Amazon reviews are a highly trusted source of feedback from other customers.
Not only do they provide social proof for your store, but they are one of the key factors taken into account in Amazon’s search listings. The more positive reviews you have, the higher your product is positioned.
They also drive buying decisions. 72% of online shoppers won’t make a purchase without reading the reviews. And according to a report by G2 and Heinz Marketing, 92% of customers are more likely to purchase a product after reading a positive review.
All of this means that, when you launch a product, it’s important to get reviews quickly (and legally) if you want it to do well. Making sure your products get off to a good start is one of the best things you can do for your long term success.
Amazon helps out a bit by sending a one-off review request email to customers, but often this isn’t enough and you have to take it into your own hands.
For many sellers, getting reviews from customers in the past was easy because they provided some incentive. However, in October 2016, Amazon banned incentivized reviews, which has made it much more difficult to get those much-needed first reviews on a newly launched product.
So what are your options? Here’s a guide that will show you a number of effective and legal ways to get more reviews on Amazon.
1. Enroll in Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program
If you’re a brand registered seller, then you can enrol for the Early Reviewer Program (ERP) that can get you up to five reviews in 12 months of launching your product.
Customers that are a part of the Early Reviewer Program are asked to write a review and those that submit theirs within the required timeframe usually receive a small reward, like a Gift Card. Sellers are able to submit one of their product SKUs, which Amazon then promotes to specific, pre-vetted reviewers. Taking part costs $60 per SKU, but you won’t be charged until you get a review.
2. Product Inserts
Adding a review request to your product packaging can provide a more personal way to encourage buyers to leave a review.
This might be on a business card, a product’s label, or on the packaging itself. It’s important to abide by best practices here; it’s not okay to bribe customers to leave a positive review, but you are welcome to invite them to leave their feedback.
3. Ask Past Customer Support Buyers
Customer support forms an important part of the buying cycle. Customers will likely have questions about a product before they purchase, and nurturing a one-to-one interaction in this way can be really valuable.
The more you help your buyers by providing them with stellar support, the more likely they are to want to help you in return. This is a unique psychological phenomenon called the power of reciprocity. Tap into this by reaching out to customers who have previously used customer support and encouraging them to share a review.
4. Go For Quantity to Get Quality
The more customers you have, the more reviews you’ll get – it’s simple math.
To boost the number of reviews, aim to reach more buyers. You can do this by offering discounts on the products you want to populate with reviews, and run promotions that get your products in front of more people.
Amazon’s best selling items have thousands of reviews.
5. Ask Buyers Who Provide Seller Feedback
Feedback is crucial for improving your business, but there’s another benefit you can extract from it too. The buyers who have left feedback have shown they’re willing to take the time to share their views, so capitalize on that and ask them to leave a review as well while they’re at it.
6. Consider the Quality Assurance Process
The higher quality your products are, the more delighted your customers are going to be, and the better chance you have of them leaving reviews. A happy customer wants to shout about it from the rooftops.
This means it’s vital that your products are of the highest quality. Ensure this by making sure the quality assurance process is a top priority when sourcing products from your manufacturer.
7. Use Your Best Images
Images are crucial in online shopping. When buyers aren’t able to touch a product in its physical form, they rely on pictures to determine what it is they’re actually buying.
Misleading customers with blurry images and photos that don’t represent what you’re selling won’t put you in good favor. Instead, make sure your images show the specifications and functions of your product so it’s very clear to customers what they’re going to get.
This product listing has a number of different images of the product on its own and what it looks like when in use.
8. Describe All Features
Again, you want to be really clear in the description of your products, just like with your images.
Describe all the features and use cases for the product and avoid exaggeration. You don’t want customers to be disappointed when it arrives and it’s not what they expect. Remember, happy customers, leave reviews.
9. Leverage Keywords
The keywords you use in your product titles and when describing your products are crucial for attracting the right people. Using irrelevant keywords won’t attract ready-to-buy customers who are looking for exactly what you’re selling.
Instead, you want to use appropriate keywords that not only relate to your product but are ones that relevant buyers are using. The more relevant buyers you attract, the more sales you’ll get, which will lead to more reviews in the long run.
10. Align Your Launch With Future Goals
Your review strategy should tie in seamlessly with your overall marketing and business strategy. It’s all part of the bigger picture. The more reviews you get, the more products you can sell.
The more products you sell, the more revenue you make, and so your business grows.
Align the launch of new products with your future business goals and allocate proper funds for advertising campaigns and promotions. Think about it as a long-term strategy rather than a quick way to get overnight reviews.
11. Use the “Request a Review” Button
Amazon sends out one review request per purchase. However, they do supply a “request a review” button that you can use once for each customer and each order.
This just reminds the customer that you’d love a review from them, and can be a great way to follow up with people who might have wanted to leave a review but it slipped their mind.
12. Carry Out Competitor Analysis
You can glean a lot of healthy insight from your competitors – not least from their reviews. By researching what customers are saying about your competitors’ products, you can pinpoint behaviors and trends that you can use to fuel your own strategy.
