I’m sure many of you guys are somewhat dependant on Amazon Prime or even had moments when you find really interesting objects on there and start procrastinating on homework by reading away all those reviews, thinking for about a good four minutes to actually purchase. In this post, I will be talking about how Amazon cleverly uses its customer platform as a marketing technique for increasing their revenue.

Amazon has made a point to have users influence how people buy rather than Amazon themselves providing this information. Amazon is trying to drive people to their page, while it relies on its strong user base to provide information, reviews, and images for a given product. The more helpful a review the higher up Amazon will feature it on a product page. Rather than showing mostly negative or positive reviews, it allows the users’ input and thoughts to be featured predominantly. This gives greater power to the user and incentivizes the community to provide feedback.

This directly corresponds to persuasion by consensus, namely featuring the most voted on helpful comment first, people are more likely to act on what that comment is saying. If it says “great product you should purchase it” then the user is more likely to purchase the given item, whereas if the top-rated review is negative, users will be persuaded not to buy this item. Amazon made this design choice intentionally to ensure that users will get the most out of their purchases. While some companies choose to advertise their own beliefs above the users’ beliefs, this can often be seen as disingenuous. Whereas this method of persuasion feels more organic which has allowed Amazon to scale this aspect of the website tremendously.

This also ties into the customer’s most loved section as well as the 4 stars and up section. These filters were specifically created by users for users where all the reviews come from the user base. This allows Amazon to directly see what products are hot as well as what their user base wants more of. This allows Amazon to directly interact with users as well as recommending products they know people want to buy. It’s a more direct sales tactic than other websites. This aspect also directly lead to Amazon scaling tremendously. Their ability to give the consumer what they need in the easiest way possible is why they can have such a commanding hold on the market.

Written by Julie Choi