In just a few years, e-commerce has changed the way India shops. Customers have access to a wide range of products while enjoying a convenient shopping experience. However, each step taken to fulfill customer wishes has also been impeded by certain drawbacks. Fake reviews and false ratings are arguably the most annoying of them. They compromise the customer’s trust in the product, the platform and lower the quality of the shopping experience.
As with any popular online platform, Flipkart too has fallen afoul of fake reviews and ratings — with disgruntled customers using creative monikers such as ‘fakekart’ and ‘fraudkart’ to vent their frustration. However, dear customer, you should know that Flipkart has put in place firm guidelines to enable you to make sound and safe shopping decisions by trusting only genuine reviews.
Do you want to know how to differentiate Flipkart fake reviews and ratings from genuine ones written by certified customers? [inlinetweet prefix=”#SafeShopping” tweeter=”@FlipkartStories” suffix=”More:”]Read these helpful tips and share them with your friends and family[/inlinetweet].
Fake reviews can dent a customer’s confidence and discourage them from buying online. That’s why Flipkart has taken stringent measures to identify and eliminate cases of fake product reviews and ratings. This article intends to educate you on who posts dishonest reviews and ratings, who gains from it, and what Flipkart does to weed out the problem.
Understanding product reviews and ratings on Flipkart
Flipkart does not influence ratings and reviews on the platform. Flipkart is neither the seller nor the buyer, but an online marketplace that brings both these entities together. Before a product goes live on the platform, a Flipkart team is involved in creating its portfolio. What does this mean? Every detail — from the product images and specifications, to description and details — is updated on the site. The ability to post product reviews and ratings lies outside Flipkart’s control and the power lies in the hands of shoppers on the site.
In e-commerce, reviews influence critical opinion of a product and enables future shoppers to make a logical decision on their purchase. If you, as a customer, write a review about a smartphone that you recently purchased on Flipkart, it will have a large influence on the decisions of other shoppers who are looking to buy the same brand or model of smartphone.
Who writes these reviews? Genuine buyers or individuals who have deeper perspective on a particular product write them. Flipkart site administrators and managers cannot and do not post reviews.
Product ratings and reviews – what you should know
Ratings form a subset of reviews that lets users grade a product based on their experience with it. Flipkart reviewers can grade a product on a scale of 1 to 5 stars (one being the lowest and five the highest). If the number of reviews and the average rating for a particular product is high, the higher is its popularity with shoppers.
[inlinetweet prefix=”Read this:” tweeter=”@FlipkartStories” suffix=”#SafeShopping”]Find out why reviews and rating at Flipkart are authentic[/inlinetweet]:
- Top reviews: Under each review submitted by an expert or a shopper is an option for readers to judge its utility value. Reviews with a positive response to the question ‘Was this review helpful?’ are ranked higher as they are more likely to be authentic. This logic stems from buyer or visitor feedback and is not influenced by Flipkart.
- Star rating: Users who write reviews on Flipkart can also rank products on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. A star rating of 1 represents a poor product review and 5 represents an excellent review. For a clear idea of the product quality, look for both low and high star-rated reviews.
- Certified buyer reviews: You might have observed that certain product reviews on Flipkart are identified by a dark green horizontal band with the word ‘Certified’ emblazoned on it. These banners positively identify certified buyer reviews and ensure that the reviews are authentic. Flipkart makes sure that only certified buyers are allowed to write product reviews on the platform.
Now that you know how reviews are showcased on Flipkart, let’s explore what fake reviews and ratings are and why they exist in the first place.
What are fake reviews and ratings?
[inlinetweet prefix=”Read this:” tweeter=”@FlipkartStories” suffix=”#SafeShopping”]Fake reviews and ratings are product reviews that are not written by genuine buyers[/inlinetweet]. Being an open forum on the platform, shoppers and visitors also have the freedom to post reviews and ratings. Some sellers and publishers have a financial incentive (read profit motive) to boost their own ratings or to knock their competitors’ rating. To address this issue, Flipkart has a dedicated team that examines certain parameters to identify fake reviews and rating. How? By identifying five types of fraudulent engagement:
- Detecting sellers that pose as buyers on the platform and boost ratings and reviews of their own products
- Identifying competing sellers posing as buyers and posting fraudulent reviews on the rival’s product page
- Sellers that pose as buyers and boost their own seller ratings and reviews
- Sellers that pose as buyers and try to pull down their competition by posting negative seller ratings and negative reviews
- Third party vendors hired by sellers to write reviews that boost their product ratings and reviews
Does Flipkart eliminate fake ratings and fraudulent reviews?
As an online marketplace, Flipkart’s objective is to ensure that customers and sellers benefit mutually from a fulfilling shopping experience on its platform. One of the limitations of online commerce is that customers that shop online cannot physically touch, feel, or test products. For this reason the importance of a good quality review cannot be overemphasized.
Buyers are less likely to trust a marketplace when highly rated products do not meet their expectations — and trust is everything in this business. Our data proves that products with a low rating sell less than those that are rated higher. Unethical sellers and their accomplices hope to gain financially by tampering with seller and product ratings and reviews. Flipkart cracks down on this kind of fraud seriously to maintain a high level of credibility and consumer trust.
How does Flipkart detect fake reviews and fraud ratings?
Flipkart adopts both systemic and manual approaches to identifying fake reviews and ratings on the platform. Customized algorithms detect anomalies in the way users post reviews and ratings on the platform. These algorithms are based on the User-User similarity graph, and detect nodes with atypical edges showing anomalous behavior. For example, multiple reviews with the same agenda from the same IP address are treated as suspect, as are a large number of reviews from the same device on the same product, or sellers using different usernames.
What actions does Flipkart take to eliminate or remove fake ratings and reviews?
[inlinetweet prefix=”Find out how” tweeter=”@FlipkartStories” suffix=”#SafeShopping”]Flipkart weeds out fraudulent ratings and reviews in 3 ways[/inlinetweet]:
- Blacklisting accounts of users posting fake reviews
- Marking all fake ratings and reviews as spam
- Penalizing sellers for engaging in fraudulent reviews
Flipkart has a very high stake in ensuring the authenticity and originality of reviews and rating on the marketplace. If you notice a potential fake review or rating, please reach out to Flipkart through this form.
Also, as a responsible shopper, please continue to post original reviews of products you buy from Flipkart. For guidelines on how to do that, read this guide!
Fake Reviews Cartoon by Balraj KN for Flipkart Stories
Design by Sadhna Prasad | Flipkart Stories