Get More Reviews for your Products
There’s no question that product reviews are a key component of Amazon’s A9 algorithm. Customers assess potential purchases by leveraging information available, making reviews a vital part of selling online. Reviews are a method of verification for shoppers for seller reliability and product quality. There are millions of products for sale on Amazon; for any given search, the results will span several pages. Sometimes the key to your brand standing out is a large number of quality reviews. However, it’s nearly impossible to rank organically when a product has zero reviews. And in order to be sold, your product needs to rank. While advertising might seem like a great solution, you’re still faced with the issue of lacking information used to assess the product. A shopper might see the product in their results, but without reviews, they’re still unlikely to buy. So what can you do?
Forget Fake or Incentivized Reviews
Several years ago, Amazon became oversaturated with sellers. Those on the platform caught on quickly to the fact that reviews were necessary to be seen. This led many to turn to shady tactics to ensure that their listings had all four and five star ratings in large quantities.
Worrisome of the threat to the platform’s integrity, Amazon has begun cracking down on fake reviews. To leave a review, a customer has to have spent $50 in the last year with a valid credit or debit card. To be verified, the customer has to have purchased the product on the platform and not have received a large discount. While certain sellers—particularly overseas—continue their attempts at averting these policies, Amazon is nevertheless obtaining more control over reviews with time. There are a variety of legal and ethical ways for your brand to get quality reviews for its products.
To reiterate – do not offer free or discounted products to customer in exchange for reviews, nor use a third-party to solicit reviews.
Vine is a program that “invites the most trusted reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new and pre-release items to help their fellow customers make informed purchase decisions.” Available on Vendor Central, Vine was created to provide customers with unbiased product reviews to enable them to make better purchase decisions. Vine is invite-only; reviewers are chosen based on the helpfulness of their reviews, the quantity they’ve posted, and their interest in the products featured in the program. Amazon provides members with free products submitted by participating vendors to the program, and the Vine reviewer is expected to give a wholly honest opinion in return. While Vine is a great way to get more product reviews, it can be quite expensive. The fee is typically between $2,500 and $7,500 per ASIN. Additionally, Amazon places a limit on the number of units that can be shipped. This limits the number of reviews you can generate per product. With these limitations, Vine is best applicable in certain scenarios. For example, brands launching a new product that needs help getting its first few reviews might benefit.
An unobtrusive method is to include a packaging slip (or modification of the product packaging) that has a very simple way for the customers to get in contact with you. QR codes work well for this, and they can be combined with warranty registration. If your product has an online component or another method for users to register, this is even easier. Just make sure that the QR code and/or URL point directly back to the "Leave a Review" link for that specific product. This method is simple and can be a great way to continuously generate reviews once your brand has a strategy in place. However, due to the effort required to leave a review, it can be difficult to convince customers to do this. That’s why combining your review request with a warranty registration can increase the likelihood a review is left. You can also combine this tactic with follow-ups through email or social media.
Social Media and Email
Social media pushes on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram can work well if these marketing channels are already in place. If a customer has taken an interest in your brand on social media, they’ve likely already made a product purchase. This makes them a perfect candidate for honest feedback. We've also seen a similar variant using existing mailing list drives. Amazon sends a generic follow-up email asking for a review after a purchase, but customizing a relevant, personal email asking for a review can be far more effective. If you have access to customer information through seller central, you can send out these emails. There are a number of third-party applications that can be used to streamline the process.
Emails via DTC Sales
Another method to email your customers is following purchases from your own website. For example, if a customer were to purchase a new pair of jeans from the Levi’s website, the retailer might send a follow-up email later on asking for a review. The included link to leave this review should link to the correct Amazon ASIN if you’d like it to be posted on the platform. This method has fewer restrictions, as it’s your own website, but the reviews may not be verified on Amazon. If you already have a successful e-commerce platform, this method could be useful in generating a large number of product reviews.
No Matter the Medium, Reviews Matter
As customers increasingly rely on reviews to inform their purchase decisions, the approach your brand takes to generate product reviews will have a large impact on your business. Data has shown that 95% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase, and reviews can increase conversions by up to 270%. No matter how your brand goes about attaining them, the continual generation of reviews in vital to your business. Without them, sales will decline as customers turn to alternate products.
If your business would like assistance tracking and responding to reviews on Amazon and related websites, our Reviewbox tool can be incredibly useful. Learn more about it here or contact us for a free trial!