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Wednesday, August 7, 2013Sector

Internet: a standard for consumer reviews

© Thinkstock/L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

AFNOR, on 4 July 2013, has published the first voluntary standard in the world, the NF Z74-501 standard, with an aim to make more reliable the consumer reviews on the Internet. Forty-three organisations have worked together for eighteen months to define the rules applicable to all the sites about the consumer reviews of the relevant products (including the cosmetics), tourism, restaurant industry, and services, on a more globally scale.

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Almost nine out of ten French people look to the consumer reviews on the Internet, and 89% of them think of them as "useful" or "very useful". However, a mistrust failure is obvious: ¾ of the French people think that some of these consumer reviews are hoaxed*.

In response to this concern, the AFNOR (the French standardisation organisation) has released the very first voluntary standard that provides rules and procedures, which, after the AFNOR press release, “43 organisations (companies, e-commerce actors, consumers associations, professional associations, authorities and public services) have agreed upon by consensus. Through a self-regulation approach, they committed themselves and succeeded in overtaking their own interests to design a reference document –a world first- defining the principles and requirements of collecting, moderating and reporting consumer reviews about products and services on the Internet.”

This standard, which emphasizes the economic force of the consumer reviews, thanks to their importance for the processes to provide the consumer with information and help him choose, is based on principles of transparency, of commitment to speeding up handling, of considering the expectations of all the stakeholders (consumers, evaluated organisations, opinions' handlers, authorities), of the opinions' freshness.

Examples of the standard’s requirements

Collecting

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