Have searched Google Trends and the web for some hard figures – but there are none.
So will have to rely on the behavior of people coming to this site (and you’ll have to rely on my ability to accurately gauge user behavior).
Here are the 5 main things that happened when the whole Nook is selling out news came out -
- Amount of traffic related to Nook went up nearly 3 times.
- All the articles assumed the nook was a big hit. The Press love nook so it shouldn’t be a surprise.
- Traffic related to Kindle went up a bit. Perhaps 25% to 50%.
- A significant number of people were just looking to confirm their decision to purchase the Nook i.e. they were choosing to go to posts that seemed to be pro-Nook (even when those posts weren’t the first option).
- Even people who had already decided and bought a nook or a kindle were coming over to confirm their decision.
In effect -
As soon as people heard the Nook was selling out some of them decided (not consciously) they should get one, and after that point they were just looking to find data points that would support their decision/desire.
They came to reviews and posts just looking to cherry-pick things that validated their decision.
Why would this be happening?
There are a few factors coming in to play (courtesy, among other things, Cialdini’s Influence) -
- Social Proof – If lots of other people are buying something, then perhaps its the best option for me.
- Scarcity - Get it now before it sells out. This is why sales have time constraints.
- Path of Least Resistance i.e. Buying the item that’s selling out takes the least effort.
- Minimize Downside – If you do make a mistake, there will be a lot of other people who made the same mistake and you don’t have to feel bad about it.
These are useful short-cuts - if you tried to make decisions yourself for every single aspect of your life you would be overwhelmed.
People are using shortcuts (other people are buying it, it’s scarce) to decide what to buy. They then are looking for data points to justify their decision.
People usually buy what they feel is right and what they want, not what’s best for them
There’s very little logic involved. People know in the first few seconds that they want something (something/someone convinces them very quickly) and then they take hours to convince themselves it’s ok to get what they want. They also refuse to see the downsides of their decision.
It’s pretty much like dating.
We just build up reasons that will make us feel better about our purchase and that will avoid us feeling bad -
- That’s why social proof is so important – if lots of people are buying the same thing it must be good, and there must be little downside.
- That’s why scarcity is great – Apple’s products always are set-up to sell out. This time Microsoft did the same thing with Windows 7 – In Europe they made it sell out several times by offering 50% to 70% discounts.
- It helps to make decisions very, very easy and quick for customers. That’s why Amazon has gone even beyond 1 click and invented pay phrases.
Where does that leave us? Well, our concept of what a product review is needs to be re-thought.
What is a Good Review?
In a way a review should cater to two groups of people -
- People who haven’t decided and would like as many data points and emotional and psychological triggers as needed to make a good decision. I’m not saying manipulate them – No, provide all the really good reasons to buy and all the really good reasons not to buy. This means including that 25% of people hate the cover and 70% love the screen. Both are emotional trigger points.
- People who have already decided what they want to buy and just want a reason to justify the purchase. For them, provide - why it’s worth it, why they should get it now and not wait, or a totally random thing – Basically, it’s so they can be guilt-free about the purchase and not regret it.
There is the third category of people who have already bought something (or decided against it) – However, those aren’t going to use the review to make a decision.
With our two categories of customers in mind, we need to provide a few things -
- Most importantly, it should speak to people’s emotions and the experience they will have with it i.e. what using the device will be like, things to love and hate and so forth.
This is exceedingly difficult to understand i.e. users care about how a product makes them feel and their experience with it. They care about it more than anything else.
There was a user comment on the kindle forums that captured this perfectly. Something to the effect of -
I wish people would write down what the actual font sizes are and what it means when using the Kindle, and other things that matter.
People don’t really care that there are 7 font sizes – They want to know that they can find the font size they like and they can change to a bigger size if their eyes start getting tired.
- 2nd most important is an absolutely accurate review i.e. call a spade a spade. If a product is 4 stars give it 4 stars.
This is simple – wrong data or outright lies are misleading and then people never come back.
- The Review should provide the key data – since people need the data to provide the assurance that they’re making a good decision (even though a lot of the time they don’t use the data).
It helps to have pros and cons listed – People can pick out whatever they like. Also they can understand both sides and see what matters to them personally.
- Other users’ experiences should be included – they’re vital to the decision process.
Social Proof is very, very powerful. The user reviews at Amazon are the biggest reason for its success – it hardly ever gets mentioned. However, look at what users do and you have loads and loads of people going to Amazon for reviews even when they’re buying from somewhere else.
User reviews give you -
- Actual customer experience.
- Social Proof.
- An understanding of what can go wrong.
- A sort of probability of success with your purchase. If 80% of people love a product it’s probably a good purchase decision.
It’s just helped me realize that reviews are a very different creature from what my perception was.
Filed under: reviews | Tagged: kindle sold out, nook sold out | 2 Comments »