Whenever you need to make a new purchase for yourself, family or friends, chances are that you will spend some time researching the item you need. While an ever-growing wealth of information is available here, with recent examples ranging from wheelchair options to shower doors, it’s simply a matter of fact that not everything will be covered either here or by any of your other regularly viewed websites.
You will likely be tempted to read customer reviews on products at major online vendors such as Amazon to get an idea of the kind of quality and features of the products in which you are interested in purchasing. However recent high-profile news coverage in both the UK and USA has started to reveal just how widespread fake reviews are on Amazon, and by extension and inference other similar sites.
Bogus reviews from either non-customers such as bots or from customers offered discounts in exchange for five-star ratings have exploded in frequency in recent years. What’s more, fake or otherwise disingenuous one-star ratings have also become commonplace in the increasingly competitive online marketplaces.
What this means for the customer is that you simply no longer can trust that these reviews aren’t either entirely fake or bought and paid for by the company offering their products. So what alternatives exist to customer reviews for products online? For many industries, the answer is very few! Yet this is a huge opportunity for growth and a great chance for those industries to look to others, where healthy alternatives to reliance on customer reviews are actually offered.
The online entertainment space has grappled with this issue since its very inception. While user reviews are a stock feature for digital storefronts such as video game-oriented Steam, most gamers know to look for games’ metascores or to trusted reviewers in order to adequately gauge the quality of a product prior to purchase. Metascores are provided by online review aggregator sites such as Metacritic or Opencritic, which summarize hundreds or thousands of independently and professionally prepared reviews for games and provide a numerical estimate of their relative quality. And it’s not only games that are handled in this manner – media such as films, TV series and music can likewise be assessed using metascores.
The downside to this approach is that the averaging of hundreds or thousands of reviews dilutes the sharpest and most accurate critiques with more dull industry-standard or otherwise below-par analyses. For this reason, other industries are increasingly seeing a shift towards reliance on expert online review websites to help users find suitable content online. This is especially important in rapidly growing industries, such as online gambling, where new users especially might be looking for UK slot site experts, for example. Having access to a knowledgeable and trustworthy panel of experienced reviewers guide you to the best games online is an even better alternative to potentially flawed customer reviews than aggregated critic scores.
Unfortunately today, most industries have yet to develop this kind of service, but it is an untapped region of potential growth in the tech space, and moving into the 2020s we are likely to see a huge increase in the both the number of sites offering this kind of service as well as in the variation of industries and products that are covered in this manner.