Reviews shape our decisions in the digital economy. A report by the Spiegel Research Center titled ‘How online reviews influence sales’ reveals that the purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270 percent more than a product that has no reviews.
The larger question then is how important the authenticity and veracity of the reviews are themselves? Are fake reviews a big no-no for consumers today?
Cointelegraph covered the Revain crowdsale, a while ago and now that the crowdsale period is nearing its end. We think that the emergence of the first unbiased review platform could add an interesting dimension to the problem of fake reviews and customer confidence.
Immutability equals trustworthiness
Today, we are facing a crisis of trustworthiness. Online reviews can be edited, reviewed or even removed by sites that host them. In some cases, businesses have taken the extreme step of using libel laws against reviewers to arm-twist them into removing reviews.
The Canadian Broadcaster CBC covered in an article about a student Olivia Parsons in Ottawa who was forced to delete her negative review of the company that managed her building after coming under legal pressure.
Immutability is the solution to all these problems and Revain have built their product on this premise.
Talking about immutability a Revain spokesperson tells us:
“Revain focus on immutability is the fundamental part of our project. As far as the problem of review and texts written by a reviewer has been a problem for a long time, Revain concentrated efforts on developing and offering a totally different approach to this problem. The solution has been found in review immutability. Often many of application services are under attacks which lead to amendment of the text written originally. Coding of the text written by a reviewer helps us to preserve its authenticity which doesn’t depend on the behavior of the system and participants of the system.”
Fake reviews are a real problem
According to a paper authored by Michael Luca of Harvard Business School and Georgios Zervas of Boston University Questrom School of Business, nearly 16 percent of restaurant reviews on Yelp are fake.
Research by Gartner also showed that up to 15 percent of all online reviews are also fake.
It is also a fact that sometimes rival businesses use reviews to launch a triad of fake reviews against their rivals.
The BBC carried a story about how online reviews are being used as ‘Blackmail.’ They cited the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as having discovered that not only do businesses write fake reviews of themselves to elevate themselves in the eyes of their customers, but they also defame rivals by ‘commissioning fake negative reviews.’
Monetizing reviews and using a Blockchain to ensure that these reviews are verified and immutable is a solution that Revain is pitching.
“Revain concentrated efforts on attracting more attention to the problem of user’s opinion about goods and services. Such opinions can reach out to a wider circle of other users as well as for companies. In the end, both, users and companies providing services or manufacturing goods can benefit from the authentic opinions.
We believe that there is huge potential in online reviews. However, according to our research, there haven’t been any previous attempts of creating similar services. Revain has developed a totally different format of communication between a user and a company. The company is to reward users for reviews left on Blockchain given that those reviews are authentic and can’t be deleted or changed at a later stage.”
Demo-version of Revain platform after the crowdsale
Revain’s crowdsale will end on Sept. 6, 2017, and it is a chance for investors to participate in the development of an unbiased review system.
Reviews today are dominated by large companies like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Amazon and others.
Revain promises to be a game changer in this field and will add an element of transparency, immutability and monetization to reviews.
At the time of writing, they had already raised 1,588 BTC through their crowdsale. Meanwhile, Revain is already gearing up for their post-crowdsale future.
As their spokesperson revealed:
“The first demo version of the platform is to start functioning within a month after crowdsale ends. The platform release is planned for the fourth quarter of this year. The demo version will allow us to test the platform and the users can write reviews there. Thus, we are to do some training of AI (artificial intelligence). We will encourage users to write reviews about companies which have gone through ICO and cryptocurrency exchanges. We will cover ICO market this way. We keep bringing companies in our project. We have had negotiations with companies that are potentially interested in a partnership with Revain. Our goal is to constantly increase the number of the companies.”
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