so how does Amazon pick from a product with 1 review versus another over a thousand? This could be an experiment…
It’s probably a good change and yeah it’s definitely an experiment.
One, it removes a little clutter.
Two, the difference between 10k and 15k reviews is it really that relevant?
Three, it puts Amazon more in control over the rankings. I have a feeling some buyers re-rank products based on raw review count which maybe Amazon is trying to discourage?
Just some thoughts.
Agree most likely an experiment. I have been noticing it the past day or so on mobile and now on desktop. I also agree that it removes the clutter. The relevance between 10K and 15K reviews like impacts the search algorithm which will still likely be impacted internally and really makes no signgicant difference in conversion rates once the customer is on the PDP. I also agree with your comment about the re-rank. It may also impact the desire to launch new products.
I’m not a fan, especially if they do it without the “x+ sold in the last week/month” component. I 100% use count of reviews as an input into assessing the value of the rating. There’s a huge difference between 4.8 with 5 reviews and 4.7 with 5,000. That 4.8 can become 4.2 pretty quickly, but that 4.7 isn’t going anywhere for a while.
Do I think Amazon is doing this to improve the performance/placement of ad units vs organic?
I think Amazon is testing this both to see if it impacts Buyer conversion favorably or not, but also to see if they can help newer Sellers be more successful faster. They likely want to a) reduce new Seller churn, b) have some insight into whether new Sellers have higher take rates or not [e.g. less sophisticated ad management, more reliant on FBA, whatever], c) potentially to help established Sellers decide they can justify expanding their assortments w/o the long lead times required to get a new ASIN ranking, and d) cause established Sellers to have to spend more on ads to keep high share of voice for established ASINs vs. new products that might rank faster now.
I’m not a fan, mainly because we have some ASINs that are 10+ years old with 10s of 1000s of ratings, so that’s diminishing the value of that intangible asset (not in an Accounting sense). Although we do have some new products, they aren’t and likely never will be “A” products in our assortment, probably never even making it into the “B” tier, so this change–if it impacts buying behavior the way I anticipate–is likely to take more from us than give to us.
I think there might be another angle here - regulation. Black hat operators have abused reviews to seed performance for new product launches.
I think this change makes it easier for the black hats to close the gap with established products. While getting 5-10 fake reviews that are 5-star is easy, it is much harder to get 1,000 of them quickly w/o the bots catching on. Now, all you seemingly need is a handful of reviews and you can appear as 100% 5-star or maybe they’ll game it more by doing 8 of 9 as 5-star and the 9th as 4-star so they don’t appear “too perfect”.
Totally agree that it makes it easier to launch new items.