I buy everything on Amazon and rely on their customer reviews more-so than their product descriptions, recommendations, etc. My Amazon experience is normally something like this:
- visit Amazon.com with some intent / need, usually using the search box to begin
- after sorting by bestselling and filtering for "Amazon Prime Only", I arrive at my product set
- I then open up all potential products in individual tabs
... and compare based on customer reviews and pricing
... .... usually spending more time reading the negative reviews
Today, I noticed something strange though: Amazon has hid the reviews one click away. In their normal place, Amazon has a "Buy This Product and Related Accessories" module and the standard "Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed..." module. Not only did I find the navigation painful, I found it presumptuous to replace necessary product information with accessories (for a product that I do not yet know enough about):
I shop on Amazon because it is a better experience than anything else available - online or offline. Efficiency and content / information are a big part of that. Amazon has been known to routinely test page layouts and modules - my feedback on this one: I hope it is just that... a test.
Also relevant (in ironic timing), Amazon has launched a new customer reviewer program called "Amazon Vine".
Note to Amazon: how do I become a part of this?!
What is Amazon Vine™?
Amazon Vine™ is a program that enables a select group of Amazon customers to post opinions about new and pre-release items to help their fellow customers make educated purchase decisions. Customers are invited to become Amazon Vine™ Voices based on the trust they have earned in the Amazon community for writing accurate and insightful reviews. Amazon provides Amazon Vine™ members with free copies of products that have been submitted to the program by vendors. Amazon does not influence the opinions of Amazon Vine™ members, nor do we modify or edit their reviews.