Use both negative and positive reviews from competitor customers to adjust your listings. This is a great way to ensure your products are listed accurately and exactly what customers want and expect. As a result, customers will be more inclined to leave a review.
13. Get Social
Social media is the perfect place to interact with your buyers. Customers are already hanging out on these platforms, and their inherently social nature of them means you can start an open dialogue.
Use this opportunity to ask your social media followers for a review. These are people that know your brand and likely trust it, so they’re more willing to leave a review.
14. Use Amazon’s Vine Program
Amazon’s Vine Program is a group of elite, invite-only reviewers that write impartial reviews in exchange for free products. Often, the products they receive are newly released (or even pre-release), giving new items the boost they need with those all-important first reviews.
If you want reviews through the Amazon Vine Program, it costs. You can submit products for a fee ranging between $2,500 and $7,500 per ASIN.
15. Build Relationships With Customers
Repeat customers are far more likely to leave a review than one-time buyers. These are the people that love your products so much that they keep coming back for more. One of the most fulfilling ways to get reviews is to build and nurture relationships with your best customers and invite them to share their opinions.
The most popular way to do this is by creating an email list outside of Amazon and regularly dropping into repeat buyers’ inboxes. You can offer them exclusive deals and promos to soften them up and show them how much you value them.
16. Sell an Awesome Product and Provide a Great Service
The bottom line is this: if you sell a good product and customers have an enjoyable buying experience with you, you’re going to accrue reviews organically.
This means making sure your shipping process is tight, your product descriptions are clear, and your images show your products as they are.
Do this, and you’ll start to see the reviews pouring in quickly.
17. Reach Out to Amazon Influencers
Having a review from a well-trusted source can be more valuable than having 10 reviews from lesser-known buyers.
There are plenty of Amazon influencers out there who you can reach out to either share your product with their followers or encourage them to buy your product and leave a review.
Remember to keep on the straight and narrow here: Amazon frowns upon incentivized reviews, so your best bet is to build a relationship with the top influencers in your industry and go from there.
18. Third-Party Feedback Software
Lots of customers actively choose to opt out of Amazon communications. This means they won’t receive the one-off review request email and your “request review” button will be redundant.
However, you can use third-party feedback software to reach out to these customers and ask for feedback in other ways. Be cautious with this method, though, as these customers have probably opted out for a reason and you don’t want bad blood with them. The key is to use the opportunity to build your connection with customers rather than persistently asking for reviews. If the relationship is there, the reviews will come.
19. Deal Marketplaces
While you can’t specifically ask customers from deal marketplaces to leave a review, they are often in the habit of doing it anyway. These are people that love to get their hands on a good deal and will likely leave a review for any products they do decide to buy.
Test this out by joining a deal marketplace, offering a promotion on your product or a product line, and seeing what unfolds.
20. Track Negative Reviews
It might seem counterintuitive to hone in on negative reviews, but these can be really great for improving your business in general. These people will likely lay out what the problem was with your product, leaving you with great insights for improvement.
Turn negative reviews into positive ones by improving your products and processes through customer suggestions and, as a result, you’ll start to get more positive reviews.
21. Leverage Messenger Chatbots
If you have a Facebook page for your business, you can create a Messenger chatbot to reach out to customers that have already purchased from you.
These bots can track buyers and pop up their Messenger inbox with a review request. This is a great way to reach customers via channels they’re already comfortable with and build long-lasting buyer relationships.
22. Use Email Append Services
Email appending uses existing information about a customer, like their name and address, and matches it with records from a data vendor so that you can get a hold of their email address.
Once you have their email address, you can retarget them with ads on Facebook and Google asking for a review. This can be a non-intrusive way to request reviews, as you’re showing up in your customer’s social feeds rather than directly in their inbox.
Amazon Review Best Practices
Amazon is all about providing an equal playing field for sellers, which is why there are a series of best practices you should follow if you don’t want to get on the wrong side of the ecommerce giant.
All of the methods we’ve discussed above are organic and legal ways to obtain reviews, but also make sure you:
- Don’t incentivize reviews. Amazon has banned reviews that are written in exchange for free products or monetary rewards.
- Don’t cherry-pick who you get reviews from. Don’t just pick customers you know are happy with your product. The reviews section should paint an unbiased and neutral picture of your product. Instead, work hard to provide a great experience and high-quality products so that every customer is happy.
- Don’t use manipulative language when asking for reviews. Amazon has clamped down recently on phrases like “if you’re happy with this product, please leave a review”, as this is seen to promote only positive reviews.
Get Amazon Reviews Organically and Grow Your Business
There’s no doubt about it: Amazon reviews are vital for sellers.
Without them, your products can disappear into the ether and you might lose out to your competitors who are working hard to get feedback from their customers.
Getting reviews should be a part of your overall business strategy and just one cog in the bigger picture. But there’s a method to getting reviews the right way. Use the steps laid out in this piece to get started and once the reviews start coming in, you’ll find it easier and easier to encourage future customers to leave their feedback.