Fake Reviews: A Real Threat to Customers and Businesses

Abstract :

Given the growing proliferation of online shopping and review sites over the last decade, online customer reviews have become an ever-more-common part of nearly every consumer’s buying decisions. Reviews have also proven to help businesses gain valuable insights on how customers perceive their products and services. Thus, this feedback provides companies with a cost-effective way to monitor their performance and to increase exposure. Despite all these potentials, it has been revealed that a considerable number of these reviews is fake. Our purpose in this work is, therefore, to explore the threats that fake reviews present to both shoppers and businesses. In this context, it was noted that since deceptive reviews are primarily meant to mislead potential consumers and to manipulate their purchasing decisions, these reviews have damaging effects on businesses regardless of whether the review is positive or negative. In fact, these unauthentic reviews do not only harm a business reputation, credibility and profitability but also demolish the foundations of the trust economy.