In this post, you will learn how to get reviews on Amazon to help increase your conversions and sales.
Before we jump straight to acquiring Amazon reviews, we will first discuss what a product review is and the different types.
From there, we will talk about how to get reviews even before launching your product on Amazon.
Finally, we must tackle what makes a quality Amazon product review to encourage more sales from buyers.
So let’s get into it!
What are Amazon product reviews?
For many Amazon sellers, getting reviews on their products is like counting the stars in the sky – time-consuming and extremely difficult.
Ever since Amazon updated its Terms of Service, getting reviews has become more challenging that you can ever imagine.
Why are reviews such a big deal, anyway?
Product reviews play a huge role in your success in Amazon. It’s one of the factors that determines how high up your listings rank in the product search results.
The thing is, people don’t read reviews just for the heck of it. People turn to reviews when they need more information about a product that they’re already thinking of buying.
In fact, a resounding 84% of consumers in the US say that they trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation from a friend.
This means, reviews are not just valuable, they’re also quite powerful.
But why is it difficult to get good reviews?
Unfortunately, quality reviews are hard to come by, especially for sellers who are just starting out.
For one, most buyers need to be reminded to leave a review.
Blame it on laziness or just plain apathy, but most buyers are not bothered to review a purchase without first asking, “what’s in it for them?”.
Another reason is the pervasive practice of faking product reviews. Even though Amazon has been cracking down on fake product reviews, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
The work ultimately falls on sellers. Sellers should find more creative ways to encourage buyers to leave reviews other than bribing them with free stuff.
Even with the massive competition, sellers need to stop trying to cheat their way to the top. In an undercover report done by Buzzfeed News, some sellers are reportedly paying black hat agencies $10,000 per month to manipulate the ranking system to their favor.
Before you can ask customers to review their purchases on your Amazon store, you first need to understand the differences between the two types of customer feedback. This way, you’ll know how each type impacts your sales, and how you can use them to your advantage.
What are the two types of Amazon reviews?
Seller ratings show a seller’s sales history. They serve as proof that a seller is legit and can deliver the products they have on offer. They influence a buyer’s decision when there are multiple sellers on the marketplace selling the same item.
Seller ratings represent the credibility of a seller. To get a higher seller rating, your buyers need to fill out the seller feedback form, which can be found on the Amazon account orders page. Only buyers who have bought something from a seller can give seller ratings.
Product reviews are focused on how well a product works and has nothing to do with a buyer’s experience with a seller or transaction. They are the most important review type on the Amazon platform because product listings with 4-star reviews and higher are more likely to rank in the searches.
The tricky thing about product reviews is that it isn’t always connected to an Amazon sale. Anyone can leave a product review on a listing, even if they didn’t buy the item off Amazon. As long as a person has an Amazon account, they can use it to create product reviews on multiple listings.
So, if you’re trying to get more customers to your store, you need to work on getting high seller ratings and product reviews. Aside from providing 5-star customer service, the products you sell should also be top class. Get less than 4 stars and you’re in danger of seeing your sales dwindle.
There’s no simpler way to put it but seller ratings and product reviews are your secret weapons to Amazon success!
Now that you have a better understanding of how reviews can affect sales, let’s get to work, shall we?
How to get reviews even before you start selling your inventory
Here’s something that experts don’t want you to know. It’s never too early to get reviews. If you think that you can only ask for reviews after you get orders, then you’re missing out on a massive opportunity to get ahead of the competition.
You should be thinking of how to get reviews even before you send out your first order. And while there’s a lot you can do to get reviews during the pre-selling stage, let’s focus on the 3 most effective ways.
Generate buzz with your email list
For anyone trying to make money online, an email list is still one of the most powerful marketing tools to have. With an email list, you can direct traffic to your product listing as soon as it goes live. And since you have total control over your email campaigns, you can customize the messaging according to different segments of your target market.
Here’s how you can start building buzz with your email list:
- Create a campaign that will hype your subscribers leading up to your product launch. You can direct them to a landing page or any of your social media accounts.
