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Amazon has just begun, from what we can tell, piloting a three-way test for improving customer engagement with product reviews.

Anyone who has read a review on Amazon has likely noticed the choices placed at the bottom of the text. For years, these were simply: Helpful – Comment – Report Abuse (with the word ‘helpful’ temptingly highlighted)

When an Amazon customer looks at the bottom of a product review now, they will see the same three words. However, some consumers will now be shown either a “thumbs up” emoticon, or a “happy face” next to the word “helpful”.

Consumer engagement is one of the primary goals of shopping sites and social media. Engagement is a measure of interest and of social proof. Amazon, seeking to elicit more engagement with
product reviews, is probably hoping to discover, which of these three presentations is clicked on the most.  Any seller or E-commerce specialist should be aware of this change and remain alert to its potential effect on Amazon customer interaction with reviews and, ultimately, product sales.

It will be interesting to watch what happens over the next few months, and see what Amazon settles on to increase the engagement of customers with product reviews. It’s also worth paying attention to how these reviews, with the three different appearances, begin to rank in the overall pages of reviews displayed on Amazon.