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pps Member
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February 18, 2016
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Fake App reviews This post is outdated

If you are buying an app because you read all all good reviews on the app page? Don't!

Almost 90% of these reviews are fake. I am in the middle of switching my store to shopify, I spend a lot of time on app marketplace and it's really annoying to read very similar reviews for different apps. Probably fiverr or friends.

Reviews are basically a summary of the app description and how great their customer support is. When you check these reviewers website, Either the store is locked or going to a website not exist anymore.

I don't want to expose any seller here but fells like there are no apps without fake reviews on the marketplace... 

i
Replies
Posts:
126
February 19, 2016

yeah, I've noticed the same thing.

I'm weary to add any apps that are all 5 stars.  There's no way everyone loves the app so much that they gave it 5 stars.  Even people who love something won't always give it 5 stars.

I'd recommend trying to contact the app developer to see what else they've done.  If they seem legit, go ahead and download the app.  Unless it's a paid app, then they'll just spin sories of glory to you until you buy lol.

 

 

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Posts:
2
11 months ago

I'm not that familiar with how the app marketplace works.

Hastings Member
Posts:
6
11 months ago

Yep, you're right. Here's a clear example: https://apps.shopify.com/profi-quick-review#reviews-heading

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11 months ago
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Hey,

Best way to spot a legit review is to click the store name and browse around. If it seems like an active store, the review is most likely genuine. If the store is inactive (locked / under construction) - disregard the review. If most reviews are from inactive stores, move on to the next app.

But don't automatically assume every 5 star review is fake, or assume that if a certain app has many 5-star reviews, they are faking them. Spend 1-2 more minutes on researching the reviewers, so you don't miss out on the really great apps out there.

Yoni

 

 

HaDinh Member
Posts:
8
11 months ago

I agree with Yoni, please rely on the number of reviews as well as try to browse the store by clicking its name. App develpopers can not leave many fake reviews because they might have just some stores. And actually, app reviews give a lot of insights which you might have as well, they are very useful.

Hastings Member
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11 months ago
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Yes, of course that many apps have legitimate reviews.

However, the point here is that many other apps have fake reviews (hundreds of them) and there's no easy way for a merchant to know it. And these apps are usually featured on the Shopify App Store frontpage.

App develpopers can not leave many fake reviews because they might have just some stores.

They can create fake stores, write the reviews and abandon the stores. Indeed, they can hire third-party services to write reviews for them, in the same way you can hire Facebook likes or Twitter followers.

 

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11 months ago
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Hi,

I am not sure how fake reviews can be posted because to posta  review, the reviewer should have a paid shopify store and used the app into it. So to post fake reviews, reviewr have to wsignup for paid shopify plan and I dont think any fiverr or other such platform can provide fake review service.

We have also launched an app few months back and I know how hard it is to get reviews.

We provide support to our users and then at end ask them to write a review, and only a few people write review.

See this app for example: https://apps.shopify.com/instagram-feed

This app has more than a thousand users but only 75 users wrote review. If fake reviewes were possible, we might be able to get 1000+ reviws. 

Suggestion  - If you want to use any app, check if the app has more than 10 reviews or not. You can judge based on those 10 reviews because adding a couple of fake reviews is possible but more than that is not possible.

Thanks
Amit
 

Amrish Member
Posts:
1
11 months ago

> So to post fake reviews, reviewr have to wsignup for paid shopify plan

So you tried, didn't you?

> If fake reviewes were possible, we might be able to get 1000+ reviws. 

Ok, I get it. If fake review were possible, you would have written 1000+ fake reviews.

 

Posts:
87
11 months ago

In my opionen (I'm an app develper myself) I would have a look at the length and content of the reviews (quality vs. quantity). Often there are 5* reviews like "Great app", "Looks good so far", "Will test it" and so on. Such reviews are probably "buyed" by offering a free month of usage or something similar (even though this is forbidden as written in the shopify terms). Honest reviews often contain some longer description with some infos about the pros/cons/support

Pete Sullivan Member
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11 months ago
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Johannes' points are right.

In my opinion, there are two main reasons why developers feel encouraged to write fake reviews:

  1. Reviews are critical for an app success because the position on the Shopify App Store is determined, almost exclusively, by the number of reviews. And the position on the Shopify App Store is key for app sales.
  2. Shopify seems to do nothing with fake reviews. They are still there, as we all can see, and the developers are earning money with their apps promoted by fake reviews.

