Most companies know that product reviews can make or break a sale, and that customers have come to rely on word of mouth reviews, feedback, and opinions when making purchasing decisions.
Amazon has taken this a step further and turned to their customers to provide that much needed information that can push customers to making a purchase.
Their “ask a question” feature allows customers browsing items to ask a question that will be answered by people who have purchased the item. When looking at products on their site, you’ll see a “ask a question” or “XX number of questions answered” for each product:
Clicking on the link allows customers to ask a more detailed, “nuts and bolts” type question that might be the one factor in deciding to purchase or not, and customers who have bought the item can respond.
In the example of above, questions ranged from “Does it play DVD’s that have been burned?” to “Does this DVD player remember where you left off”” to the more technical, “I have an old Panasonic TV. Will this work with it?”
Amazon realizes the importance of product information and providing enough information, in as many ways possible, to educate and encourage sales.
Of course, customer buy in to participate by answering questions is an important component – if customers don’t reply, potential buyers may not get the information they need. Similarly, they could get the perception, based on the lack of activity in this area, that the product is not popular or one that many people purchase. One way Amazon tries to prevent this is by routing these questions, as they come in, to customers who have purchased the item. Often times customers will be happy to share their feedback. As an added benefit – those customers may become more loyal to Amazon, as they company turns to them for insight and feedback on a personal level.
While not a new feature, it is one that is picking up steam, and is a great example of finding new ways to encourage sales and engage customers, as well as potential customers.