- Countdowns are a great way to constantly remind your email list that you have an amazing deal in store for them. Hold mini contests or surprise them with a free ebook or guide to promote your product launch.
- On the launch date, let your subscribers have first dibs on the product. Set a special price for the first 10, 20, or 30 people to order. Since your early adopters already have a relationship with you, they will be more likely to give your newly launched product a review.
Design packaging that impresses your target market
If you think your product’s packaging has nothing to do in getting more people to leave you a review, then you’re gravely mistaken.
Investing in premium packaging for your products will not only increase your brand’s credibility, but it also lessens buyers remorse. When you use cheap packaging, customers develop the impression that they won’t get much value from your brand.
Here’s how you can turn your product packaging into prime real estate:
- Create packaging the invites your customers in. Only make promises if you’re 100% sure that you can deliver.
- Be clear about what they can expect from your product. If you’re making strong claims, make sure to back it up with research or study. Include easy-to-follow instructions on how customers can use your product to remedy a pain point.
- Encourage them to leave a review if they’re happy with your product. You can also use your packaging to promote other related products from your store.
Here’s a great example of how a brand reinvented their packaging for their customers on Amazon.
Get creative with your product inserts
One of the easiest ways to get more reviews on your products is to simply ask for it.
Product inserts aren’t just random pieces of paper that you include in orders just because the other sellers are doing it. They can serve a mighty purpose if you want them to.
Here’s how you can ask for reviews using your product inserts:
- Stop beating around the bush and just ask for an honest review of the product that they’ve just bought. Your message should have an emotional component that will inspire them to help you out with this review. To make it easier for them to leave a review, use a QR code to direct them to the specific product listing.
- Include an email or the URL to a customer service page for any concerns that customers may have about your product. Express to them that by using these channels, they can expect a reply within 24 hours This will discourage them from leaving a negative review on your Amazon page.
- Make sure to offer them a coupon code or special incentive when they sign up for your email list or follow you on your social media accounts. Notice that you’re not offering them any perks for leaving a review, making this move totally legal.
How to get reviews for products that you’re already selling on Amazon
But, what if you’re an FBA seller with ready stock in fulfillment centers? Or your product listing is already live on Amazon? Does that mean you can’t get reviews for products that you’re already selling out there?
Don’t lose hope! There are ways to get reviews from orders that are still yet to come. You just need to know your way around the Amazon platform.
Update yourself on the do’s and don’ts of selling on Amazon
Amazon is constantly updating their guidelines so always make sure to stay up-to-date on the changes. They’re notorious for enforcing strict rules when it comes to seller-buyer interaction so make sure that you only do what’s allowed. One misstep can lead to a suspension or worse, forced shutdown of your Amazon store.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when asking for feedback from your buyers:
- Customize the messages you send using your Seller Central Feedback Manager. Don’t always rely on a template when reaching out to existing and potential buyers.
- Never ask for a buyer to change a negative review once it’s given. Also, if you’re going to ask for a 5-star review or positive feedback using your Seller Central Buyer Message system, try to find subtle ways to do it.
- Avoid bribing your buyers with incentives or discount coupons in exchange for a positive review on Amazon.
Start using the automated order feedback system
While interacting with customers require you to work within Amazon guidelines, Amazon actually has an automated system that makes it easy for sellers to collect Amazon reviews from verified orders. All you have to do is set it up.
Here’s how you can customize your feedback requests:
- Set your account to send feedback requests to customers right after order delivery. If you wait for a couple of days before asking, customers might not be interested to give a review anymore. Strike while the iron is hot!
- Avoid using terms or phrases that go against Amazon rules. Using statements like “If you love our product, don’t forget to rate us 5 stars” is enough to get you kicked out of the Amazon marketplace.
- Instead, encourage customers to give feedback by speaking to their sensibilities. You can use phrases like “your insight matters to us” and “feel free to tell other shoppers about your experience”.
Sign up for the Amazon Early Reviewer Program
If you’re struggling to get reviews in, you can try signing up for the Amazon Early Reviewer Program. The Early Reviewer Program is Amazon’s way of encouraging customers to share their experiences on their recent purchase. Brand Registered Seller Central sellers can get the ball rolling on their first 5 reviews by trading $60 to Amazon.
