Online reviews are one of the most influential factors in shaping consumer behavior and decision-making. According to a report by BrightLocal, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020, up from 81% in 2019. Moreover, 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.
However, online reviews are also facing some major challenges and changes as 2024 approaches. One of the most significant and disruptive changes is the emergence and proliferation of AI-generated reviews. AI-generated reviews are reviews that are written by artificial intelligence (AI) systems, such as natural language generation (NLG) models, that can mimic human language and style. AI-generated reviews can be used for various purposes, such as generating feedback for products and services, creating marketing content, or enhancing user experience.
In this article, I will discuss some of the key trends and challenges that AI-generated reviews will encounter in the near future, and how they will affect both consumers and businesses.
The Benefits of AI-Generated Reviews
AI-generated reviews can offer some benefits for both consumers and businesses, especially in terms of customer engagement and loyalty, and SEO and conversion optimization.
AI-generated reviews can help businesses increase customer engagement and loyalty
One of the main advantages of AI-generated reviews is that they can help businesses provide personalized and relevant feedback to their customers. AI-generated reviews can analyze customer data, such as preferences, behavior, and history, and generate reviews that match their needs and expectations. For example, an AI-generated review can suggest products or services that are similar or complementary to what the customer has purchased or viewed, or highlight features or benefits that are important or appealing to the customer. This can help businesses increase customer satisfaction and retention, as well as cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.
According to a study by Accenture, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations. Moreover, a study by Salesforce found that 57% of consumers are willing to share their data in exchange for personalized offers or discounts. Therefore, AI-generated reviews can be a powerful tool for businesses to create a more engaging and loyal customer base.
AI-generated reviews can help businesses optimize their SEO and conversion rates
Another benefit of AI-generated reviews is that they can help businesses improve their online visibility and credibility, and ultimately, their organic traffic and sales. AI-generated reviews can enhance the SEO performance of businesses by generating keyword-rich and relevant content that can rank higher on search engines. AI-generated reviews can also increase the conversion rates of businesses by creating persuasive and compelling content that can influence the purchase decisions of potential customers. For example, an AI-generated review can highlight the positive aspects and outcomes of a product or service, or address the common objections or concerns of customers.
According to a study by Moz, online reviews are one of the top ranking factors for local SEO, and they can impact up to 15% of the ranking decision. Moreover, a study by Spiegel Research Center found that displaying reviews can increase conversion rates by 270%, and that the purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270% greater than the purchase likelihood of a product with no reviews. Therefore, AI-generated reviews can be a valuable asset for businesses to boost their SEO and conversion rates.
The Challenges and Risks of AI-Generated Reviews
However, AI-generated reviews also pose some challenges and risks for both consumers and businesses, especially in terms of ethical and legal issues, and trust and quality issues.
AI-generated reviews can pose ethical and legal issues for businesses and consumers
One of the main drawbacks of AI-generated reviews is that they can violate the principles of honesty, transparency, and authenticity that are essential for online reviews. AI-generated reviews can be used for unethical or illegal purposes, such as generating fake or biased reviews that can mislead, deceive, or defraud consumers or businesses. For example, an AI-generated review can create positive reviews for a low-quality or fraudulent product or service, or create negative reviews for a competitor or rival. This can harm the reputation and credibility of both the reviewer and the reviewed, as well as the trust and confidence of the online review ecosystem.
According to a study by Chevalier and Mayzlin, a one-star increase in rating can lead to a 5-9% increase in revenue, while a one-star decrease can lead to a 10% loss in revenue. Moreover, a study by Bazaarvoice found that 54% of consumers would not buy a product if they suspected it had fake reviews, and that 39% of consumers would stop using a website or platform if they suspected it had fake reviews. Therefore, AI-generated reviews can have serious ethical and legal implications for businesses and consumers who use or rely on them.
AI-generated reviews can create trust and quality issues for businesses and consumers
Another challenge of AI-generated reviews is that they can undermine the credibility and value of genuine customer reviews, which are the foundation of the online review landscape. AI-generated reviews can create trust and quality issues for both businesses and consumers, as they can be difficult to verify and filter. For example, an AI-generated review can be indistinguishable from a human-written review, or it can blend in with a large number of reviews. This can make it hard for businesses and consumers to identify and distinguish between real and fake reviews, or between relevant and irrelevant reviews.
According to a study by BrightLocal, 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, and they read an average of 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a business. Moreover, a study by PowerReviews found that 86% of consumers consider authenticity to be important when deciding what brands they like and support, and that 85% of consumers look for negative reviews to make informed purchase decisions. Therefore, AI-generated reviews can pose a threat to the trust and quality of online reviews, and ultimately, to the consumer behavior and decision-making.
AI-generated reviews are changing the online review landscape, and they will continue to do so in the near future. AI-generated reviews can offer some benefits for both consumers and businesses, such as increasing customer engagement and loyalty, and optimizing SEO and conversion rates. However, AI-generated reviews also pose some challenges and risks for both consumers and businesses, such as creating ethical and legal issues, and undermining trust and quality.
Therefore, businesses and consumers who use or encounter AI-generated reviews should be aware of the potential advantages and disadvantages, and adopt some best practices and precautions. For example, businesses should use AI-generated reviews responsibly and transparently, and disclose the source and purpose of their reviews. Consumers should use AI-generated reviews cautiously and critically, and verify the authenticity and relevance of their reviews. Moreover, both businesses and consumers should use reliable and reputable platforms and tools that can help them collect, analyze, and filter AI-generated reviews, such as Moz Pro or Monitor Backlinks.
AI-generated reviews are a new and emerging phenomenon that will have a significant impact on the online review landscape. As 2024 approaches, AI-generated reviews will become more sophisticated and widespread, and they will present new opportunities and challenges for both consumers and businesses. Therefore, it is important to understand and embrace AI-generated reviews, and to use them wisely and ethically.