 

Posts:
87
Last edited 11 months ago

Reviews are critical for an app success because the position on the Shopify App Store is determined, almost exclusively, by the number of reviews. And the position on the Shopify App Store is key for app sales.

Absolutely! With 5-10 (or even more) new apps per day it got incredible hard to be even noticed by merchants (and therefore getting installs and reviews). Promoting apps in the forums doesn't help much either.

I guess this is a general issue with growing app eco-systems but probably could be slowed down a bit by introducing more sub-categories (including featuring apps on each channel).

I mean currently almost 70% of the apps are added to the "Tools" section. If shopify would break this down to "Tools /  Currency Conversion", "Tools / Translation", "Tools / Live Editors", "Tools / Navigation", etc. each app would have much better chances to being recognized in each channel and making it easier for merchants to find apps that they are looking for.

Jason Shopify Expert freakdesign.com.au
Posts:
7815
11 months ago

To anyone that thinks there's an app with nothing but fake reviews I'd suggest bringing that to the attention of the Shopify Support Team. Fake vs Real reviews may not be as easy to spot since stores can close, re-open, be paused (etc) after posting, but there's value in raising concerns. 

★ Winning Partner of the Build a Business competition. ★ http://freakdesign.com.au
Hastings Member
Posts:
6
10 months ago

Hi Jason,

yes, I understand your point but, as we strongly think that some reviews are fake (short reviews, closed shops, lots of the reviews in a few days...) there's no easy way to prove it. 

I hope the Shopify team implement some 'fake alert' in their system: checking for installations / reviews ratio, or number of reviews from from stores with no real sales.

 

Mister Max Member
Posts:
41
10 months ago

Funny, i saw that this morning too.  I like the reviews that when you click on the reviews link it comes to a dead or non-existant website.

Mister Max Member
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10 months ago
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What makes it more interesting on these reviews is that when the review says all these great features, then you install the app and those features are not even part of the app or even work as the review claims they do.

Also, I believe that when you search for FREE apps, it should ONLY bring up TOTALLY FREE apps, not apps with a free trial. They all have free trials, but that does qualify as a FREE app. That needs to be fixed first and foremost 

Pete Sullivan Member
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10 months ago
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Yes, the app market would be a better place with no fake reviews, better categorization and straightforward prices.

Posts:
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10 months ago

So you tried, didn't you?

Hi Amrish, I hope conversations will go in healthy way here. Obviously we didnt tried it but being a member of this community from years, we know the rules and policies of Shopify.

One thing Shopify can do for reviews that if a Reviewer's shop get closed after some time for any reason, the reviews posted by that store owner should also be removed automatically.
OR, if a user uninstall the app, the review should also be removed.

Many times when users click on the link on a review, app may not be working there as reviews exist even after deletion of app from store.

Thanks 

Hastings Member
Posts:
6
Last edited 10 months ago

Another clear example of fake reviews https://apps.shopify.com/shogun#reviews-heading

The app has been there for more than one year getting about 20 reviews in total and, suddenly, it gets more than 50 reviews in one month.

Hastings Member
Posts:
6
10 months ago

Another simple example of fake reviews https://apps.shopify.com/eu-cookie-bar#reviews-heading

A new app, in testing, and gets 10 reviews right after its publication.

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10 months ago
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@Hastings. Thanks for mentioning https://apps.shopify.com/shogun. Especially our reviews section.

While I can appreciate that you're impressed with how many reviews our email campaign yeilded, none of them are fake. Shogun does not have one single fake review. I'm proud to say that each one was hard earned.

If you're looking for insight on how Apps legitimately get a high review rating:

  • (1) After each positive customer service response, follow up with a genuine request for a review. As our reviews indicate, we focus on support.
  • (2) If a negative review is posted, immediately reach out to the store and ask what you can do to fix the issue. Let them know what kind of an impact ratings have on an app.
  • (3) Run multi-touch/two touch email campaigns to your active users who have not left reviews to please leave a review with their thoughts on the tool.

About a month ago was our first try on #3, and it worked super well, we got about 50 reviews out of it. Keep in mind that is less than a 10% response rate from our over 500+ active user base.

Now that we've seen the impact that fast review surges have on pulling the app up the rankings, we will probably save up and run that same campaign every couple months.

If you read our reviews, they are thoughtful and clearly genuine; we have very few one sentence "great app!" reviews. If you see reviews with inactive stores or dead stores, and feel like that indicates fraudulent reviews, it's probably a good idea to check the churn stats on Shopify users (it's high, as a lot of new users are "aspirational").

