Amazon is king these days and it comes as no surprise that retailers are flocking to the world’s most popular e-commerce platform. But how can you possibly find success on such a saturated selling platform? The key is reviews.
However, getting good reviews on Amazon is easier said than done. So, if you’re struggling to get reviews on Amazon, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about Amazon reviews.
If you’re brand new to Amazon, you may not fully understand what reviews are on this platform and how they work. Essentially, Amazon reviews are similar to reviews on other online platforms like Google, Yelp, etc. However, there are key differences.
For starters, reviews on Amazon are associated with specific products rather than brands or businesses in general. But that’s not to say that you should put all of your focus on the product at the expense of customer service.
And since these reviews are associated with specific products, they allow these products to stand out to potential customers amongst a sea of thousands of similar iterations.
Now that you have a better idea of how Amazon reviews work, let’s dive a bit deeper into why they are so valuable to retailers.
Most importantly, Amazon buyers care a lot about reviews and use them to make their purchasing decisions. Buyers on Amazon are bombarded with countless product options to choose from—many of which look quite similar. So how can they differentiate between these different options and make the best possible decision? Reviews.
But don’t just take our word for it. An overwhelming majority of consumers (93%) read reviews before making a purchasing decision. Consumers then form opinions based on the reviews they read. And you can’t expect consumers to spend a ton of time reading every review available, instead, 68% of consumers form an opinion about a product—either positive or negative—after reading anywhere from one to six reviews.
From there, consumers take action based on these opinions. In fact, consumers these days tend to trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member. This form of social proof holds so much power. Clearly, your customers on Amazon care about reviews and you should too!
Not only do Amazon customers prioritize reviews when shopping online, but Amazon itself prioritizes reviews when determining product rankings on the search results page. It’s important to achieve a high ranking on the search results page, as Amazon users are unlikely to scroll through countless pages of results to find your product.
S, if you’re stuck on page ten of the search results, you’re likely losing out on potential customers who have no idea you exist because they’re only seeing the products on the first page or two.
That being said, it’s important to note that reviews aren’t the only factor involved in determining your ranking. Sales are another important factor. At the same time, it can be hard to boost your sales if you can’t get reviews because you can’t get customers. It can be a vicious cycle, but stay tuned on how to beat this cycle to boost your standing and ranking on Amazon.
Knowing how important they are to shoppers, Amazon actually protects reviews. Amazon takes pride in being an honest and informative platform where customers can browse through legitimate product reviews before making a purchase.
As a result, the e-commerce giant takes the authenticity of reviews very seriously and is even willing to punish sellers who partake in dishonest review tactics. So while it may seem easy and harmless to rack in the reviews through questionable methods, you may want to reconsider this approach as it can get you banned. If you’re unsure what qualifies as a “dishonest” review tactic, stay tuned for more guidance on the dos and don’ts of gaining online reviews.
Before you spend your entire marketing budget on paid advertising on Amazon, you may want to consider the fact that reviews effectively act as free marketing. In their own way, they drive people to buy just as paid advertising campaigns do. They also communicate information about your brand much as paid advertising campaigns do.
On a similar note, Amazon reviews impact your brand image since they relay information about your brand—both good and bad—to potential customers. If your seller account is filled with bad reviews, this definitely doesn’t bode well for your brand image. On the other hand, if bad reviews are few and far between amongst countless glowing reviews, this shows potential customers that you are a reputable brand that’s worthy of their business.
Here are ten MuteSix-approved tactics to get reviews on Amazon.
It’s super easy and straightforward to ask for reviews directly through Amazon. In fact, they actually do it for you after a customer purchases your product! Amazon reaches out to them via email and asks for feedback.
However, if you don’t hear back from them, you’re able to go into your Amazon seller account and “request a review” from a customer one time. Since you can only do it once, timing is incredibly important here. You want your product to still be top of mind, while also giving them enough time to really try it out.
Amazon has a sanctioned program known as the “Early Reviewer Program” wherein existing customers can be paid to submit honest reviews for new products. It costs $60 to enroll in this program and you can gain a maximum of five reviews.
Amazon also has another program known as the “Vine Program” wherein your product is provided for free to “Vine Voices” members who have a history of providing insightful reviews on the platform. Unlike the Early Reviewer program, this program doesn’t have an enrollment fee and lets you gain a maximum of 30 reviews.
Just because it’s difficult for you to ask for reviews through Amazon doesn’t mean that you can’t do it through other channels. Take your customer service channels, for example. If a customer contacts you about a question, issue, etc. you can take this opportunity to ask them for a review.
Just make sure to provide top-notch customer service to increase the likelihood that they’ll leave a review—and that it’ll be a positive one.
Another creative way to ask for an Amazon review is to include an insert with the product that specifically asks for a review. Best practices include customizing these inserts and/or including a special offer to further boost the chances that they end up leaving a review. After all, you want to show them that you go above and beyond and that you appreciate their business—and you can do this with carefully worded and smartly designed inserts.
Speaking of special offers, you can also use discounts, free product inserts, gift cards, and giveaways to incentivize purchasers to leave a review. Think of this tactic as an investment—the small price of the coupon or reward is dwarfed by the high value of a positive Amazon review.
These incentives don’t need to be gangbusters in order to be effective. You could offer 10% off their next purchase. You could offer a BOGO deal with their next purchase. These small offers are just enough to sway your customers to leave reviews.
If you’ve been working hard on building your email list, this is the perfect opportunity to put it to use! Send an email to your list with a link to your products on Amazon. Since these individuals are already subscribed to your emails, they’re more likely to be a fan of your business and products—and thus more likely to actually make a purchase as a result.
