It’s any business owner and marketer’s dream to receive a lot of new customers via word-of-mouth because a. It’s free and b. It’s always nice to know people love your product and have recommended you!
The next best thing? Reviews, and lots of them.
If you can get one like this that went viral? Well, that truly is the holy grail.
However, we’ll settle for lots of high-quality reviews in the meantime.
The more reviews you have the higher your trustability is. This is powerful in swaying purchasing decisions for customers. As well as converting customers, more reviews spell out some nice benefits; they affect keyword ranking, buy box eligibility and the ability to qualify for Amazon’s Choice Badge.
But, starting from scratch is not easy. So, in this blog, we will give you a strategy for obtaining them (legally) on Amazon to boost your sales!
Why do you need Amazon Reviews?
Reviews are so important for convincing customers to make a purchase decision on your online product. 🔥
Say you’re in a new city and want to go eat out at a restaurant. Would you want to visit a place that has 356 reviews with a 2.3 average? That is a high indication you are not going to receive good service or food. If a restaurant has a 4.6 rating reviewed by 500 people then you can bet that you will be receiving good service and food for your money.
And of course, the same goes for products sold on Amazon. A customer cannot physically touch and inspect the product. They are relying on your descriptions and photos of the product and without any reviews you might need a customer that likes to take a leap of faith that the product is good.
Ask yourself, if you had similar products to a lot of other sellers, like bug traps, would you go for the one brand that has 34 high reviews or the brand that doesn’t have any?
So, reviews provide trustability and credibility for your business and give the customer more confidence in your product and service when buying.
Now, we’ve talked about why they are important, now let’s get into the legal stuff first (fun stuff comes later we promise) because it’s important to know what the rules are and what happens when you break them.
Amazon Review Policy and Guidelines
Gone are the pre-2016 days when you could offer products at a low price or even for free in exchange for a product review (Amazon Vine Programme is the exception to this) but Amazon soon realised that this led to over-inflated reviews.
Some other black hat tactics were sellers paying for reviews and offering back-end discounts if they left a positive review. Since the ban, if you are caught doing any of these practices, you will likely receive a suspension.
Here is the top ‘absolutely do not do these’ Amazon Review Guidelines, perhaps you can print this somewhere and frame it. Ok, joking but just try to remember the main points:
1. You absolutely are not allowed to incentivise people to write a review for you. We repeat you cannot incentivise people with the promise of free products or discounts in exchange for reviews.
2. Don’t write reviews for yourself or competitors or have your friends, family and coworkers do the same.
3. Writing fake reviews positive or negative is not allowed.
Amazon has a process called “Amazon Verified Purchase Reviews” which verifies purchases.
After someone submits a review, Amazon checks if they:
- Bought or used the item on Amazon;
- Paid a price available to most Amazon shoppers.
And if both are confirmed they are labelled as Verified Purchase.
What you need to do before asking for reviews
Just like how you would expect that restaurant to be clean, decorated well, have good menus and have ambience, your customer would expect your brand store, product listings and products and services to be optimised to make an enjoyable and seamless shopping experience for the customer.
As the old adage goes ‘nothing kills a business quicker than great marketing but a terrible product’. Your product is your money maker, and it’s useful to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask yourself:
1. If I were a customer, would my product be high-quality and meet my needs?
2. Would I appreciate the customer service offered and the refund policy?
3. Is my delivery policy good and are my operations in place for anything that goes wrong?
If you can be sure that all this is covered then it’s likely you will be selling a product worthy of good reviews and the next step will be to conduct an audit!
Conduct Brand Store and Product Listing Audits
Once you have decided your product is definitely worth putting out there, we recommend conducting an audit on your brand store and product listings. Whether you have yet to create one or have one already, this checklist will help to optimise your store and listings enough to increase the likelihood of sales and in turn, reviews!
1. High-Quality Product Images
Anytime we do these lists about optimisation we always include the high-quality image but we cannot stress this enough, and will continue to do so! Maybe showing a bad image will help get the message across:
Question: What product is being sold here?
