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.