Customer Ratings: Methodologies & their Presentation

The most widely used Customer Satisfaction Methodology is the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), where end-users respond to a questionnaire, rating their satisfaction for a good or service on a 1-10 scale. According to ASCI, Amazon has consistently received better ratings than Ebay since the year 2000. 


 So why do customers constantly give Amazon a better rating than Ebay? And what about customer ratings for individual items and vendors on Amazon and Ebay? Is there any difference? The answer is yes: On Amazon, as soon as you see an individual product listed from a specific vendor, you will also see that vendor’s rating, in stars and in percentage, next to the product. This allows the user to immediately visualize the trustworthiness of the vendor. On Ebay, however, you must first select the product as if you were going to bid or buy it, before seeing the customer rating of the vendor in stars and percentage. This extra step is less effective and time-consuming for the user, and may have a negative effect on the potential buyer purchasing the item.


Moreover, while Ebay first allowed customers to rate vendors and products, Amazon began “promoting” vendors if they received enough positive feedback and a high amount of sales. A “Fulfillment by Amazon” status on Amazon helps foster trust between the buyer and the vendor, making the buyer more likely to purchase items. Ebay now uses the same strategy, but were behind on this trend.


What about the “feel” or “atmosphere” of these two websites based on customer ratings? Ebay has been said to feel like a “garage sale,” while Amazon is a more straightforward site. It is still possible to bid on some products on Ebay, whereas on Amazon you are sure of the item’s price and availability. This auctioning process on Ebay can confuse the user, deterring them from the site.


Furthermore, when searching an item in either search engine, the products are displayed in two different ways. On Ebay, if you search the product “The Great Gatsby,” you get a long list of results for the same product, from different vendors. Conversely, if you search the same title on Amazon, only one product appears. You are also presented with a table organized by format, price, and new or used. Such a method of organization makes it much easier for the buyer to decide exactly which product he or she wants.


Finally, Amazon establishes trust using a clear customer rating, the atmosphere of an upscale online store, and a succinct and effective method of organization. This is a plus for Amazon’s vendors, who are able to sell their goods for higher prices than those on Ebay, as customers are willing to pay a little extra for a “sure thing.”

Wikipedia: (American Customer Satisfaction Index)

Google: (customer satisfaction index amazon)

Google: (how do amazon and ebay product rating differ?)

Amazon: (The Great Gatsby)

Ebay: (The Great Gatsby)