It’s no secret: reviews are essential for anyone selling on Amazon. With a collection of positive reviews propping up a product listing, this type of social proof is often enough to turn the tempted into the converted.
Yet, Amazon product reviews are more than just a way to boost your sales numbers; they impact numerous other aspects of your listing, including its best seller ranking, inventory planning, and product visibility.
Whether you like it or not, reviews on Amazon can make or break your product. With this in mind, it’s essential you put together an effective Amazon reviews strategy, one that avoids dreaded fake reviews that can plunge your account into a world of trouble. You also don’t want reviews to trickle in at a snail’s pace, either. So, to give your Amazon marketing strategy a boost, here’s a guide on how to gather reviews quickly, effectively, and legally.
The Request a Review Button
Most times, you have to give customers a little push before they leave reviews on your products. The good news is there are multiple ways to encourage people to leave feedback – and one effective tactic is the Request a Review button.
Situated inside the Seller Central platform – a key component of any Amazon marketing strategy – the Request a Review function does exactly what it says: sends a review request to customers. This is done on your behalf by Amazon, which requests both a product review and seller feedback.
This method isn’t just beneficial because it prompts a customer review; it’s also more likely to grab shoppers’ attention as the request comes directly from Amazon – a trusted brand. You also know that the request is compliant with all review policies because, well, it is sent by Amazon!
Automated Review Requests
When you have built up a comprehensive email list, sending out review requests one by one isn’t exactly the best use of your time. However, worry not, for there are software solutions available that allow you to automate the process.
With Amazon marketing, creating template emails and sending these out to customers should be a given. This should also be done when requesting reviews since it is a way to grab good reviews for your products, while the software allows you to acquire detailed analytics about your campaigns – and how to refine your marketing efforts further.
Just remember to make sure your messages are carefully constructed and sent at the right time. You don’t want to sound too desperate when trying to entice your customers’ valuable feedback.
Amazon Vine Program
The Amazon Vine Program is another option that’s available to sellers with brand-registered products that currently feature less than 30 reviews. Vine review programs then work by allowing you to submit 30 units of inventory. These units are then distributed to Vine reviewers, free of charge, in return for their honest review after testing your product.
When you request reviews, this is one of the fastest ways to gain a swathe of ratings in a short space of time. As proof that Vine is an early review program, Amazon says that a quarter of reviews are written within five days, while 99% of them are completed within 35 days.
Manage the Negativity
Everyone would love to acquire a five star review each and every time someone leaves feedback. However, even if you have the best Amazon reviews strategy in place, it’s inevitable for negative ratings to filter through every now and then – even if your products are the finest around.
It’s natural for you to feel dejected when negative reviews land in your lap. Still, it isn’t all bad news. In fact, the occasional one, two, or three-star review is helpful in a way because it adds authenticity to your products. If you have, say, 100 reviews that are nothing but five stars, people could be suspicious and feel not everything’s above board – particularly if said reviews are left on sponsored products.
Then again, you also want to avoid bad reviews becoming the norm. Fortunately, if you feel a buyer has been unnecessarily harsh in their rating, it’s now possible to contact them in an attempt to resolve the issue. This feature is available to brand registered sellers, and when using it, you can do one of two things:
Provide a full refund or offer to replace the item.
See if the buyer will clarify the issue – or issues – they had with your product based on their review.
Via the Buyer-Seller Messaging system, you are only able to send template emails – aka those that cannot be tailored to ask about specific points. Despite this restriction, the feature itself remains an ally in your fight against too much negativity.
Perform an Amazon Review Analysis
As part of your Amazon reviews strategy, you should always be evaluating what is – and isn’t – working. This isn’t necessarily just about encouraging reviews, either. There are also steps you can take to guarantee greater scores for your products.
One method is an obvious one: improve your products. If reviews have noted a design flaw, for instance, see what steps you can take to iron this out. Alternatively, see if you can provide extra value to the overall package – an example would be to include gift cards for future purchases or add a personal ‘thank you’ note to your orders.
Furthermore, an accurate, detailed product page can help avoid any confusion for the customer. If you’re setting up the buyer with the wrong expectations, they won’t be happy once they receive your product – and they’ll let you (and other potential customers) know about it in their review.
You can also look at ways to improve your customer service. If you’re fulfilling shipments, make sure they arrive on time, are packaged correctly, and the right item is sent. Of course, these types of issues can be resolved instantly if you have Amazon fulfill orders.
In any case, it’s not necessarily custom to leave a review on Amazon; however, by following the above tips, you will have a greater chance of encouraging your customers to leave positive ratings for your products.
Ryan Flannagan is the Founder & CEO of Nuanced Media, an international eCommerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced has sold $100s of Millions online and Ryan has built a client base representing a total revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by a number of media sources such as BuzzFeed, CNBC, and Modern Retail.