Amazon Disables Commenting On Gap Products

from the so-much-for-that-plan dept

theodp writes “Every one of the thousands of merchants that ply wares on Amazon has been forced to allow the public to comment on products. Except the Gap. Amazon agreed to disable customer reviews for the Gap in order to get the merchant to validate Amazon’s apparel efforts.” This is a NY Times story, for those of you concerned with such things. This seems like an incredibly pointless move on the Gap’s part. If they hadn’t done this, no one would have noticed, and it wouldn’t have been a big deal. However, now that it is a big deal, it makes it look like the Gap knows its products are not high quality, and they don’t believe they would stand up to scrutiny. In the article a Gap VP says they will eventually allow for online feedback, once they have a way to respond to it.

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Comments on “Amazon Disables Commenting On Gap Products”

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whit says:

How much does the Gap spend on marketing?

…and yet the idea of getting a few marketing people to monitor comments on Amazon and provide appropriate replies doesn’t occur to them?

Granted they’re going to get a higher volume of comments than many companies would, just because their products are everywhere, but there are ways to deal with it.

Twice now I’ve set companies up with scripts that monitor approriate usenet groups, watching for posts that mention the company or their products; the companies didn’t necessarily respond to every posting, but they wanted to be aware of what was being said.

I’ve never worked with Amazon, but I imagine that it would be possible (probably even easier) to arrange for a notification to be sent everytime a comment is posted about one of their products. Automate the basic categorization of those comments and you’ve got a system that allows you to:

(A) get a real sense of the reception that your products are getting in the real world, and
(B) directly respond to customer concerns, illustrating that you take an interest in what the public has to say.

People will likely forget about this in a week, but it is nonetheless astonishing to me that a company of this size can’t figure out how to deal with this situation.

Mark T. A. W. (user link) says:

Re: How much does the Gap spend on marketing?

Here are a few counter arguments.
1) It’s easy for one guy to set up a script to monitor newsgroups for keywords than it is for a corporate giant like Amazon or The Gap to make changes to legacy software and staff a department to monitor feedback.
2) There is no cost benefit for doing so.
3) There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

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