Amazon’s Commingling of Questions

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The customer reviews and Q&A sections of Amazon’s product listing are among its best features, yet both are way, way, way below the fold for them to impact the customer experience enough. … Yet both features have a serious flaw on most all listings where different styles can be selected with a tile button or drop-down list, because each of these selections is a different product!

The customer reviews and Q&A sections of Amazon’s product listing are among its best features, yet both are way, way, way below the fold for them to impact the customer experience enough. Yet both features have a serious flaw on most all listings where different styles can be selected with a tile button or drop-down list, because each of these selections is a different product! (The hyperlinks at the top are nice, but I’ll bet the percentage of click-throughs is fairly low.)

Yet both features have a serious flaw on most all listings where different styles can be selected with a tile button or drop-down list, because each of these selections is a different product! When the selections differ only in color, that’s not much of a problem. But what happens when a pot & steamer set and a pot & double boiler set are commingled in one listing, and then one of them is removed later? (A: you see lots of questions about why the double boiler has holes in it.)

I’ve seen problem this a lot during my last few weeks of browsing, and it’s mightily frustrating. This listing for a Prepworks sugar storage container, where the first question is “How can you know if the one you want works, when this listing review is for all the different types?? it makes the rating useless?

There are seven different selections for six different products in that listing, each of which has features unique to the material it stores, and if you’ve ever read a Cook’s Illustrated product review, you know those differences can make the difference between getting the top spot or being publicly trashed.

Why would you, as a seller, want a negative review or Q&A  for a flower storage container to tarnish your awesome brown sugar container, with the ceramic disk to keep it from clumping?

Silly and clueless.

Author: Peter Sheerin

Peter Sheerin is best known for the decade he spent as the Technical Editor of CADENCE magazine, where he was the acknowledged expert in Computer-Aided Design hardware and software. He has a long-standing passion for improving usability of software, hardware, and everyday objects that is always interwoven in his articles. Peter is available for freelance technical writing and product reviews, and is exploring career opportunities in interaction design. His pet personal project is exploring the best ways to harmonize visual, tactile, and audible symbols for improving the effectiveness of alerting systems.

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