Ratings, reviews, and product content drive Amazon search rank

With tens of thousands of products competing on Amazon, it can be hard for customers to discover your products. Reviewbox conducted a study to identify some of the features that top-ranked items on Amazon have in common.

We found that products on the first page of search results have a few things in common:

  • They have a high star rating (> 4.5)
  • They have lots of reviews and customer questions
  • Their product detail pages have A+ content
  • They are sold or shipped by Amazon

Let's dive into the analysis to see how you can use this information to improve discoverability for your products.

 

What can you do to improve discoverability?

Ranking higher on Amazon searches is crucial for product discoverability and customer conversion. Amazon uses the A9 search rank algorithm which is developed by a subsidiary of Amazon called A9. This algorithm is proprietary and is becoming more complex over time (source: Feedback Express). So it is important to understand which factors might have an impact on your product's search rank and discoverability.

Reviewbox conducted a study to identify the common features of top-ranked items in product searches on Amazon.com. We collected the first three pages of organic search results for the following search terms:

  • Christmas gifts for mom
  • Chocolate
  • Jerky
  • Sparkling water
  • Board games
  • Pet bed

Reviewbox collected data on each product returned by these searches, including the product ratings & reviews, customer questions, product description content, and other information.

A good star rating can boost your search rank

We all know that having a great star rating will help instill customer confidence in your product, but does the star rating help with discoverability? Across all search terms, our analysis found a positive relationship between search rank and star rating. 

Over 70% of the product listings on the first two pages of search results had a rating of 4.5 or higher. Some lower-rated items were shown on the first page of search results, but hey were not common. Having a near-perfect star rating, such as 4.8 or greater, did not appear to have any additional benefit for search. This implies that 4.5 is a good benchmark star rating that your products should aim for.

Reviews and customer questions can improve your search rank

Product reviews are a valuable source of information for customers. The total number of reviews can indicate how popular the product is and how many people have already bought it (see Increased Review Volume Due to Covid-19). We were curious whether the number of reviews might also be used in search rank.

Our analysis found a strong relationship between total number of reviews and search rank across a variety of search terms. The more reviews a product had, the higher it ranked in search results. For example, 35% of the products on page 3 had less than 10 reviews, but only 10% of products on page 1 had less than 10 reviews. Twelve percent of the products on page 1 had over 1000 reviews.

We found a similar story with customer questions. Products on page 1, regardless of the search term, tended to have more customer questions than lower-ranking products.

A+ content can boost discoverability

The A+ content feature enables brand owners to include more information and enhanced images on their ASIN's product detail pages. According to Amazon, adding A+ content can result in higher conversion rates, increased traffic, and increased sales (source: Amazon Seller Central). A+ content is now free for all Amazon Vendors (source: Channel Advisor), so you might be curious whether it is worth the additional effort.

Across the search terms we studied, there was a very strong relationship between having A + content and high search rank. Seventy percent of product listings on the 1st page of search results had A+ content. Products without A+ content were more likely to have a lower search rank.

Keep your products in stock and sold by Amazon

As a Vendor, it is in your best interest for Amazon to own the buy box for your products. You want to prevent third-party sellers from undercutting Amazon's price and winning the buybox. But does 3P status also have ramifications for product discoverability?

For the six search terms we studied, we grouped the buy box availability of products into three categories: 'in stock' meaning the product is in stock and Amazon owns the buy box, '3p seller' meaning the product is in stock and a third-party seller owns the buy box, or 'out of stock'.

We found a weak relationship between buy box availability and search rank. Amazon owns the buy box for 80% of products on the first three pages. Only 6% of the first page listings were sold by a third-party seller. Given the importance of availability for search rank, it is critical that you maintain enough stock on hand to meet demand.

What We've Learned

After analyzing the data, it is clear that having a higher rating, having A+ content, and having more reviews can help a product stand out in Amazon search. Do you know where each of your products stand in search rank and where you can improve?

At Reviewbox, we monitor all of your product's ratings, reviews, and questions, and enable you to respond to customer feedback using our integrations. We can also monitor your product content, search rank, buy box owner, pricing, and myriad other data to help improve your sales on Amazon.com and other retail sites. To find out more contact us at https://getreviewbox.com/schedule-a-demo.