Trivial Sales

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Amazon figured that people who learn about buying from them, will more likely buy from them. So they implemented a program where they pay visitors to play trivia…herego learn…herego buy. Here’s how their program works (from Amazon’s site):

We’re so excited about what we have to offer that we’ll pay you to learn more about Amazon.com! Here’s how it works:

1. You must be logged in to your Amazon.com account. (If you do not have a password-protected Amazon.com account, click here to create one—it’s free.)

2. Answer the questions that appear throughout our site each day, and we’ll add to your Trivia Balance for each correct answer. The amount you can earn will be displayed with each question.

3. Use your balance toward an Amazon.com purchase. (Some restrictions apply.)

I’ve seen a similar behavior occur in focus groups and usability studies. I think we could sell a computer to every person who walked out…because throught he time they spent with us they really learned more about our web site or products.

Time and money are two sides of the same coin. On the web, the key is to engage people enough that they spend more time learning about your product. Good copy, interactivity, interesting words, attractive illustrations, etc. are important. And perhaps you might want to go so far and try Amazon’s trick.

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