Did you like our service? Comment on Angie’s List. Enjoy your meal? Share on Urbanspoon. Have fun on your vacation? Let everyone know on TripAdvisor. The opportunity to share the good – and of course the bad – is bountiful online. TestFreaks, Choice and Trustpilot join the better known, Yelp, Angie’s List and TripAdvisor, in attracting the opinions of consumers – and of course, the advertising dollars of brands.

Norman, Oklahoma, based ReviewSpot.us has joined the fray offering a unique business model designed to ensure that reviews posted on businesses have the integrity and reliability that we count on. Under its system, the consumer must provide a picture of the receipt to verify the purchase or contracted service. This helps ensure there are no fake reviews provided by fake accounts (made-up consumers.)

5 of 5 starsConsumers count on the reliability of online reviews. Unfortunately, not all reviews are true. In fact, some reviews are calculated attempts by other businesses to mislead the public to gain a competitive advantage. Businesses that have been targeted by malicious attacks from fictitious customers have suffered serious damage to their brands, and this phenomenon is more common than you might think.

Consider today’s marketing environment. Only 14 percent of consumers trust traditional advertisements. Less than eight out of 10 people believe the store’s print or television ad. However, 78 percent of consumers believe the recommendation of a friend or relative, and 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Ninety percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. And 92 percent of users will use a local business if it has at least a four-star rating. If that business has an “excellent” review, that consumer is likely to spend 31 percent more with that business. Products with positive reviews sold 200 percent more than those with no ratings. Eighty-six percent of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews. Even one negative review can cost a business 30 customers.

As you can imagine from those numbers, online reviews have an enormous marketing impact, and the nature of those reviews can easily determine a business’ sucess.

Unfortunately, the industry has been corrupted by bogus reviews. The motivations vary, but one of the most prominent is competitive advantage. Some businesses hire writers to submit bogus reviews to enhance their brand or damage businesses they compete against. Bogus reviews have threatened the consumer review industry’s credibility, prompting Amazon, Yelp and others to file litigation against those attempting to manipulate the system.

ReviewsSpot.us is the next step in the evolution of the enormously helpful consumer review industry. The company understands how important consumer reviews are to consumers as well as businesses. But they must be reliable.

With that in mind, Review Spot is designed to deliver the same level of quality and reliability in local consumer reviews that customers expect from the businesses they patronize.  For more on Review Spot, visit the website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.