Dot Com Media Warns Local Businesses Against Fake Reviews

Fake reviews are becoming common these days to hurt the reputation of businesses. Many new startup companies who lack a strong customer database or have low customer satisfactions levels are engaging in new levels of treachery to gain undeserved popularity, such as by creating fake positive reviews for themselves. These new acts of deceit help companies lure future customers who fall prey to such reviews. Dot Com Media is a responsible corporate citizen and wants to create awareness among local businesses to be watchful of such cunningness.

Most consumers rely on reviews from customers to judge the performance of an online or local company. Due to lack of personal experience, customers tend to evaluate the services and products sold by the company based on positive and negative testimonials. Incompetent businesses that lack professionalism and ethics, may engage in dishonest practices to enhance their business outlook in front of customers by posting false, negative, reviews on their competitor’s website.

Such reviews are mostly self-made, using false names to trick customers into moving away from the website’s products or services. By posting false reviews incompetent businesses hurt their competitor’s reputation. Dot Com Media urges its customers and local businesses to remain vigilant of such activities, which are nefarious and designed to help incapable business sell their inept products or services without any real value for money.

Here are a few tips to identify fake reviews and websites:

Payment options

Check the payment options listed by the company, there are many merchants offering payback services in case the customer is not satisfied. For example, a great way to make transactions safely online is by paying via PayPal, which is widely accepted across the US and any reliable service provider would have a PayPal payment feature. Companies who offer non-secure payment options like direct debit from your credit card or debit card put the customer at risk.

Business Guarantees

Check the guarantees offered by the business. Most businesses offer some sort of assurance in order to gain a potential customer’s trust. Quite commonly, online businesses will post money-back guarantees in case of dissatisfaction. Any professional business would list its terms and conditions, stating its extra services offered to its customers.

Check the Reviews

Always read the reviews posted on the website and be watchful for positive ones. If a review is highly in favor of the company, stating almost all of its services, it is likely a fake testimonial. Companies can now hire freelancers to write fake reviews for their services, typically resulting in an unusual amount of positive comments.

The Consequences of Inadequate Due Diligence

Operating a global business today requires efficiently managing a network of third-party partners that supply product components, run operations in foreign markets, operate call centers, or act as outside consultants or agents.

The vast array of capabilities and specialized skill sets of a well-maintained third-party network makes operations easier for both the organization and its customers. But many organizations, from small businesses to multi-national corporations, can rarely afford the time and effort required in-house to manage these often complex third-party relationships.

Because of this, the risk of unethical business practices, bribery and other business corruption potentially increases if inadequate due diligence is conducted on third-party partners. The ramifications of a scandal related to a third-party partner can easily take down an organization, resulting in such risks as a damaged reputation and brand devaluation, to regulatory violations, legal proceedings and possible fines and jail terms for directors. The only way to fully protect the corporation’s assets, therefore, is through a strong and viable third-party risk management program.

Building a third-party risk management program is not a passive process. It requires time and effort on a continual basis, as the risks associated with third-party partnerships constantly evolve.

Consider the events of this past summer, during which the legislators of three separate nations signed new compliance regulations and standards into law. Without a doubt, if your organization’s third-party risk management program is unable to quickly adjust to these new regulations (or is not designed to anticipate future legislative movements) your organization is truly at risk.

Cutting corners: not worth the risk

Still, far too many organizations are willing to tempt fate by cutting corners on development and implementation of their third-party risk management program. Certainly, building a strong risk management program requires a significant investment of time and resources (both internally and from the outside), but the consequences of not doing it right could be dramatically severe.

One way organizations attempt to cut corners is by relying on outdated or stagnant tools to monitor, detect and prevent risks. Almost always, hiring outside industry professionals with proven track records of successful due diligence experience is necessary.

Relying too heavily on “desktop” due diligence is another dangerous shortcut. Desktop due diligence is an important initial step of the investigative process, involving background checks, lien searches, regulatory filing investigations and environmental reports. And while it is a vital component of any effective due diligence program, it’s not nearly enough to thoroughly evaluate a third-party.

Truly understanding a potential partner’s business requires a considerable amount of time spent face-to-face with the outside organization’s leadership, operations management and even current customers. This “boots on the ground” process will detect potential risks which are often hidden from a distance, and undetectable via web-based discovery tools.

The “boots on the ground” approach also helps to establish a relational dynamic required for ongoing negotiations and provides clear insight into two of the fastest-growing issues in third-party risk management: bribery and labor management.

Bribery as a compliance issue

Anti-bribery and anti-corruption compliance is a fast-moving target. New anti-bribery laws and regulations are being decreed around the world at a relentless pace. Complicating matters further, many countries may have laws in place but lack the ability to adequately enforce them. When this is the case, the responsibility falls to your organization’s due diligence program to ensure detection and protection.

High profile investigations in recent years have contributed to the rapid emergence of bribery and corruption as a societal issue. Never before has such a contrast been drawn so dramatically on a global stage between those that engage in bribery and those that suffer as a result. Any organization that finds itself mixed up in a scandal involving bribery has more than a legal mess to contend with. It has a long battle to win back the trust of its shareholders, employees, customers and the public.