If you have more feedback on our app, you're welcome to send an email directly to me and Finbarr at support@getshogun.com. We always appreciate feedback, even when it's critical ;)

Cheers.

Nick Raushenbush | Co-founder,Shogun | nick@getshogun.com | Shogun Drag and Drop Page Builder for Shopify!
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Last edited 10 months ago

Hi Nick,

I completely agree with your comments as we know how hard it is to get reviews. Not a single user posts review on his own. We email them and request for review and then they post review. We email every user, out of all users, only 5% users actually posta  review. Our app has 1600 users so far and you can see that we only have 108 reviews.

Our developer dedicatedly email all users after setting up app on their store, and then its upto the user if he want to posta  review or not.

https://apps.shopify.com/instagram-feed

Thanks
Amit Porwal

Posts:
220
10 months ago

Congrats on breaking the 100 review mark, @Amit Porwal. Hoping to get there in the near future :)

Nick Raushenbush | Co-founder,Shogun | nick@getshogun.com | Shogun Drag and Drop Page Builder for Shopify!
Posts:
35
10 months ago

Thanks Nick. Can you send me your emailid? I have a question.

Posts:
220
10 months ago
Nick Raushenbush | Co-founder,Shogun | nick@getshogun.com | Shogun Drag and Drop Page Builder for Shopify!
Hastings Member
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6
10 months ago

It's curious, if not suspicious, seeing app developers not worried about fake reviews, saying that it's not a big deal. They should be the most concerned about the problem if they only get legitimate reviews.

 

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Last edited 10 months ago
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@Hastings

I never said that fake reviews weren't a big deal, I simply defended my company against your false statement. I'm sorry if it comes off as harsh, but in my opinion, you should be more considerate before you post something like that.

That said, I will provide some insight as to why I'm not freaking out over the possibility that another app could be using fake reviews:

1) If someone is faking their reviews to try to game Shopify's partner program, they'll be in for a rude awakening when they find out how strict they are about their policies. An app doing that would likely be removed immediately without warning.

2) Bedsides the aforementioned, I'm not concerned because if an app partner is resorting to paying for fake reviews, they either have a poor product experience or no business/marketing skills, or both. Reviews are only going to get you so far, and Shopify's app store ranking algorithm is multifaceted.

If you have serious concerns about an app, I recommend emailing the Shopify apps team direct at apps@shopify.com.

I hope you have a good weekend :)

Nick Raushenbush | Co-founder,Shogun | nick@getshogun.com | Shogun Drag and Drop Page Builder for Shopify!
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51
10 months ago

I've sent reports of fake reviews to shopify support only being told that they were, in fact, real reviews. Sure, they were left by "real" Shopify users/stores but at the end of the day, they were FAKE!

If it sounds too good to be true.....

Trust your gut!

Alex Brecher http://Store.BariatricPal.com BariatricPal Store: Save Money on Bariatric Food, Vitamins & Nutrients
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22
10 months ago

I agree with Nick,

As an app developer, I know how hard it is to get new reviews and how easy it is to lose them.

If an app chooses to spend their money on fake reviews they will not be in Shopify long enough to rip the rewards. When stores use the app they will find its true nature and warn everyone else.

So even if fake reviews were possible they seem like a horrible idea to me.

You can check out our reviews if you want, they were very hard to get and each of them represents hours of hard work. I'm very proud of them.

https://apps.shopify.com/giftwizard#reviews-heading

Zac Shopify Partner zyber.io
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10 months ago
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Another developer here.

How could Shopify programmatically remove fake reviews?

Perhaps disallow publishing of reviews that are from an affiliate/trial store?

Auto remove/hide reviews from people that have frozen/stopped their plans?

Mark a review differently if the user has uninstalled the application?

 

Pretty brutal way to do that though, I can see some of the mega-reviewed applications having pretty large drops in install numbers.

Zyber Developer | https://apps.shopify.com/trademe | https://apps.shopify.com/productfilter | https://apps.shopify.com/splittest
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3
10 months ago

Yeah, maybe almost like those 'verified buyer' badges on some store reviews.

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9 months ago

yeah, I've noticed the same thing.

If an app chooses to spend their money on fake reviews they will not be in Shopify long enough to rip the rewards. When stores use the app they will find its true nature and warn everyone else.