Of analyzed online customer reviews in 2020, 30.9% were deemed fraudulent.
That’s according to a new report from Fakespot, developer of AI technology that helps users identify problematic online reviews and sellers. The report analyzed reviews across Fakespot-supported marketplaces – Amazon, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, eBay, Sephora.com and the more than two million active e-commerce websites built on Shopify.
According to the data, fake reviews are trending upward based on data from 2018-2020. Fakespot expects fake reviews will hit an all-time high this holiday shopping season and anticipates an influx Black Friday through Cyber Monday. The amount of "C", "D" and "F" grades based on Fakespot's rating system doubled during Black Friday through Cyber Monday 2020 as compared to typical time frames during the same year.
The inaugural report from Fakespot is based on the company's machine learning and natural language processing engines trained on more than 10 billion product reviews and 5 million sellers across the Internet.
Among the data pulled from Amazon, Walmart.com and BestBuy.com – representing half of all U.S. online retail sales volume – Walmart had the most unreliable reviews and Best Buy had the most reliable reviews. Amazon shopping categories with the highest rates of fake reviews were women's apparel, health & personal care, cosmetics, pet supplies and wireless earbud headphones respectively.
"Nefarious ecommerce activity continues to increase and impacts more online shoppers every day. We anticipate the prevalence of fake reviews and fraudulent sellers will hit an all-time high during the upcoming Black Friday through Cyber Monday online shopping spree," said Saoud Khalifah, Founder and CEO of Fakespot. "That said, there is good news in that the FTC and e-commerce sites are cracking down on the problem and customers are able to help protect themselves with technologies such as ours."