Our Amazon Success Team gets asked this question almost every single day: how important are reviews for increasing sales? So, we thought we’d answer it once and for all. In short: very. Positive reviews of your products, brand and even customer service are critical for building credibility, visibility and improving your rankings. Let’s dig in a little deeper and look at tips and strategies that can help.
Why so Important?
More than 75 percent of shoppers say they trust Amazon reviews. After clicking to your product page, many will even skip immediately to the first few reviews and take a temperature check of sorts on whether they should read more. But reviews are a lot more scientifically significant than that. They improve SEO results and even more critically Amazon’s algorithm – the driver of traffic to your products – takes reviews into account. A series of solid, high-ranking reviews act as triggers to engage customers to purchase, especially in some categories like technology, where they lead to 64 percent of purchase decisions. Lastly, they’re also a really good seller research tool that can help you get an understanding of customer preferences for the price point, quality, key features and the like.
What to Know about Reviews
The dark days of black hat reviews are long gone, and Amazon watches very closely for any form of incentivization in return for reviews. That’s a good thing because authenticity is key. Never ask anyone who receives a discount for a review, as this is an easy misstep to make and can be seen as a violation by Amazon of their review policy. Sellers need to monitor their listings language carefully too. Saying things like “if you love your product leave a review” can be viewed as leading and attempting to incentivize potential reviewers. Amazon is beginning to think about Ratings versus Reviews, where a consistent numerical score can maintain absolute consistency for product and seller feedback. It’s also important to remember that while quality reviews are important, that should not be to the exclusion of quantity. A large number of reviews shows that shopper that a lot of others “approve” of the product.
Review Strategies for New Products
With new products, the whole review process is a little chicken and egg. You need reviews to build sales, but you get more reviews the more you sell. Here it’s a good idea to make use of a couple of Amazon service offerings. The Amazon Vine Program allows verified Amazon reviewers to review pre-launch products to help prospective customers make more informed decisions on Vendor Central and in Beta on Seller Central. The Early Reviewer Program is a good if you’re on Seller Central. Amazon randomly selects buyers of a product to submit a review to help other customers for up to five reviews at a cost of $60. Beyond these official services, look at your packaging and marketing collateral, focusing on customer engagement opportunities.
Strategies for Existing Products
If your product has been available for a while but still has fewer than five reviews you can still enroll it in Seller Central’s Early Reviewer Program. With existing products, it’s also all about consistent and ongoing monitoring. Leave authentic, real-person responses to positive reviews by customers and build rapport and relationships. Ask customers who have left positive feedback to write a more detailed review. Target more enthusiastic customers through social media since enthusiasts are always more likely to leave reviews. Understand what engages and motivates them by monitoring and focusing on the kinds of language, key phrases and features that fuel their enthusiasm. In the same way, follow Amazon influencers – regular reviewers whose opinion influences other shoppers. Lastly, promote your products. Ads, marketing, coupons, and special deals will build sales, and more sales mean more opportunities for reviews.
Parting Words – Things to Remember
Even in a digital e-commerce world, relationships matter. Reacting quickly to customers will improve your Amazon scores, but it will also leave positive impressions with real shoppers. Respond to negative reviews too with a personalized response for each review, and ask what can be done better. Offer to solve or mitigate issues or problems to convert the customer and show others reading the review that you are an active brand and a thoughtful seller.
Contact our Channel Key team if you would like more personalized advice or assistance with reviews.