As some of our eagle-eyed Amazon shoppers might have noticed, the online megastore now provides a question and answer tool at the bottom of every product page, below its popular review section. According to Multichannel Merchant, the tool is unlike those from other retailers because it emails your question to shoppers who have actually bought said item, if Amazon reviews don't already answer it. The site argues that this makes the Q&A format far more effective.
"I just asked questions about two items, one of which had only one review, the other had no reviews," the writer notes, "And yet within two hours I received four answers to one and five to the other!" Sending user queries to shoppers, rather than having a team of Amazon staffers who seek out the answers, theoretically allows for quicker responses. This not only allows the shopper to get buying information while he or she is still in the mood to purchase an item, but it also cleverly allows Amazon to strike while the iron is hot.
But while this seems like a great system, we wonder how many Amazon shoppers will enjoy receiving these email requests, or if the responses have been consistently useful. While the writer points out that the system is great for nuanced questions about utility, there's also the potential for a flood of questions like, "how many HDMI ports does this have?" which could seem irksome to a consumer who knows that all one need do to figure that out is Google the model number. (And although Amazon will filter out questions about "shipping, availability, orders, and customer service," we have seen the aforementioned HDMI query.)
Readers, have you used the Q&A section of Amazon? Have you received emails requesting your help with another consumer's question? What do you think of the system? Sound off in the comments below.
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