Conducting sufficient due diligence surrounded by such varying factors is work that must be conducted in person. Gaining insight into a potential partner’s company culture requires a level of immersion with the organization’s leadership, management and staff. When it comes to evaluating bribery risk, some warning signs can only be discovered on-site.

Labor matters and compliance

From overtime issues and under-age workers, to unsafe working conditions and improperly documented accidents, labor compliance represents a major component of any strong third-party risk management program.

Once again, inadequate attention to risks related to labor compliance can bring on considerable penalties. Understanding which industries, geographic regions and management structures elevate the organization’s risk is key to efficiently operating an effective due diligence program. This understanding is nearly impossible to guarantee via ‘desktop’ due diligence. Spending the necessary time in person is the only way to be sure a potential supplier is properly compensating and managing employees while providing a safe workplace environment.

Make no mistake, even if your agreement with a third-party partner places the responsibility of payroll issues firmly upon the vendor, your organization — as a joint employer — can still be held accountable in many countries. After all, the labor being conducted at your partner’s facility benefits your organization’s bottom line.

Best practices

The demands of identifying and measuring third-party risk, monitoring those potential risks on an ongoing basis, and making recommendations based on empirical research is best met by a dedicated team of outside professionals. And while no two organizations are alike in terms of risk profiles, several factors have become consistent in building a strong and effective due diligence program:

Planning. Without a well thought out plan outlining ongoing monitoring efforts with assigned roles and responsibilities, efforts to mitigate risk will be haphazard at best, and dormant at worst. With a thoroughly established, management-advocated program that identifies specific risk factors for each affiliation, a process for addressing red flags, and an established mechanism for continual revision, the organization will remain vigilant in its efforts to protect itself from liability.

Documentation. Due diligence efforts are only as good as the information and data gathered and secured. Meticulous documentation and reporting enables the organization to recognize trends, communicate analyses, and sustain efforts during any future personnel changes. Effective risk management programs feature established guidelines for capturing data, contracts and research with uniformity.

Culture. An organization where leadership, management and workforce do not take third-party risk seriously will never be adequately protected from risk. Successful organizations in this respect dedicate themselves to building a culture in which every employee feels personally invested in the risk management of the operation. Employees must feel empowered and encouraged to report red flags. Passive engagement is simply not enough.

Winsome eCommerce Tricks To Turn Cart Abandonment Into Sales

It is not a surprising notion that near about half of customers abandon the carts before making any purchase. Even though that’s a tough proportion to think of, considering that sales would have doubled if those customers have actually purchased, there’s no straightforward or easy approach to prevent that. However, one of the great mistakes for retailers is letting their abandoned customers go without trying to catch back their attention one more time. Despite knowing that most of them won’t come back, there’s no harm in trying to persuade them in a friendly way which might convert them into steady buyers. However, there’s need for a specific plan or strategies to reverse the minds of abandoned shoppers and make them loyal customers. Discussed here are some of the proven hacks for eCommerce retailers to turn their cart abandonment into successful purchases.

#1 Holding back the items in the cart

The first and simplest way to regain back the customers is letting them know that you are still holding their preferred items in their shopping carts. For better results, eCommerce owners can retain the selected items in customer’s cart for more than a week so that they could see their chosen items pending for final checkout every time they log into the website. This may keep them reminding about what they are missing out until they are really tempted to make the final purchase.

#2 Sending a recovery or reminder email

The power of emailing in marketing can never be underestimated and this in one point where email target works absolutely great. Sending friendly emails to the abandoned shoppers reflect the concern of the shopping companies for their dissatisfied customers. This leaves a positive impression on their minds and might lure them to purchase. A simple email with subjects like “Oops! We found your cart is awaiting for checkout.”, “Having issues in checking out?” or a reminder subject line like “Look back into your cart before your things run out” will do great in holding back the attention of buyers again.

#3 Retargeting with custom services

Email targeting might be the most effective strategy, but retargeting approaches are equally fine. Prices and products sometimes lag behind the quality of services in eCommerce and that’s where retargeting approaches may be a win-win strategy. Retailers can offer free shipping, easy returns and exchanges, free goodies which are direct retargeting approach. Whereas, as an indirect strategy, they can use a Javascript code that places cookies on the customer’s browsers which will make advertisements of their website’s products visible wherever they visit on the web.

#4 Offering alluring discounts and price comparisons of abandoned products

Customers are always crazy for discounts, no matter what they are buying and from where! Thus, it is wiser to use this behavioral tendency of buyers to gain them back in case of the abandoned cart. eCommerce owners can send back notifications or email to customers disclosing great discounts on the same items that they left in the cart. Further, they can provide prompt price comparisons for same products on other sites, to prevent the buyers from switching to other online substitutes.

The idea of drawing back abandoned customers is quite simple. When someone abandons a shopping cart, retailers are not losing the sale permanently. Instead, they got some new prospect to convert it into a successful sale. This manifests that initial visits of customers are just “consideration” visit for them, and so retailers can push them for subsequent visits with retargeting for assured conversions.