Online reviews can be incredibly helpful for shoppers while making purchasing decisions.
They can be found on eCommerce platforms, social media sites, or even booking pages.
However, there is one slight problem.
Since the pandemic, there has been a massive increase in fake reviews.
Recent research by the WEF shows that over 4% of all the reviews on the internet are fake.
Now, that's a considerable percentage.
But, what's even more significant is the direct influence of misleading reviews, which is accounted to be over $152 billion.
These significant numbers have attracted the attention of regulators across Europe and beyond.
On 28 May 2022, the European Parliament started implementing the "Omnibus Directive," which gives customers more rights and protections against fake reviews.
Companies will likely face difficulties carrying out all these operations in the upcoming months.
That's why we will explain the new Omnibus Directive and how it will impact your store.
Without wasting valuable time, let's jump straight in!
Definition of the Omnibus Directive
First, let's give a quick explanation for everyone who didn't quite understand what this means.
The Omnibus Directive explicitly states that purchasing, offering, or even submitting fake customer reviews to promote your products and services is highly prohibited and can result in a fine.
Therefore, business owners need to be more careful moving forward.
But where did it all start?
Well, let's take this a few steps backward.
History of the Omnibus Directive
In late November 2019, the Council of the EU adopted Directive 2019/2161 to provide better imposition and modernization of customer protection.
The Directive was set to take place on 28 May 2022.
Most EU States have successfully implemented the Directive and started with rigorous commissioning.
Which Businesses Are Affected by the Omnibus Directive?
The Omnibus Directive applies to all B2C eCommerce companies in the European Union territory, even if they are physically located elsewhere.
The most affected business models are dropshipping stores that use fake reviews to pursue buyers to make the final purchase decision.
How Can Businesses Comply with the New Omnibus Directive?
We understand that computing with the all-new EU ominous Directive can be quite hard, especially if you're a new company.
But here are a few factors that you must pay attention to prevent yourself from receiving a fine:
- How is the review verified
- How you inform consumers about verification
- Where you got the customer review from
- How can influences substantiate the reviews
If you don't have much time or patience to deal with customer reviews, you should consider using a third-party app, like Fera Product Reviews, to simplify the whole procedure.
Beautiful, simple reviews for your siteEasily collect, show & grow customer reviews, photos & videos for your business.
You can use it to automate your entire workflow and organize everything just as you want.
What If You Break the Rules of the Omnibus Directive?
Planning to use fake reviews on your site?
You should be prepared to pay over a fixed fine of €2 million or over 4% of the annual turnover in the specific EU state.
You've read that right - 2 million European Euros. Some of the states might even have higher fines as well...
So, if we were you, we would think twice next time when setting up fake reviews.
As businesses expand and reach international levels, regulatory changes will have a much more significant impact.
But one thing is sure - you will be required to watch out for fake reviews and take practical steps to stand against them.