Consumer Reports recommendations on specific products to be easily available to consumers before they buy autos, other products in new program
Consumer Reports is launching CR Recommended, a program designed to bring Consumer Reports product recommendations easily to consumers before they purchase autos and other products.
When someone shops online, at a dealership, or in a store, they’ll see a “CR Recommended” mark for products that meet Consumer Reports’ criteria for safety, performance, and reliability.
A large majority of Americans read online reviews to make purchase decisions, according to a survey. However, three out of four say they thought they’ve encountered fake reviews before making a purchase decision.
“Misinformation permeates the marketplace,” said Marta L. Tellado, president and CEO of Consumer Reports, a research, testing, and consumer advocacy organization. “Far too often, science is misrepresented as science fiction, data is distorted, and reviews are rigged.”
For 85 years, Consumer Reports has worked for truth, transparency, and fairness in the marketplace, Tellado said.
“CR Recommended is the latest example of how we are advancing our mission to serve all consumers when and where they shop,” she said.
Consumer Reports evaluates more than 2,000 products each year in categories including home and appliances, autos, tech, health, and food. When a product meets Consumer Report’s criteria, it earns a “Recommended” status, and the rating appears on ConsumerReports.org and in Consumer Reports magazine.
After a Consumer Reports rating is issued, manufacturers can opt to display the “CR Recommended” label on manufacturer, dealer, or online shopping websites, on vehicles or product packaging, and on in-store displays so consumers can see that the product is recommended by Consumer Reports.
With technology that lets consumers click a button online or scan a QR code from their smartphone while in a store, they can also learn how the product rates in Consumer Reports’ testing and whether it will meet their needs.
“Consumers are looking for guidance and reassurance before making a purchase decision,” said Vincenzo DiGirolamo, director of U.S. Reports at Mintel, a market analysis company. “This is especially true for categories with a higher price-point and/or where consumers may have specific needs such as electronics or appliances.”
Consumer Reports’ survey found 50 percent of Americans who read online reviews say they purchased a product based on the review and later found the performance or quality of the product didn’t match the review.
In addition to product performance, Consumer Reports incorporates into its ratings feedback from consumers about real-world experiences with products, including how they hold up over time and how satisfied they are with the purchases.
As part of the CR Recommended program, Consumer Reports will monitor for misuse of the CR Recommended mark and revoke a recommendation if a product becomes unsafe or underperforms, Tellado said.
Consumer Reports’ technology ensures that the use of CR Recommended is up-to-date, authentic and complies with all Consumer Reports’ policies, she said.