JD Group recently launched its online store Everyshop, offering a wide variety of technology products, computers, appliances, and other products from leading brands.
It currently offers items across 10 main categories – entertainment, fashion, health & beauty, perfect home, work & study, projects & DIY, lifestyle & leisure, fitness, cellular, and kid’s world.
With regards to tech, it features major brands like Sony, HP, Acer, Apple, Canon, Dell, Epson, Garmin, Hisense, Huawei, JBL, LG, Samsung, Pioneer, and Xbox.
Only hours after its launch, several MyBroadband readers and forum members pointed out that there were already thousands of reviews for certain items.
Examples of products with a myriad of reviews included Apple smartwatches, a Logitech gaming mouse, LG and Samsung TVs, and PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles.
At first glance, this appeared strange, particularly when compared to well-known online store Takealot.
The Apple Watch Series 6 had 1,304 reviews on Everyshop, for example, whereas we could only find one review between all of the Watch Series 6 product listings on Takealot.
This raised concerns as to whether the online store was misleading consumers with reviews that were either made up or dubiously sourced.
The screenshots below were taken on the same day that Everyshop was launched and show several of the products which already had a substantial number of reviews.
Source of reviews
MyBroadband asked JD Group how the reviews were sourced and how shoppers on the Everyshop site knew these could be trusted.
“As part of our curated web experience we wish to provide all consumers with not only the best selection of brands and products but also product reviews they might need during their purchase journey,” the company said.
Because of this, Everyshop partnered with global review aggregator TestFreaks to provide product reviews.
TestFreaks was previously a consumer-facing website which users could access to see what consumers and critics thought of various products.
This is similar to how Rotten Tomatoes functions for movie and TV show reviews, or Metacritic works for games.
“TestFreaks aggregates ratings and reviews from more than 12,000 different sources worldwide, with over 10 years of quality data regularly updated,” JD Group said.
“Our source is displayed with each review and Everyshop has partnered with TestFreaks to provide this content,” it added.
“All sources are validated prior to being added to the TestFreaks database and include expert and consumer reviews, to provide an unbiased view and assist customers to make an informed decision during their purchase,” JD Group said.
This means that products would not have to be purchased directly from Everyshop for a review to be posted, although Everyshop visitors have the option to add their own reviews.
We assessed the review section of Everyshop’s product listings to better understand the usage of TestFreaks’ information.
As noted by JD Group, each product had reviews divided into “Expert Reviews” and “User Reviews”.
Using the Apple Watch Series 6 as an example, under the Expert section we found several reviews which claimed to be from popular tech sites including Engadget, Macworld, Digitaltrends, ZDNet, Tech Crunch, and Ars Technica.
We cross-referenced these reviews with the actual articles as placed on their sites. Our comparison found that the ratings and commentary (where applicable) correlated with the actual claimed source.
The User Reviews section seemed to contain ratings and impressions from customers who bought the Watch Series 6 from various popular retailers, with the date of the review also noted.
While the user’s name was not shown, the names of the retailers from which they had supposedly purchased the device – such as Walmart, Target, Costco, and Appliances Direct – were available.
We checked these retailer’s sites to see if customers had actually submitted these reviews, and sure enough, found this to be the case in all the instances we compared.