Amazon is trialing a new star rating approach in certain areas, complicating the way consumers perceive a product’s popularity. This new method, observed by Android Police on Amazon’s mobile app in India, its German domain, and its international site for German users, deviates from the familiar weighted average rating traditionally depicted with five stars. Now, instead of this familiar visualization, users see a lone yellow star adjacent to the product, indicating the percentage of 5-star reviews it has received.
This adjustment means that, at first glance, one cannot distinguish between an average rating of 5 or 3.5 stars since both are symbolized by the same yellow star. Furthermore, the cumulative number of reviews a product has amassed is obscured, as the focus has shifted to the percentage of 5-star ratings. This alteration, as highlighted by the source, may inadvertently pave the way for sellers to manipulate the system, placing an emphasis on accruing 5-star reviews to balance out less favorable ones.
Nevertheless, Amazon has not entirely eliminated the rating details. Those who prioritize the total number of reviews over a product’s average score can delve deeper into the product page for a comprehensive rating breakdown. While this may prolong the decision-making process for some shoppers, the information remains accessible. In response to queries about this experimental feature, an Amazon representative remained non-committal, telling The Verge, “We are always innovating on behalf of customers to provide the best possible shopping experience.” It’s important to note that experimenting with a feature doesn’t guarantee its broad adoption. Amazon could refine this rating mechanism before any potential widespread rollout.