After they make a purchase, instead of being limited to contacting them for a review through Amazon, you can reach out to them via email. This is a more personal approach since it’s coming from your company rather than Amazon. This also means that you can contact them more than once. At the same time, don’t bombard them with review requests as that’s a surefire way to earn a bad review.
Change a negative review to a positive one by addressing complaints on Amazon. Reach out to the customer and figure out what went wrong — then take steps to make it right! Go above and beyond to show them that you’re sorry and that you value their business.
In addition to using your email list to ask for reviews, you can also use your social media platforms. This tactic works best if you have established followings on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These followers are already invested in your business and are more likely to leave reviews as a result.
If you aren’t yet on social media, performance marketing agencies like MuteSix can help you get started on these valuable platforms.
Finally, there are automated review solicitation tools that you can use to earn reviews on Amazon. There are tons of different tools out there that offer various success rates. Just make sure that they are legitimate and worthwhile before you invest in one.
Here are six tactics that you should not use to get reviews on Amazon.
Asking family members or friends for reviews on Amazon is a dishonest review tactic. Reviews are designed to be unbiased, and you’re essentially taking the opposite approach by sending a personalized review request to people you know. Shoppers can spot biased reviews for your Amazon product listings.
Facebook review groups exist for small and new businesses to gain “recommendations” in exchange for recommending other users’ businesses. However, these aren’t legitimate reviews either, as the reviewers aren’t actually patronizing these businesses. So although you can quickly earn positive reviews with minimal effort, this is definitely a problematic tactic.
Amazon prides itself on protecting its customers’ data and information. However, there are ways for Amazon sellers to use what they know about their customers to find more information about them on the internet and contact them directly. Unsolicited contact with Amazon customers outside of Amazon is not allowed and can put your entire Amazon seller account at risk.
Even if a customer actually purchases your product, it’s still not a good idea to pay them to write a review. Again, reviews are supposed to be unbiased but the second money enters the equation, they’re no longer unbiased. Instead, try incentivizing reviews with a coupon for a future purchase.
Generating fake reviews through bots is a relatively new tactic that some Amazon sellers are using these days. It involves creating fake accounts that purchase products and then leave reviews. There are entire businesses dedicated to this illegitimate practice. However, this practice can quickly get you banned from the Amazon platform—not to mention, saavy shoppers will be able to spot fake reviews from a mile away.
Another relatively new tactic involves paying off Amazon employees to delete negative reviews. This practice is clearly unethical and is strictly forbidden by Amazon. After all, a negative review isn’t the end of the world—what matters is how you respond to it.
Even though a bad review isn’t the end of the world, it’s still important to ensure that the reviews you’re earning are generally positive. Here are some tips to help you achieve five-star reviews—that don’t violate Amazon’s terms of service or community guidelines.
One surefire way to get a bad review is to provide the customer with a less-than-stellar product. Perhaps the product isn’t what they thought it would be based on what they saw online. Or perhaps a completely different product was sent altogether. These are both issues that can be avoided.
You should be as descriptive as possible when listing your product on Amazon—providing tons of specifications, pictures, videos, and other details so that customers know exactly what to expect.
You should also implement quality control measures to ensure that the correct product in the correct color and size, if applicable, is sent to the customer. Getting the right product at the right time is a great way to encourage more buyers to hit that review button.
Another way to earn a bad review from a dissatisfied customer is to package your product so poorly that it arrives damaged or broken. Packaging may not be the most exciting business investment, but it’s important nonetheless. If you have fragile or breakable products, be sure to utilize protective packaging so that they safely arrive at their destination in one piece.
These days, customers expect speedy shipping times, especially Amazon Prime members. This is especially true for Amazon listings. Amazon is a platform that has made a name for itself based on widely available two-day shipping. Amazon users love the platform because it provides them with the items they need in a timely manner without having to leave the house—and fast shipping times are a big reason shoppers may choose competitors’ products over yours.
However, the platform becomes less useful if customers don’t receive their items within the specified timeframe. At that point, they’re better off going to a physical storefront rather than shopping online. For this reason, it’s important to stay on top of your order fulfillment and be honest about shipping timeframes to avoid negative reviews.
Even though Amazon reviews are attached to specific products rather than entire businesses, this doesn’t mean that you can neglect customer service. And just because Amazon can handle many customer service issues doesn’t mean that you don’t have an important role to play here.
Going above and beyond in terms of customer service is a great way to get a positive review. If a customer has an issue with an order, be responsive and helpful. If a customer has a legitimate complaint about a product, be lenient with exchanges and refunds, when possible.
Buyer-seller messages are the final piece of the puzzle. Vendors also need to address all reviews, but especially negative reviews. Reach out to the customer as soon as possible to hear them out and work toward a solution to their issue.
Asking for a better star rating is against Amazon’s guidelines, but hopefully with the right response, shoppers will feel confident amending their review from a negative one to a positive one on their own.
With these tactics and tips, you can rack up positive customer reviews on Amazon in no time! Just remember that 5-star reviews can only take you so far. You also need to invest in paid advertising campaigns to boost brand awareness and establish your brand image so that customers even bother to read your reviews in the first place.
For the best advertising results on Amazon, consider an Amazon advertising agency like MuteSix. MuteSix has extensive experience with marketing for direct-to-consumer brands, including big names like Ring, NHL, Disney, and more.
At the same time, we know what it’s like to be a small brand just starting out—which is why we offer a wide variety of different marketing services to help you take your brand to the next level. Reach out and set up a complimentary consultation today to make it happen!
6 Reasons Why Amazon Product Reviews Matter to Merchants | Entrepreneur
A Short History of Amazon’s Product Review Ecosystem, and Where We Are Today | Forbes
Essential Steps to Handle Negative Reviews | SBA.gov