European Union (EU) Omnibus Directive 2019/2161, which came into force in January 2020, sets out requirements for key changes in consumer protection law throughout the EU. The directive demands better protection for consumers from false and misleading reviews in online commerce. To learn more about the Omnibus Directive, refer to the official EU Directive page.

You must ensure that verified product reviews submitted by users are genuine, and that the user who submits a review has purchased or used your product. You must also explain what verification process you have in place. Bazaarvoice collects reviews from consumers in two ways:

  • We collect reviews from consumers after a purchase by sending out a review request email (formerly post-interaction email or PIE) or text messages.
  • We collect reviews from visitors to your website. Consumers can submit reviews using Write a review on the product display page.

    Note: In this case, the reviewer may not have purchased or used the product.

To ensure authenticity and transparency of the reviews, we introduced the following:

  • Display Bazaarvoice Authentic Reviews Trust Mark to show consumers your dedication to authentic consumer feedback.
  • Display verified badges and incentivized reviews to indicate the contributor of review has actually purchased or used the product.

Use the topics in this section to learn how Bazaarvoice:

  • Collects reviews from consumers
  • Verifies content authenticity and transparency
  • Enables verification on hosted displays
  • Ensures clients can be Omnibus Directive compliant while using the ratings & reviews and submission form features

Collect reviews from consumers

After an online or offline purchase, you can invite your consumers to leave reviews by sending review requests (formerly post-interaction email or PIE).

Typically, a review request is sent to a consumer after an e-commerce transaction is completed. To understand a typical review request workflow, refer to Workflow and timing of review requests. Consumers are automatically directed to the review-submission form when selecting the review submission link within the review request message. In addition, the submission form contains a parameter that identifies the consumer as a verified purchaser.

Alternatively, consumers can select Write a review on the product display page to submit reviews. In this scenario, any visitor who browses the product display page can submit reviews. These are organic reviews submitted by consumers who may or may not have used your products. Because we don’t request these reviews through the actual purchase data, we cannot badge the reviewers as verified purchasers. To learn more about submitting reviews, refer to Submission forms.

How Bazaarvoice verifies content authenticity and transparency

We are committed to content authenticity and transparency. We believe businesses have a responsibility to verify the authenticity of reviews they publish. We also believe consumers have a right to trust the reviews they read. Our user authentication process involves verifying the identity of the user who creates content on your site. For example, through our user authentication process, we ensure a user’s email address is linked to a profile in the Bazaarvoice Network.

We also assign badges to ensure the authenticity of reviewers who purchased products from your site. Badges support concepts such as verified purchasers and incentivized reviews. You can enable badges when you want to call attention to:

  • People affiliated with your organization
  • Top content contributors
  • Verified reviews as written by someone who purchased the product or service
  • Incentivized reviews

Badges are placed on user-generated content (reviews, questions, answers) or contributors. To learn more about incentivized reviews and badges, refer to Badges and incentivized reviews.

Verified purchaser

The verified purchaser badge is a token-based badge that automatically assigns to a contributor or reviewer based on the review submitted through review requests. The badge is assigned when the contributor submits a review using a link in the review request email or text message. This verifies that the contributor has purchased the product or service from your website, and that the review is authentic. Review requests invite contributors to provide reviews for a product/service purchased from your site, over the phone, or in your physical stores.

Incentivized reviewer

The incentivized reviewer badge is a token-based badge that Indicates the contributor received a free product or service to review. We assign this badge when a consumer writes a review in exchange for something of value. For information about syndicated incentivized reviews, refer to Identify incentivized reviews. You can identify incentivized reviews by enabling an incentivized review badge on your site. The following is an example of an incentive review badge.

For syndicated reviews, we do not include the incentivized badge. Instead, we append the following text to each syndicated review:

[This review was collected as part of a promotion.]

Our authenticity policy outlines the requirements user-generated content (UGC) must meet to be authentic. We ensure consumers can trust your site’s ratings, reviews, answers, and other UGC. Learn more about displaying the Bazaarvoice Authentic Reviews Trust Mark to show your dedication to authenticity.

Enable verification on Bazaarvoice hosted displays

We offer several verification methods to ensure that you are Omnibus compliant. This includes:

  • Send review requests to consumers when transaction details are passed to Bazaarvoice
  • Enable verified purchaser and incentivised review badges to identify authenticated reviewers
  • Accept Terms and Conditions compliance by the consumer before submitting a review

Implement review requests

After a product is purchased from your site, a review request email or text message is sent to the customer’s email address or phone number. Review requests ensure the reviews that you have collected are from the buyer, and the review is authentic. To learn more about review requests, refer to Review requests.

Enable badges

We use different types of badges to authenticate reviews. The badges are configured with an image, image-hover text, and a description. To learn more about different types of badges, refer to Types of badges. Contact Bazaarvoice Support to understand how to enable badging.

We use syndicated review badges for reviews syndicated from other sources within the Bazaarvoice Network. For example, in syndicated reviews, a consumer might write a review on the website of the product’s manufacturer. This review can be shared on a retailer’s website automatically by Bazaarvoice with the verified purchaser badge.

Enable Terms and Conditions

When you configure your implementation, you can choose to turn on or off the Terms & Conditions. Terms & Conditions are visible in the submission form only if you have turned the option on. If you have enabled the Terms & Conditions, contributors must accept them before submitting their reviews.

You can also customize the text of your Terms & Conditions or link to a URL where you host your Terms & Conditions. To customize your Terms & Conditions and agreements:

  1. Sign in to the Bazaarvoice Portal .
  2. From the upper-right corner, select the settings icon settings icon.
  3. Select Configuration.
  4. Select the Bazaarvoice instance.
  5. Select Go to Configuration. The Site Manager appears, listing the available deployment zones and implementations.
  6. Under Implementations, select Edit next to the implementation you want to configure.
  7. Under the User Experience section, select Agreements. Use the Ratings & Reviews tab for your review submission form.
  8. Enter the label of the terms you want the contributor to agree to in the Agreement Acceptance Text field. For example, if you want the contributor to agree to your terms and conditions, your Agreement Acceptance Text should look like the following:
    I agree to the <a href="#" class="bv-text-link bv-focusable">terms and conditions</a>.
  9. Replace the text within the <a> tag with your desired link text. You can fully customize the text. For example, you can edit the Agreement Acceptance Text as:
    I confirm that I have purchased or used this product and agree to the  <a href="#" class="bv-text-link bv-focusable">terms and conditions</a>.

    In the example above, link “terms and conditions” to the Terms & Conditions of your organization. Your Terms & Conditions should include information about how you comply with the Omnibus Directive to verify the authenticity of reviews.

    Note: If you do not have a set of terms and conditions, you must create a new Terms & Conditions agreement.
  10. Under Agreement Text Source, select where you want to host the full text of the terms that the link in the Agreement Acceptance Text points to. * Select Hosted content and enter the full text of your terms if you want Bazaarvoice to host and display the full agreement text. * Select Remote URL to provide a remote URL to where your terms and conditions are hosted.