Filter by product rating for products not yet rated

6 Apr 2010 - 7:10pm
4 years ago
4 replies
924 reads
Greg Johnson
2010

 

I'm in a debate with our VP of Technology regarding the function of the rating filter in our new faceted search.

The facet in question displays a familiar css star rating element which will filter the items displayed to exclude results with a rating lower than the one you selected. This terminology is key to my consideration of how it should function for items that do not have a rating. The other side of the argument see's the function of this facet as one that includes items in the result that have a rating equal to or greater than that of your selection. The question is more philosophical than semantic, but I digress.

What this really comes down to for me is that of our 18,000 products, 11,700 of them do not have a rating. By choosing to hide any product that does not have a rating, we're making the assumption that these products do not merit inclusion because they have not received a rating, thus excluding a very large portion of our catalog. Where I would argue that because these products have not received a negative rating, they do not merit exclusion.

Your thoughts?

Comments

7 Apr 2010 - 7:46pm
bjminihan
2010

Semantically, I agree with your point.

However, if you give people the ability to explicitly filter out items with less than 2 stars, then how will you display the unrated items?  Zero stars?  "Not Rated"?

Seems like if your default shows all items, and you clearly identify those that aren't rated (and don't make them look like zero stars) then your filter should probably do what users ask it to do, and filter out products with no rating at all.

Bryan

9 Apr 2010 - 1:14am
Jared M. Spool
2003

What this really comes down to for me is that of our 18,000 products, 11,700 of them do not have a rating.


My initial thought is this: if 65% of your products are unrated, ratings are not a useful mechanism for comparing products. It feels like a red flag that if you're worrying about how to handle unrated items, ratings are not a choice criteria.

How many products represent the top 20% of sales for a period, say the last quarter or year? What percentage of those products are rated?

How many products represent your top 20% of margins for that same period? What percentage of those products are rated?

If less than 75% of either category are rated, then I'd probably not look to ratings to help you with your business. My gut tells me it's not going to help your customers decide which products are right for them.

Remember, on a 5-point rating scale, zero is not the neutral point, three is. So, theoretically, an unrated item is equal to a three on a rated item. If you're going to include unrated items, you should probably include them as threes.

Assuming a normal bell curve distribution across all products, you could estimate that of the 6300 rated products, 4100 have been rated a three. Combined with the unrated products, the 15800 neutral products makes 88% of the offerings. With only 12% of your products using an non-neutral rating, the rating system can't be offering much guidance for choosing products.

To that end, I'd remove ratings as a facet. However, if the top selling/profitable items have a strong rating system, then I'd probably ignore the unrated items since they aren't important to your sales or profitability.

That's my opinion.

Jared

Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool@uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com  Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks  Twitter: @jmspool

9 Apr 2010 - 9:32am
Ed Dale
2007

How long has your rating system been implimented?

Assuming it has been in place for a while, I agree with Jared - ratings are not a useful facet for your products.

If it is new, I'd work to engage the customers in rating the products, either through active promotion of the feature, or through active promotion of the unrated products.  I would also put the rating facet on hold until a reasonable number of products are rated.

 

9 Apr 2010 - 11:50am
mcaskey
2008

I wonder if the presence of the rating facet would act as a preview to a feature people want, and encourage more ratings early on.

Has anyone here experimented with facets in the context of conversion rate optimization?

Mike C.

On 4/9/10 9:23 AM, Ed Dale wrote: > How long has your rating system been implimented? > > Assuming it has been in place for a while, I agree with Jared - > ratings are not a useful facet for your products. > > If it is new, I'd work to engage the customers in rating the products, > either through active promotion of the feature, or through active > promotion of the unrated products. I would also put the rating facet > on hold until a reasonable number of products are rated. > > > >

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