Here’s how you can get started on the Amazon Early Reviewer Program:
- After logging in to your Seller Central, click on Advertising from the top menu bar. Select Early Reviewer Program.
- Enter the SKU that you want to enroll in the program. Choose a product listing that has less than 5 reviews.
- Let Amazon do the work for you. The process ends right after your enrolled SKU gets its 5th review.
As you can see, you have plenty of options when it comes to getting reviews legally. Even though every bit of effort counts, you need to be careful to not overdo it. You can run into big trouble when you violate even a single rule on Amazon’s terms of service.
Amazon doesn’t take violations lightly so even if you only get a suspension, it can still be very challenging to get back into Amazon’s good list. This is why, on top of knowing how to do things right, you also need to know the things that you shouldn’t do.
Whatever you do, avoid doing this when getting a review!
And they do this, not because they don’t want you to earn more, but to make sure that everyone gets a slice of the Amazon pie.
Can you imagine how chaotic the marketplace would be if sellers could game Amazon the system? It would be a world where deceitful sellers, selling low-quality products and offering terrible customer service, would reign supreme.
So you see, not all reviews are created equal. Some will help your business soar, while others might land you in hot water. If you want to get quality reviews for your store, you need to know what Amazon considers to be a quality product review.
What are the three things that make a quality review?
While Amazon isn’t very particular about specific details that customers should include in their reviews, it gives a lot of weight on these three elements.
Amazon hates spam just as much as the next guy (Hey, Google!).
So it’s no surprise that it prefers lengthy and detailed reviews that are at least five lines long over reviews with one or two lines of text.
But aren’t we all trained to KISS? Keep It Short and Simple? Well, not in Amazon’s case.
According to some sellers, the ideal length for a review is somewhere between 75 and 500 words.
Images and videos uploaded in the review
Reviews with images and videos carry more weight than plain text and star reviews since they give potential buyers a close-up look into a customer’s experience with a product.
They can also be a terrific way to show others how they can use and enjoy the product.
While images and videos add value to a review, they can also hurt a product’s rating if they show a defective or broken item.
Therefore, find a way to encourage buyers to only upload images and videos of their orders only when they’re truly happy about it.
Remember earlier we said that even people who didn’t purchase the item on Amazon can leave a review?
Well, no need to hit the panic button because Amazon gives reviews with the Verified Purchase tag more value.
This means that between two product listings with the same number of reviews, Amazon will favor the listing with more Verified Purchase reviews. It gives you another reason to work tirelessly to keep your Amazon buyers happy.
What to do about negative reviews?
Time for another “what if?”
What if a verified purchase buyer shows up unhappy? What do you do then?
As the old saying goes, “you can always please everybody”, so expect a negative product review or low seller rating to pop up any time.
If you don’t have that many reviews just yet, they can pull your star ratings down.
Just to give you an idea, to overcome a negative Verified Purchase review, you’ll need about six to ten 5-star reviews.
It can be quite tricky, considering that it’s illegal and unethical to outright ask a buyer to take back a negative review. The only thing you can do is take responsibility for the transaction even if you’re not directly at fault.
Here are three ways you can mitigate the damage and get brownie points for being a good seller:
- Contact the buyer immediately. Apologize for the inconvenience that the broken product or unsatisfactory service has caused them. Ask what you can do to fix the problem. Offering a refund or replacement usually does the trick.
- Try to resolve the problem until the buyer is completely satisfied with your course of action. Don’t worry about the refund or replacement cost. Remember, negative reviews will directly affect future transactions and cost you review opportunities.
- It’s up to your buyer to turn a negative review into a positive one. One subtle way to save your reputation is to use the comments section to let people know that you’ve done your part to resolve the complaint. Hopefully, people who read your comment will appreciate your efforts as a seller.
It’s no secret that Amazon is going to great lengths to make sure that the marketplace is a safe and lucrative place for both sellers and buyers. Do Amazon (and yourself) a favor by doing things ethically and legally this 2019.