As soon as Prime Day and back to school shopping wind down, it’s already time to start thinking about your Q4 strategy. After all, last year Amazon's fourth-quarter sales were up 20%, and it seems likely that the recent Prime Day sales records will be broken during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Amazon shoppers rely on product reviews to help them make informed purchase decisions. Amazon’s algorithm looks favorably upon quality reviews for verified purchases, leading to better organic A9 search rankings for those products. Reviews can also inform your inventory strategy leading into Q4, help you identify new opportunities, and provide social proof for your brand.
Whether you’ve recently launched a new product or you simply want to learn how to get more reviews from your Prime Day sales, there are a few strategies you can implement to help you grow your Amazon business.
Strategy #1: Make Purchasing Your Product a Delight
Think about your own experiences with online shopping. When are you motivated to leave a review for your purchase? For most people, it’s when they are delighted with a product…or really disappointed with the purchase. Aim for exceeding customer expectations with exceptional product quality, great packaging, on-time delivery, and professional customer service.
Amazon’s goal is to be the most customer-centric company in the world. By partnering with third-party sellers, Amazon can provide a vast catalog of products to buyers. Most of those products can be delivered in two days or less, and with the expansion of Prime Now services, some can be in the buyer’s hand within an hour of ordering online. As a third-party seller, you are being trusted to provide a purchasing experience that is on par with the service that Amazon provides. Think like Amazon when developing your packaging and product. What can you do to make the product quality deliver great value? How can you simplify your packaging while preventing damage during the shipping process?
Teach your team to put customers first, and regularly take time to evaluate your customer reviews and seller feedback to look for ways to improve your business. When buyers share their experiences with your products, listen to what they have to say. Use that information to help you continue to delight future customers!
Strategy #2: Communicate Clearly
Sometimes buyers are unhappy with a purchase due to a lack of clear information on the product listing page. After all, if you ordered a set of red kitchen canisters to match your stand mixer and the canisters that were delivered to your house were actually more of a coral color, you’d be frustrated too. Color and size variations can be especially tricky to communicate on a product listing page, so it’s important to make sure that you’ve spelled out the details. Using Pantone color values can help you describe the color, while sharing detailed measurements can make it easier for buyers to understand sizing variations.
Take the time to really read your product description and look at your listing photos. Does your page accurately represent your product? Are your images high quality and highlighting your product in a way that makes sense? Could you enhance your listing by adding more description, clarifying the main values of your product, or creating Enhanced Brand Content?
If you find yourself or your team members regularly answering the same questions from buyers or prospective customers, maybe it’s time for a new approach. Consider adding the answers to common concerns to your product page, and make sure to answer all customer questions posted to the listing. When you receive product reviews, reply with an inline comment to acknowledge the review and thank the reviewer for taking the time to share their opinion. Be sure to follow Amazon’s Community Guidelines when commenting on a review.
Strategy #3: Enroll in an Amazon Reviewer Program
The Amazon Early Reviewer Program is designed to help products with fewer than five reviews get customer ratings. The ASIN must be priced above $15.00 to be eligible for program participation. Amazon will request reviews for the product until five reviews are received via the program, or for one year if five reviews are not received. Amazon randomly chooses customers who have purchased products participating in the program to ask them to leave a review in exchange for a small reward, such as a $1-3 Amazon account credit. Reviews generated by the Early Reviewer Program are shown with an orange badge that says “Early Reviewer Rewards.” It costs $60 to participate in the program.
For vendors, participating in the Amazon Vine program is the only way to request customer reviews. The Amazon Vine program is managed by Amazon, and customers with strong reviewer rankings are invited to join as “Vine Voices” to share their experiences with products. Customers who participate as Vine Voices receive free products in exchange for unbiased product reviews. Vendors do not interact with or influence the reviewers. Participating in the program requires vendors to pay a fee ranging from a couple thousand dollars to several thousand dollars. Vendors must also provide free products for review.
Strategy #4: Ask for Reviews
While many buyers rely on Amazon reviews to help them make their own purchase decisions, leaving a product review isn’t as organic as reading one. Encourage shoppers to leave reviews for your products by sending a polite product review request. You can create a message in Buyer-Seller Messaging or use a tool like FeedbackFive to tailor and automate your review request. Some sellers have good results from including a product insert that reminds customers to leave a review.
Whichever method you choose for asking buyers to share their experience with your product, it’s important to understand and follow Amazon’s rules regarding product reviews. You can never offer any sort of financial incentive in exchange for a review. This includes discounts and coupon codes, which also should never be included in any of your Buyer-Seller Messages. Do not ask for a positive review; keep your request as neutral as possible. Don’t review your own products or a competitor’s products. This goes for your family and employees as well, so be sure to read up on the policy and make sure they understand it.
Monitoring and Managing Reviews
As an Amazon seller, regularly monitoring product reviews is a smart way to stay attuned to what buyers want. Pay attention to reviews for your own products and respond politely by commenting inline. Look at reviews for competing products to get ideas for making improvements to your own item. If you’re considering adding a new product, check out reviews for similar products to get an idea of what customers love and dislike, then build upon that knowledge.
Proactively requesting product reviews can help you generate more positive reviews, because you’re not just receiving ratings from annoyed buyers. If you do happen to receive a negative review, respond professionally and try to learn from it. Did the customer’s rating give you insight into an issue with your packaging or a possible product improvement? Can you use the negative review to help you improve your product listing? If you receive a review that is abusive or includes personal information about you, report it to Amazon for potential removal. You can never contact a buyer to ask them to change a product review.
Get More Reviews
Implementing the four strategies outlined above will help you generate more reviews for your products in the coming months, setting the stage for a successful Q4. After all, if you’re planning to advertise your products this holiday season, having quality reviews can really help boost your conversion rate. Get started now and reap the rewards over the coming months.
Want to learn more about the dos and don'ts of Amazon product reviews? Check out our ultimate guide for getting more reviews!
This is a guest post by, Becky Trowbridge, eComEngine.
As the Managing Content Editor for eComEngine, Becky Trowbridge works to bring you the latest eCommerce industry news as well as tips for running a successful Amazon business. When she's not writing or managing content, she enjoys spending time outdoors, trying new recipes and reading.