Answer: It’s the turntable.
And when you are on the search result landing page looking at lots of turntables are you going to look at that one and get confused as to what it’s selling and skip over for a clear image? The majority of people would say yes.
So the keys to your images are:
- Product shot that shows clearly all angles and additions of the product
- High-quality – don’t upload a small-sized image that will appear pixelated
- Also, don’t take the shot at a weird angle, when taking the photo make sure you are capturing it in landscape or portrait format.
- Try to have good lighting when taking the photos too.
And voila – a strong product image!
2. Detailed Product Titles and Descriptions
Be as concise as possible in your product descriptions, pick 3 top selling points to your product and make sure these are clearly stated. We recommend using simple words to make it easy for a wide audience reading your descriptions to understand.
Also, use a keyword tool to help you shortlist the best keywords that are relevant to your product and track the performance of these keywords so you can continually optimize.
3. Accurate Pricing Information
Of course, an important one for you! You don’t want to accidentally undersell a product and have the hassle of explaining this to the customer. Make sure you work out what your profits are going to be and price accordingly.
If you are running any special prices on products make sure this is well clearly visible to the customer.
4. Leveraging Amazon Premium A+ Content
Make your product listing sparkle x 3 by sprinkling some premium A+ content in there.
Premium A+ provides a superior shopping experience for customers through several multimedia elements and enhanced features designed to provide a comprehensive brand experience.
Here are the modules you can make your listing pop with:
- Interactive hot-spot modules for revealing extra information on images
- Full-width videos
- Large HD images
- Enhanced comparison charts
One word: fancy.
Pssst: We’ve got an exclusive for you – here’s how to create A+ content that converts. You’re welcome!
Ok, you’ve done the audit and optimized your listing and product, now it’s time to roll out the Amazon review strategy!
Tactics for getting more Amazon Reviews
We’ll start with the easier tactics that get you Amazon reviews fast and go into long-term tactics from point 3 onwards.
1. Enroll in the Amazon Vine Program
Add enrolling in Amazon Vine to your to-do list ASAP! It’s one of the best ways to get Amazon reviews fast and is great for new products to obtain reviews.
The programme is open to sellers who use Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), have fewer than 30 reviews and have an eligible Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN).
This is how Amazon Vine works:
You send 30 products Amazon warehouses which then are sent to 30 Vine Voices for free. Vine Voices are reviewers who are hand-picked by Amazon and are then chosen based on their review rank and helpfulness, and they are expected to provide honest and comprehensive feedback on the products they receive.
You send a reviewer your product for free, and once the reviewers receive your product, they’ll try it out, and write an unbiased, honest review.
Important to note: The downside to this is that they might receive it and not like it, so there is a risk of you accumulating negative reviews instead of positive ones.
2. Use the Request a Review Button in Seller Central
So, yes, you are allowed to request reviews, but only if it’s done via Amazon Seller Central. You can find the “Request Review” button on the top details page for each buyer order, at the top right corner of the page, next to the button to send a refund.
Once an order has been delivered to your customer, you can request a view from customers inside Order Reports. This feature allows you to send one follow-up email to shoppers within 4 to 30 days of the purchase, and you cannot send two requests.
You don’t have control of customizing the email design and message, however, Amazon does translate the text into the user’s language. Clicking that amazing ‘Review Button’, the customer is notified that you would like to hear their feedback!
Request Review button lowdown 👇
- You can only click the button for one order at a time. So, you need to navigate to each order before requesting a review, which can be laborious if you have many orders.
- There is an option to use an automated Amazon Review tool which automates review requests through buyer-seller messaging is one alternative to the review button, and that also provides the opportunity to customise the message.
3. Utilise an Amazon Review Tool
We just touched on this point, but an alternative to the Review Button is using Send follow-up emails after an Amazon purchase asking for feedback. Amazon asks for customer feedback following a purchase, but it’s a generic email with nothing special.
