The announcement that Trustpilot has chosen the UK stock market for its £1 billion IPO has shone more light on the sector as a whole - and this on top of the recent court decision to award a business subject to what the judge described as '[a] negative review [that] has led directly to the drop in enquires and in turn to the number of enquiries which have been turned into instructions' that was hosted by Trustpilot.
Overarching all of this is the fundamental question...
Is there a role for review sites in 2021 and beyond?
So let's look at this in more detail...
What function do review sites, such as Trustpilot and Yelp, perform?
First from the consumer's standpoint...
- They allow consumers to post reviews of their experience of businesses and products of all kinds
- They enable consumers to read reviews of services and products they are considering purchasing
- They provide consumer corroboration for the business's other marketing
- They provide a feedback channel
- They were founded well before Google made reviews core to their business model, often with significant investment ($56 million in the case of Yelp, founded in 2004 and $193 million for Trustpilot, founded three years later)
- Google doesn't 'sell' its reviews service, so the market for 'sold' review services is wide open
- Google reviews are seen by everyone - those of Yelp and Trustpilot are not
- Google reviews have credibility - partly as a result of their ubiquitousness, partly because reviewers and businesses find it far more difficult to 'game' Google reviews
- Trustpilot hosts over 20,000 reviews critical of its own services on its own listing, and the tone is pretty universally along these lines...
- It also hosts 129 reviews of its direct competitor Reviews.io, two-thirds of which are critical. Here's the latest:
- And 295 reviews of Feefo, 84 percent of which rate Feefo one star:
- Reviews.io hosts an almost unbelievable 1766 reviews of Trustpilot, almost all of them critical in content and 1* in rating: