Are most app reviews on the marketplace fake?

pps2
Tourist
4 0 5

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... 

Replies 41 (41)

Thomas_Carey
Shopify Partner
126 0 4

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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Clifford1
Visitor
2 0 0

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

Hastings
Tourist
6 0 2

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

Yoni_Elbaz
Shopify Partner
48 0 6

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
New Member
8 0 0

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
Tourist
6 0 2

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.

 

Amit_Porwal
Shopify Expert
51 0 5

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
Visitor
1 0 0

> 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.

 

Johannes_Hodde
Shopify Partner
103 0 13

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
Visitor
2 0 2

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.

 

Johannes_Hodde
Shopify Partner
103 0 13

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
11190 225 2283

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. 

★ I jump on these forums in my free time to help and share some insights. Not looking to be hired, and not looking for work. http://freakdesign.com.au ★

Hastings
Tourist
6 0 2

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
Excursionist
50 0 12

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
Excursionist
50 0 12

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
Visitor
2 0 2

Yes, the app market would be a better place with no fake reviews, better categorization and straightforward prices.

Amit_Porwal
Shopify Expert
51 0 5

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
Tourist
6 0 2

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
Tourist
6 0 2

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.

NickRaushenbush
Shopify Partner
242 0 22

@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 | Try Shogun Page Builder for Shopify for FREE!

Amit_Porwal
Shopify Expert
51 0 5

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

NickRaushenbush
Shopify Partner
242 0 22

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 | Try Shogun Page Builder for Shopify for FREE!
michael-helium
Shopify Expert
364 5 179

@NickRaushenbush 

Oh, how things have changed for Shogun since you posted wishingly about getting to 100 reviews 😉

Michael, COO @ Helium
- Customer Fields ✪✪✪✪✪ (346 reviews)
- Meteor Mega Menu ✪✪✪✪✪ (265 reviews)
NickRaushenbush
Shopify Partner
242 0 22

@michael-helium Thank you 🙂 We have been working hard and have been vey fortunate. Credit goes to our global support team.

 

Hope all has been well. Ping me if you'd like to connect. Do you have my email?

Nick Raushenbush | Co-founder, Shogun | nick@getshogun.com | Try Shogun Page Builder for Shopify for FREE!
jam_chan
Shopify Partner
892 23 172

Except joining the party, what is the possible solution?

 

Recently i see that there is a new app who copy my app name (with an extra "s") in the middle. They have many around 20 reviews within 2-3 weeks. 

 

I emailed shopify and they said "my app is a generic name". Well said.

 

After a week, Shopify support emailed me to refund to a customer, who was the user of the clone app. How dare you, Shopify? I was so angry.

 

You are not helping me who are ripped off. But you waste my time in supporting the clone app user.

BYOB - Build Your Own Bundles, SPO - SEO App to research keywords & edit social link preview
Kris_Doyle
Shopify Partner
140 1 41

I myself was wondering (and I remember seeing a few questions from others) about whether or not Shopify has a policy that deals with fake app reviews, and they certainly do:
Prohibited Actions Policy 

The first line under App Reviews specifically says "Leaving fake reviews on your own app, or on a competitor's app to create a competitive advantage."

So the question then becomes, how is it monitored/enforced? Anonymous tips?

Cheers,
Kris

michael-helium
Shopify Expert
364 5 179

@Kris_Doyle 

Shopify doesn't say how it's enforced, but they removed thousands of reviews just the other day.

Michael, COO @ Helium
- Customer Fields ✪✪✪✪✪ (346 reviews)
- Meteor Mega Menu ✪✪✪✪✪ (265 reviews)

Amit_Porwal
Shopify Expert
51 0 5

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

NickRaushenbush
Shopify Partner
242 0 22

Gladly! nick@getshogun.com

Nick Raushenbush | Co-founder, Shogun | nick@getshogun.com | Try Shogun Page Builder for Shopify for FREE!

Hastings
Tourist
6 0 2

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.

 

NickRaushenbush
Shopify Partner
242 0 22

@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 | Try Shogun Page Builder for Shopify for FREE!

Alex_Brecher
Shopify Partner
53 0 22

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

Ari_Yahalom
Excursionist
52 0 6

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

Zac12
Shopify Partner
65 0 20

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

ShopHelper
Visitor
3 0 0

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

quachdaihjep8x
Visitor
1 0 0

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.

Janus__-_Brands
Shopify Partner
18 0 2

I have found almost 0 fully working App's in the past two months all are too limited or simply not doing the job or only doing it half the way. Some selling so simple apps that you can find a guide and install it yourself in 5 minutes and then they charge a ffortune for nothing.

Janus
Kris_Doyle
Shopify Partner
140 1 41

One thing I find truly frustrating is seeing a competing app with a ton of all 5 star reviews that are painfully obviously fake. I mean, they're literally all written on the same day and in the extreme cases, the reviews are quite literally text copied and pasted from the previous review. It's kind of funny actually. It almost looks like they're written by the same person but from a different shop.

 

My only saving grace is that my legitimate users are pretty smart people and I think most people would be able to look at something like that and say "Yeah, those are clearly fake..." and move on but it still annoys me. I don't think Shopify has a means to penalize those like Google does but hey, I can dream 🙂

 

Does Shopify actually have a policy against this or do they not really track it?

michael-helium
Shopify Expert
364 5 179

@Janus__-_Brands

 

I feel like that's an oversimplification.

 

Yes, there are lots of extremely simple apps out there that cater mostly to green Shopify merchants, but the app market is lightyears ahead of where it was just a few years ago and there are many incredible, powerful, and effective apps out there.

Our company just invested over 1,500 developer hours into an UPDATE of our Customer Fields app, which was already a 4.9 rated app. It takes a lot more time to maintain a good app than to roll a new one out.

I'd be interested to hear what you define as "only doing it half way."

Michael, COO @ Helium
- Customer Fields ✪✪✪✪✪ (346 reviews)
- Meteor Mega Menu ✪✪✪✪✪ (265 reviews)

soybrite
Visitor
1 0 0

i feel the same way about shopify, its been a nightmare. Fake reviews and youtube videos saying how shopify has helped them soo much. I cant even get one single reply to my many issues, it seems like all they are interested in is selling their low feature websites to as many people as possible. Its actually very frustrating and the lack of help is borderline rediculous.

Ablestar_Sophie
Shopify Partner
38 2 4

We understand the concerns you've been raising about fake reviews and we've built something you might find useful: AppNavigator

AppNavigator shows historical data for apps on the App Store as well as a breakdown of how long users have used the app before leaving a review:

Screenshot 2023-06-23 at 11.18.17 AM.png

 

We hope this tool helps you make better, more informed decisions when selecting apps for your Shopify store. Give it a try and let us know what you think! 

Sophie Mincke | Community Manager @ Ablestar
Bulk edit your products in-app or with a spreadsheet https://apps.shopify.com/bulk-product-editor