Instead, send personalised review requests; ideally, you want to send them shortly after they’ve received your product so its awesomeness is still fresh in their minds. You can even use a site like FeedbackFive to automatically send customized feedback request emails. Make it really easy for users to leave a review by including a link.
4. Give your sales a boost
Now we’re getting into the longer-term strategy parts.
As we have already discussed, reviews influence sales, and more sales bring you more reviews. The little catch-22 we all love, right? Well, not really. However you may have the most interesting, helpful and useful product, but you still need to make sure people actually see your listing and reach your intended audience.
Enter Amazon PPC.
As the majority of people will not stumble upon your product, Amazon is highly competitive, you need to use Amazon PPC to boost your products and target the right audience. You will have a higher chance of people seeing your product this way which can lead to increased sales and…you guessed it, reviews!
Use this Amazon PPC guide to push your products to the people you want.
5. Utilise social media and influencers.
If you build up a brand presence on social media, this is a key selling strategy which can also lead to organic Amazon reviews. As the mantra goes, more sales = a higher chance of reviews.
Building a robust social media strategy that focuses on brand awareness and conversion can lead to boosting your sales on Amazon. This will require you to create a separate social media strategy that includes a winning content strategy to push traffic to your Amazon listing.
And while we won’t delve too much into that here, we will share a good tactic to use: influencers! And the good news is, Amazon have an Influencer Programme to make this easier for you.
What is the Amazon Influencer programme?
The Amazon Influencer programme utilises content creators to provide recommendations via social media channels. It encourages influencers to monetise content by recommending Amazon products and earning commissions on qualifying purchases.
Influencers can do this by employing easy-to-use tools that allow them to set up a storefront with products they want to promote and share. They can use a variety of mediums to share the links such as live streams, shoppable photos and videos, and take you directly to the products.
For example, if an influencer has a YouTube channel where they review electronic products, they can create an Amazon Marketplace and link the product from their video to the storefront where their audience can purchase the item.
The Amazon algorithm can also show influencer content to shoppers, giving more reach to influencers and the potential to earn more commission. The programme accepts applications from all types of Influencers with a Facebook, Instagram or YouTube account and a meaningful following.
6. Monitor and respond to your reviews
Don’t forget the importance of responding with a well-thought-out message to a customer who has taken the time to submit a review about your product. It’s the small things like this that add to the overall customer experience and your brand reputation.
An overall great experience means a customer might return or, even better, recommend you!
To effectively manage your reviews, set up daily check-ins via Amazon Seller Central where you have a comprehensive dashboard that displays your reviews:
Alternatively, set up email notifications to receive alerts when someone leaves a review, this way you can respond to customer feedback much quicker.
We recommend choosing a third-party tool that can analyse the reviews and create more in-depth analytics, sentiment analysis and filtering capabilities if you start to get a lot of reviews.
Reviews provide really great insights for you and your business, so make sure to keep track of them and bear in mind if someone has a negative review, this is an opportunity for improvements!
How to handle negative reviews
First of all: Don’t panic!
It can be hard to not respond out of anger or emotion when someone is being negative about your service or product. It’s important to write responses to these reviews that are polite and show that you have listened to the customer and that you will be taking their feedback on board.
Depending on the severity of the feedback you might want to suggest talking about it further via a phone call, but this is only in extreme cases.
If you can respond as clearly and calmly as possible this gives some brownie points when customers are reading these reviews. It shows that you do care as a business, and might not lose some customers either.
Some very common practices include offering a refund or a product replacement which tend to work well with customers depending on the issue.
Amazon can be competitive, we won’t lie, and the aim of the game is to stand out. But reviews can really help to do that, they build trust which in turn converts customers. It’s just a matter of getting the reviews in the first place.
But in this article, we have given strong tactics to use to get free Amazon Reviews like through the Amazon Vine Programme, Request a Review Button and Automated Follow Up Emails. With a little bit of patience, you will get there!