppers say they are more likely to do business with a company which responded to a negative review and dealt with it successfully.


2. Reviews are all fake anyway


On September 23, 2013, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced an agreement with 19 companies to stop writing fake online reviews and pay over $350,000 in fines. Fake reviews are not only illegal – they’re no way to build trust with your customers.


High profile examples of fake reviews have led some buyers to doubt the value of customer reviews. It is therefore critically important to use a service that operates a strict zero-tolerance policy on fake reviews.

Your business also needs to:

  • Resist the urge to take shortcuts and ‘buy’ reviews. Deleting bad reviews, asking people not to write bad reviews, posting fake reviews or defaming
  • Customers in your response to their review could land you in court.
  • Monitor feedback carefully to identify malicious or fake reviews. Choose an open review community where moderators monitor for fakes and non-confirmed purchasers. The platform should remove these posts immediately pending investigation.
  • Reach out to all customers, not just the ones who are likely to be happy. In 2013, 75% of businesses which used Trustpilot as their online ratings and review solution had the 5* TrustScore – a ranking which shows how consumers value a business.

3. Review badges should be used sparingly


Good reviews and customer trust are badges of honour. So why do some businesses only display their feedback credentials at the very end of the shopping journey, on the checkout page?


Try displaying your feedback badges or short testimonials on all of your pages. In doing so your site immediately gains credibility and shows that your business takes feedback seriously.


“… web design cues effectively enhance consumers’ initial trust towards unfamiliar online vendors.”

The Effect of Website Design Dimensions on Initial Trust: A Synthesis of the Empirical Literature, Karimov et al.


Review badges have been proven, thanks to A/B split tests, to increase conversions and reduce shopping basket abandonment.


“We had some quite incredible results when we started using Trustpilot on our site. Through A/B split testing we realised that installing the TrustBox on the site improved sales by 58%.”

Christopher Andrews, Managing Director, Express Watches.


“Within the last 90 days, we’ve seen a 24% increase in conversion rates compared to the previous 90 days before we implemented Trustpilot.”
Steve Baker, Sales Manager, FMW Fasteners




Building trust online is essential. Don’t let these myths hold your business back.

  • All reviews hold intrinsic value – even negative reviews can add value.
  • Never use fake reviews – getting caught could mean fines and permanent damage to your reputation.
  • Review badges could transform your website conversions – use A/B split testing to see what works for you.

Turn negative reviews into a positive with this eGuide: The Truth About Trust: When Reviews Turn Ugly

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
Google Analytics in Only Three Numbers

Google Analytics in Only Three Numbers

Financial advisors and other professionals can decipher a lot of information from Google Analytics with three simple categories.

Marina Howell
Marina Howell 17 October 2016
Read more
Get a Complete View of Your Customer Journey in 5 Easy Steps

Get a Complete View of Your Customer Journey in 5 Easy Steps

Here's how you can get a complete view of your customer journey so that your email campaigns continue to win new customers.

Sophia Skinbjerg
Sophia Skinbjerg 18 October 2016
Read more
Omnichannel Retail: Personalizing The Customer Journey Across Channels

Omnichannel Retail: Personalizing The Customer Journey Across Channels

The reality for retailers today is that to be successful, omnichannel strategies are no longer an option but a necessity to stay competitive. Consumers want to engage with brands on social media, in a physical store, on an ecommerce site, through a mobile app, via email or through a phone call.

Larisa Bedgood
Larisa Bedgood 18 October 2016
Read more
How to Solve the Two Biggest Challenges of Social Media Marketing

How to Solve the Two Biggest Challenges of Social Media Marketing

Most small businesses spend more than 6 hours per week on social media marketing and more than one-third post at least once per day. Along with finding the time, the other biggest challenge professionals face is finding the right content to post. If you’re experiencing these challenges, keep reading because we’re going to help you solve them.

Melissa Darcey
Melissa Darcey 20 October 2016
Read more