In Brief

The online retailer has increased sales by using the Mechanical Turk to improve the quality of its product reviews.

The online retailer Zappos has been using the Amazon Mechanical Turk to check through its product reviews to correct errors in spelling and grammar, improving the revenue for its site in the process. Panos Ipeirotis, associate professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, learned the following:

An online retailer noticed that, indeed, products with high-quality reviews are selling well. So, they decided to take action. The retailer used Amazon Mechanical Turk to improve the quality of the reviews posted on its own website. Using the Find-Fix-Verify pattern, the retailed used Mechanical Turk to examine millions of product reviews. (If you have not figured out the firm name by now, the retailer is Zappos.) For the reviews with mistakes, they fixed the spelling and grammar errors! Thus they effectively improved the quality of the reviews on their website. And, correspondingly, they improved the demand for their products.

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