Latvian team Smart Reviews has launched a platform to support consumers in identifying and avoiding fraudulent or untrustworthy e-commerce websites.

Smart Reviews — founded by Maria and Edward Peterson — uses AI, machine learning, and web scraping to collect any available information on the online brand, regardless of its age. This provides a quick overview of the credibility of the retailer.

In a time where dropshipped sites are popping up and aggressively advertising on social media, many consumers don’t know if what they see is a trustworthy brand. At the same time e-commerce site owners often feel the effects of negative reviews, even if they are resolved or unfounded.

E-commerce entrepreneur Edward Peterson saw this discrepancy when due to Covid-19-related disruption in the production chain his luxury footwear brand Inch 2 experienced a few negative reviews, which hurt sales, and he decided to build a solution for himself and others.

“Global consumption patterns are shifting online, and due to the global pandemic this is happening at an accelerating speed, forcing customers to adapt to online shopping. They become easy targets for unfair businesses. Many scam websites appear every day and it’s hard to spot the difference between fair and unfair vendors. Smart Reviews hopes to help them get prompt answers,” Peterson said in a statement.

Smart Reviews automatically populate the site with new e-commerce websites, and it also crawls the reviews to assign grades to specific elements of the review – shipping, product quality, customer service, etc. This gives customers easily-accessible information for making smart purchases and allows merchants to protect themselves from fraudulent claims, competitor unfair practices, or so-called blackmailing reviews.

Merchants are able to claim their site and are provided with the tools necessary to interact with bad reviews to rectify the situation, along with the review, at a friendlier price than the competitors. Thus, they are better able to control the reputation of the brand online, which leads to increased online sales.

“Current review sites are very primitive in only providing customer reviews. They are often long reads airing grievances about a specific negative experience and one issue that isn’t necessarily relevant to the reader. And if there are thousands of reviews, it’s near impossible to get a straight answer to any specific questions,” Peterson said.

Smart Reviews has over 1 million e-commerce websites logged and continues to grow natively, expecting to reach 50 million within three years.

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