Amazon is making a significant change to its Community Guidelines, announced today, which will eliminate any incentivized reviews, except for those that emerge from within its own Amazon Vine program. This program allows Amazon – not the seller or vendor – to identify trusted reviewers, and has a number of controls in place in order to keep bias out of the review process.
Amazon has historically prohibited compensation for reviews – even going so far as to sue those businesses who pay for fake reviews, as well as the individuals who write them, in an effort to make its review and rating system fairer and more helpful to online shoppers. However, it has allowed businesses to offer products to customers in exchange for their “honest” review.
In general, shoppers have begun to distrust these reviews because they believe them to be biased. That’s not just a “feeling,” as it turns out – a recent study of over 7 million reviews indicated that the average rating for products with incentivized reviews was higher than non-incentivized ones. (That is, a 4.74 average rating versus a 4.36 average rating, out of 5 stars).
All content above was written here by Sarah Perez for Tech Crunch here