Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Success by Indirection

The more tools you provide your users, the more they will use them...

"Last century, when designers at Amazon.com decided to include negative reviews alongside positive ones on their product pages, you could almost hear the book publishers, music distributors, and device manufacturers whose products were being sold by the online store pound their collective fists on the table. How the heck does Amazon expect to sell more products if they allow people who may not even be actual, paying customers to publicly trash them?

At first blush the Amazon decision is counter-intuitive. It would seem that allowing anybody to say anything about an item would cause it to sell poorly because someone, somewhere, would write one rotten apple review of it and spoil the bunch.

That didn’t happen, though, and the decision Amazon made is very similar to decisions other successful online companies have made recently that are starting to bear fruit. These decisions all have one thing in common: the more tools you provide customers to help them solve their own problems, the more they use them, and the better your site does as a result. Even if you allow for things like negative opinions."   continued ...   (Via UIE)

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