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While there are plenty of ingredients that go into the recipe for an Amazon product that flies off the digital shelves, few are more important than Amazon product reviews. In addition to providing customers with social proof and an unbiased, trustworthy source of feedback on the products that they are considering, the Amazon product rating system also dictates that product listings with lots of positive reviews will be ranked higher in the search results, making them more likely to be found and purchased.
The value that positive reviews provide to Amazon sellers is undeniable, but collecting plenty of reviews for your products can be one of the most challenging objectives since it's not in your direct control. Amazon sellers are not allowed to publish fake reviews for their products, nor are they allowed to solicit reviews from friends and family, or offer any kind of incentive for leaving positive reviews. Amazon goes to great lengths to ensure that reviews can be trusted, and sellers that try to scam the system are penalized. Even a legitimate review from an actual customer can sometimes raise red flags, particularly if it is an Amazon rating without a review—a rating that only includes Amazon rating stars and no written review.
The total reliance on your customers to provide one of the most essential elements of a successful product listing can make gathering reviews for your products a frustrating process. To overcome the hurdles of collecting Amazon reviews, more and more sellers are turning to Amazon review services. By leveraging the various avenues available for collecting customer reviews and taking a proactive approach to encouraging satisfied customers to leave reviews, Amazon review service companies are able to dramatically boost the number of reviews that your product receives to help increase sales on Amazon.
To help you decide if utilizing an Amazon review service is the right choice for your business, we'll take an in-depth look at how these services go about collecting reviews for Amazon products.
While gathering reviews for any product is a challenge, gathering reviews for products that are newly released is often even more difficult. Fortunately, Amazon recognizes this challenge and offers the Amazon Vine program.
Amazon Vine is a program that allows a select group of trusted Amazon customers to receive free products for reviews, with an emphasis on reviewing new products that have not had time to gather many organic reviews. For customers that are accepted as Amazon Vine reviewers, the benefit of the program is that they get to test Amazon products for free. For sellers, the benefit of Amazon Vine is that it allows them to gather thoughtful, well-written reviews for products.
Since it is especially essential to aggressively market new-release products in order to drive them up the rankings as much as possible, sending your products to an Amazon product tester via the Amazon Vine program is a great way to ensure that your new product listings are primed for success with enough reviews to get you started.
Amazon also has fairly strict requirements regarding who is allowed to provide Amazon reviews for free products via Amazon Vine. Amazon states that they choose Amazon Vine reviewers based on the "overall helpfulness of all their reviews” and “factoring in the number of reviews they have written.” This means that reviews your products receive through the Amazon Vine program are sure to be detailed, thoughtful, and well-written. However, it is worth noting that Amazon encourages only honest, unbiased feedback from Amazon Vine reviewers, and the reviews your products receive through this program are not guaranteed to be positive.
The Amazon Early Reviewer program is a program that preceded Amazon Vine. However, at the time of this writing, the Amazon Early Reviewer program is no longer in operation, leaving Amazon Vine as the sole choice for sellers that want to collect reviews in exchange for free products.
Amazon Vine is now the only legitimate way to collect reviews in exchange for free products. There are a number of tactics that sellers can use to collect reviews on Amazon, ranging from completely acceptable tactics such as using product packaging inserts to request honest reviews, to tactics that can get you banned from Amazon, such as paying for reviews. We'll discuss the unethical practices that some freelancers use to write reviews for Amazon and get paid in more detail in the next section. For now, though, understand that the drawbacks of these dishonest tactics far outweigh any benefits. In addition to potentially getting you banned from selling on Amazon, publishing fake Amazon reviews also erodes the trust that customers have in your brand since savvy customers can spot a fake review with ease.
Customers are actually influenced by genuine reviews that are both entertaining and informative. Funny Amazon reviews can be a big benefit to an Amazon product listing, as long as they are positive since these reviews can both capture a customer's attention and encourage social sharing. The point, though, is that the type of reviews that will sway customers and benefit your business in the long-term are genuine reviews that come from customers who have actually used your product. Buying Amazon reviews is just never going to provide the same benefit—even if you don't get caught.
While there are numerous drawbacks associated with paying for fake reviews, purchasing Amazon reviews has become a somewhat common practice. Dishonest Amazon sellers are able to buy Amazon reviews on Reddit, buy Amazon reviews on Fiverr, or hire freelancers to write reviews from any number of other platforms. In most cases, the person being paid to leave a review is instructed to first purchase the product that they are reviewing so that their review will show up as an Amazon verified purchase review. However, there's never any expectation for the reviewer to actually try out the product they receive, and it is typically made clear that a glowing, positive review rather than honest feedback is what they are being paid for.
It may be tempting to take this route, but the short-term benefits of publishing fake reviews are far outweighed by the long-term risks. If you want to avoid alienating your customers and getting banned from selling on Amazon, purchasing fake reviews is a practice you should steer clear of.
Before you go about developing a strategy for collecting more Amazon reviews, it's helpful to understand the process that customers must go through in order to leave a review on an Amazon product.
To start, a customer must have an Amazon account in order to leave reviews on products. For a review to show up as an Amazon verified purchase review, the customer must also have actually purchased the product that they are reviewing. Finally, the Amazon review policy requires that customers must have spent at least $50 on Amazon over the past twelve months in order to leave reviews on Amazon products. Amazon also allows Amazon Influencers–defined as reviewers whose feedback is found to be especially helpful by the Amazon community–to sign up for an Amazon verified account. Reviews from these Amazon Influencers can be especially helpful for building trust in your products because they are verified as real reviewers with a history of helpful and trustworthy feedback.
Once an Amazon customer meets the right qualifications for leaving a product review, the process of creating and publishing a review starts by choosing an Amazon product rating on a scale from one to five stars. After rating a product, customers are given the option to include a written review as well.
However, despite the fact that Amazon has made it quite simple for customers to leave reviews, gathering large amounts of reviews for your products can still be a real challenge. Fortunately, working with an Amazon seller consultant is a proven way to encourage more positive reviews. To learn more about what it means to partner with SupplyKick and grow your business on Amazon, contact our team today.