A consumer review aggregator, launched today, could force e-commerce firms to improve customer service and pay greater attention to user reviews.
Trustpilot is a new site aimed at users "who are in doubt whether or not they should purchase from an e-shop", according to chief executive Peter Muhlmann.
The service aggregates information from independent sites, and presents consumers with information such as consumer reviews and ratings, media articles about the site, and a final good/bad rating.
Users can also download a plug-in to view a traffic-light icon in the browser navigation bar of their search engine, which indicates whether the site they are searching for can be trusted, said Muhlmann.
"You can look up a company and see what other customers think, because that's the best guarantee of a site," he explained.
"I think a lot of e-shops can benefit from our service too, because if we have gathered a large amount of very positive feedback, that is a fantastic thing to show potential customers."
Andrew Yates, chief executive of customer insight software vendor Artesian, suggested that the service could provide vendors with visibility into what consumers really think, and enable them to better address their customers' needs.
"I think this is a great example of how the evolving web really connects what consumers think rather than what vendors say," he said.
"This leaves no place to hide where no amount of marketing spend can mask what people really think about your product or service."
IBM and Technical University of Munich team demonstrate how Shor's algorithm, which can't be cracked by conventional computers, can be solved quickly with quantum computing
Hubble Space Telescope finds superflares from young red dwarfs could strip away planetary atmosphere
Younger stars are 100 to 1,000 times more energetic than when they're older
Two of the big four supermarkets will use the system to control sales of restricted products
PUBG news and updates: November's Update #23 to bring new Skorpion pistol and changes to blue zone visibility
Genuinely useful side-arm coming to PUBG in Update #23