May 12, 2022 11:10:00 AM | What's New? Shoplazza Brand Voice | Look into Review Website Bias

Discuss whether review sites are offering unbiased reviews and what is the common challenges for web builders.

Biased reviews to popular website builders, well, it’s an inevitable topic as well as a common challenge that we all have to look into. Before we tackle on it, let’s take a quick look over a few basic definitions. 

  • A review website. (According to Wikipedia)
    A review site is a website on which reviews can be posted about people, businesses, products, or services. These sites may use Web 2.0 techniques to gather reviews from site users or may employ professional writers to author reviews on the topic of concern for the site.

  • Bias
    Bias is a disproportionate weight in favor of or against an idea or thing, usually in a way that is closed-minded, prejudicial, or unfair. Biases can be innate or learned. People may develop biases for or against an individual, a group, or a belief.[1] In science and engineering, a bias is a systematic error. Statistical bias results from an unfair sampling of a population, or from an estimation process that does not give accurate results on average.

  • Website builders (such as Shoplazza, Shopify, BigCommerce etc.)
    Website builders are tools that typically allow the construction of websites without manual code editing. They fall into two categories:

    1) online proprietary tools provided by web hosting companies. These are typically intended for users to build their private site. Some companies allow the site owner to install alternative tools (commercial or open-source) — the more complex of these may also be described as content management systems.

    2) offline software that runs on a computer, creating pages and which can then publish these pages on any host. (These are often considered to be "website design software", rather than "website builders".)

 

Table of content:

  1. Is review site offering unbiased reviews?
  2. What is the common challenge?
  3. Arguments from Shoplazza

Is review site offering unbiased reviews?

Online reviews are omnipresent in our day-to-day life, Google Reviews, TrustPilots, UberEats review etc. In short, we are required to give reviews almost every time we purchase a product or service. Usually, you get a lot thanks from vendors when giving a positive one, or an apology after posting a negative comment. 

Basically, they can be categorized into two genres:

  1. Review by submitting proofs.

  2. Review without submitting any proofs.

 

What is the common challenge?

It is not as complicated as you might think. Allow me to break it down for you. 

The context:

For Shoplazza, as you may have already known, we provide global eCommerce solutions by offering leading online website building technologies and a basket of featured tools for worldwide merchants to build their online stores and be able to sell cross-border. 

In simpler terms, as a leading web-building technology provider, we aim to help work with people and communities who wish to start and stand out their business ideas of all shapes and sizes, with or without actual field experiences. Our simplified web building platform enables everyone a simpler and more effective way to identify, commercialize and visualize their online presence, to convert dreams and ideas into actions.

Therefore, under this circumstance, Shoplazza, and all other web builders, can not prejudge or set barriers to anyone who comes to our websites and purchases a monthly subscription plan, to build their stores and operate their business. Because we do not set preliminary prerequisites for our users, we simply believe that our technologies and services should benefit everyone. Especially, small to medium business owners. Having an online presence and expanding to a global market may be a viable solution for many business owners and individuals to cope or meet the emerging challenges from global pandemics.

The common challenges that we face on a day-to-day basis:

  • In order to maximize its commercial interest, some of the review websites offer monthly or annual subscription plans to enterprises. For those who do not subscribe or use their services, as Shoplazza, majority of the reviews are negative and without a single shred of proof.

  • These review sites do not put any effort into investigate whether their claims or complaints make sense are valid, for instance, Shoplazza offers web building technologies, and we are not responsible for online shopping order-related disputes. But Review sites, like TrustPilot, deliberately delete positive comments but keep the unvetted negative ones to influence the market perception against a particular enterprise. Is this counted as bias produced by a biased website?

  • The review websites do not check or require proofs from people making a claim or complaint online. Unlike UberEats, they require consumers to submit a description and a photo to validate their claims, and also communicate to the merchants. Review sites like TrustPiolot, they do nothing but simply allow all negative comments to take place. 



Arguments from Shoplazza BrandVoice 

I would like to shed some lights concerning some of the challenges that we face before the official relaunch of Shoplazza global website. Therefore, we proactively communicate with our existing and future merchants and partners regarding some of the negatively unverified comments from certain review websites.

  • The nature of the services provided by Shoplazza.

    1) Shoplazza offers eCommerce online store building technologies, the same as Shopify. We empower thousands of merchants to start their online business from any size and at any time. It is most unfortunate that not every mechant can provide the most satisfactory services to the buyers.

    2) Our technology is marked as "power by Shoplazza" as an industry custom placed at the footer of the website that is using our technology.
  • Risk control measures taken by Shoplazza.

    1) We recognize how important it is for Shoplazza to keep unqualified merchants off our service where buyers can conduct online shopping more confidently. We have developed a set of policies and procedures that outline what is and is not allowed.

    2) As a global partner to Google, Facebook, PayPal, Stripe and other well-known companies, we align our policies and procedures with them to ensure a conformity of such standards. Our risk team is joined by experts in fields such as technology, financial institutions and public safety.

    3) In compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) , we also employ automation and machine-learning technologies. This ensures our actions are conducted timely and our rules are applied in the most appropriate scenario. Our goal is to protect buyers from unpleasant online shopping experiences, but also keep our merchants safe from false allegations.
  • The point of commencement of Shoplazza global operations

    1) Our Global website was only published last month and we are in the process of rolling out our global marketing plan in Q3 of this year.

    2) In a more technical perspective, we have not started building our SEO strategy and promoting through SEM activities. Hence the search engines have not been able to provide a more complete profile of our brand yet.
  • Problem of authenticity of the comments.

    1) It has come to our attention that a certain amount of negative reviews has been published through some review websites, which severely mistaken Shoplazza as the merchant who did not provide satisfactory services to those buyers. This is evidenced by quoting "powered by Shoplazza" directly in those comments.

    2) One example of the review site is TrustPolit. Following its user interface, anyone registered through an email account can post any comments without providing any legitimate supporting documents. Hence all of its published reviews are not verified neither in their authenticity nor in accuracy. And we are not the only victim of such unjustified comments, Shopify is also rated poorly on TrustPolit. We are very concerned over the business integrity demonstrated by TrustPilot.

We understand that those negative reviews may produce a false impression upon Shoplazza and may also raise concerns of our credibility. Having said above, we are fully confident in our technology and values delivered to our merchants, and we are also trusted global partners to Google, Facebook, PayPal, Stripe and other well-known corporations. 

 

Written By: Luk.Chan

Read articles written by Luk.Chan and learn the essentials about developing eCommerce businesses on Shoplazza.