New Amazon rating system causes rise in reviews

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The new Amazon rating system that gives shoppers the chance to rate products without writing anything seems to be the reason for a rise in reviews according to Market Pulse.

What changed in September?

Since September customers have been able to give their purchases a star rating without the need to write anything. People can still choose to write a traditional product review if they wish but for Amazon, a marketplace that thrives on making things quick and easy for its users, options like this are very important for consumers who value their time and merchants who value the opinions of their customers.

The impact of changes since September

Since September the number of reviews has doubled and combined ratings have tripled making products look more appealing. The way Amazon are pushing the new feature is a clear part of its success. If you scroll far enough through the Amazon home screen on mobile, you’ll run into a reminder to review one of your recent purchases. Customers who click on the stars will be redirected to a page asking for a full review but even if they click away the star review will be submitted and saved. If you instead click ‘See more products to review’ you can quickly go through several purchases in the same way as seen in the photo to the right.

When Amazon’s more detailed review system was the only option, customers were more likely to write reviews through frustration if they had a negative experience which meant product ratings could become unfairly balanced. Despite the new rating option being a solution, there are questions as to whether this makes the reviews a lot less transparent.

Personally, I like to see what a customer has said about a product before I make any purchases and, can imagine sellers appreciate a written review for similar reasons but as the system is not taking anything away from the previous review process hopefully plenty of customers will remain eager in sharing their opinions and experiences.

4 Responses

  1. Personally I like to read the reviews before I make a purchase. The more people that make a star rating the more aggregated the star rating becomes which will tend to give a truer picture of the products star rating. So overall I think this is a positive from Amazon as long as the star ratings come from verified purchases.

  2. Even though the functionality is there, I don’t think people (customers) understand how it works because when you go to leave review page, it won’t allow you to leave a rating without leaving a written review. If they wanted to get more reviews (without text), they would make it obvious on the review page – that you can leave just start rating, without writing anything.

    As a customer, I always like to read reviews and I don’t find much value on start only ratings like it is on many other websites. They just don’t seem authentic and personal enough to believe in them.

    As a seller, I can, of course, welcome the fact that our listings in the search will look better, with higher review numbers. Then again, if you are not asked to write anything, it could be even easier for customers to just leave 1-star reviews whenever they don’t feel good about the purchase. If they have to write something, they have to give at least some reasoning behind the 1 start review. At least, that’s how I see it.


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