Amazon has started testing a new star rating system in some specific regions. The new system is arguably designed to improve review authenticity, but it also makes it easier for sellers to fool buyers, Android Police and The Verge report.
New system more opaque for customers
The new system shows the star rating as a number and a single yellow star in the overview instead of the old 5-star scale, with an indication of the percentage of five-star ratings. It is no longer possible to tell visually whether the average rating of a product is 5 or 3.5, as in both cases it is represented by a single yellow star.
It is also not immediately apparent how many ratings a product has received so far, as the new system only shows the percentage of 5-star ratings. For example, a customer with a balanced ratio of 5 and 1 star ratings would receive a yellow star with the note “50% 5 star ratings” in the overview.
However, as Android Police notes, this system also makes it easier for sellers to deceive potential buyers. Sly sellers have always looked for ways to get 5-star ratings to offset the negative ones. And so the new 5-star percentage could mislead customers.
However, Amazon also keeps the old breakdown. On the product page, customers can still access the detailed review page. This makes it a bit more cumbersome for the customer and a product selection could take longer.
However, the current test of the new feature does not necessarily result in a wide release. When asked, an Amazon spokesperson did not confirm the experimental feature, merely telling The Verge: “We are always innovating for our customers to give them the best possible shopping experience.”
The new rating system of Android Police was viewed, which accessed the German and global website from Germany using the Indian Amazon mobile app. So still quite hidden.