October 22, 2020

The herd mentality of online consumption: the higher the sales, the better the product?

Why would consumers want to buy high-selling products? Is it because the higher the sales, the better the product?

Why are high-selling products attractive?

We will help ourselves solve problems and make decisions by observing the behavior of others. This kind of social learning is our instinct since we were young. From infancy, we will imitate the behaviors of our caregivers or trusted partners. When we grow up, we will still refer to or imitate the behaviors of others because we believe this can reduce risk.

The same is true when consuming, we will observe how others choose, and believe that the same choices as others can reduce the risk of “stepping on thunder”. For example, people prefer to buy best-sellers and download apps with more downloads. . Based on this “imitation” tendency, it seems natural that we prefer high-selling products.

With high sales but many negative reviews, will consumers still be attracted?

When we study in society, we will not only observe what others choose, but more importantly, observe the results of others’ choices. If the result is negative, then we will not blindly imitate, but will avoid this option.

The same is true for consumption. We can see not only the total number of reviews, but also the number of negative reviews and good reviews, and even the comprehensive score of the product after the two are combined. So if a product has a high total sales volume but a lot of negative reviews, will consumers still be attracted by its high sales volume?

Some researchers have explored this. They asked consumers to choose between two products. In one group of products, product A has 125 more reviews than product B, but product A has a lower overall score than product B. If the total score is 5 points, product A scores 2.4 points and product B scores 2.7 points.

Under this condition, product A and product B are both lower than the passing score, that is, the quality of both are not good, and the score of product A is lower than product B in the case of more evaluations, which shows More people give product A a lower score, which means that product A is highly likely to be worse than product B.

It can be seen from this that consumers should avoid product A under rational guidance. However, the researchers found that consumers still maintain a preference for high-volume products, and most consumers choose product A. In other words, those products with high sales but many bad reviews can still attract most consumers. Consumers seem to only consider sales, rather than comprehensively considering sales and quality.

Although consumers may occasionally buy goods of worse quality because of their pursuit of high sales, is this an accident, or is the sales of goods really not a guarantee of quality?

The researchers analyzed more than 350,000 products on the Amazon platform. These products can be divided into four categories: mobile phones and electronic accessories, kitchen and catering, health, and beauty products. The user’s scoring of products on Amazon will synthesize a comprehensive score as a representative of product quality. The analysis of these commodities found that no matter what type of commodity, there is almost no correlation between the quantity and quality of reviews. Although the number of reviews cannot be used as an accurate representative of sales, it can be seen that sales can hardly be used as a meaningful indicator of product quality.

In other words, this consumption strategy of “the more people buy, the better” does not seem to help us buy better products.

Online shopping sites not only facilitate our consumption, but also provide us with more information about the results of other people’s consumption. This information should allow us to make better consumption decisions. However, for most consumers, it is important to make full use of this information. Capacity is still limited and immature.

When consuming in the future, we should still adopt a “shop around” mentality, and don’t fall into the trap of those merchants who use order to create high-volume bubbles. For example, pay more attention to bad reviews in product reviews and see if other consumers mention product defects that you cannot accept. Another example is to carefully read the good reviews in the product reviews. If they are all neatly written, be careful about whether they are good reviews.

I hope you can get out of the high-selling “filters” and successfully buy the high-quality products you like.