Amazon has kept busy, moving forward with a focus on fixing its digital reputation in 2016. Even after the New York Times piece on its culture, Amazon retains its authority as an eCommerce powerhouse.

One of Amazon’s first moves is to clean up its review system that has recently been under attack. The digital retail giant is suing over 1000 users who profit from writing fake reviews or bypass its verification system.

Taking a step back, we can make one key observation: Amazon knows that its brands and its customers care about quality reviews.

According to a recent Nielsen study, two-thirds of respondents say they trust consumer opinions posted online. That’s the same amount of trust they put into editorial content, such as magazines or newspapers.

reviews digital pr

Online retailers require additional trust to overcome the barrier digital purchases present.

User-generated reviews provide a final push needed to win over customers hesitating at checkout and influence consumer decisions.

Amazon has always reigned king on product sales, despite fake reviews diluting its quality representation. As a result of poor reputation management, Amazon loses search visibility, customers lose trust, and brands lose money.

While the fake reviews are small in scale, Amazon still knows that something must be done to regain trust and a positive online reputation. Amazon knows that for retail brands, fake reviews have a significant effect on the sales honest reviews influence and on the SEO for product pages.

By leveraging consumer research and smart audience targeting, this problem can be avoided early. Reducing the presence of fake content and improving the visibility of earned content allows retail brand to improve perceived reputation and boost visibility on search engines.

The biggest takeaways boil down to one thing — there is no shortcut when it comes to digital PR. To keep your brand’s reputation healthy, you must earn authentic reviews and links from your customers by providing a superior online experience that meets or exceeds expectations. When it comes to how consumers perceive their products, retail brands have everything to lose.

Retail companies, especially ones present on Amazon Marketplace and on Google Shopping, need to harness the power of genuine reviews to position its products and user experience with the best mix of visibility and perception. Failing to leverage legitimate reviews undermines customer trust and invalidates reputation, showing the significance digital PR can have for retail brands when optimized.

It’s no secret that digital PR will steer customers to the checkout page. If Amazon is willing to take such a large step towards a small amount of reviewers, all retail brands should take note. Assess where your digital perception stands and learn where to improve it.