Fake online reviews and other questions about review authenticity have been a hot topic of discussion recently. In response, TripAdvisor and American Express have partnered on an interesting initiative to bring greater credibility to the online review process and provide AmEx card members with access to promotions and other special offers.
The new partnership will allow AmEx card members to see reviews from other card members and leave reviews of their own. AmEx card members will be able to connect their cards with their personal TripAdvisor profiles, designating them as an “AmEx Traveler.” All reviews left by card members will be marked as an “Amex Card Member Review,” confirming that the reviewers used their cards to make purchases at those locations.
“Card members trust other card members’ recommedations,” said Leslie Berland, AmEx’s senior vice president for digital partnerships and development. “Their views, their insight, what they’re doing, carries a weight and relevance.”
The partnership also provides exclusive hotspot lists, including lists of hotels and restaurants trending with other AmEx members around the world, as well as special discounts, offers and savings, which can be synced directly with users’ AmEx cards.
The partnership is a win for TripAdvisor and Amex, as well as Amex businesses and card members. By verifying that reviews are left by those who made purchases, the companies are helping to restore authenticity and trust to the review process. AmEx users also consider themselves part of a select group, so showcasing reviews left by AmEx members adds an additional sense of credibility for other AmEx members viewing them. And by incorporating AmEx branding and showcasing special promotions throughout the site, the company is making it easier for TripAdvisor users to use their AmEx card at the point of purchase with businesses that accept the card.
I think this partnership serves as a great example for other companies in the online review space of how to tackle this growing issue of online review authenticity, while providing additional integration benefits for consumers along the way. It will be interesting to see what other similar ideas come forward from TripAdvisor and its competitiors.