Product reviews are comments from buyers about your product to let other customers know their experiences, whether they are positive or negative. Statistics have shown that 84 percent of customers on Amazon trust product reviews more than personal recommendations and that good product reviews help sales numbers. Product reviews also gives you feedback on what you can improve.
Amazon retooled their product review rules in 2016:
● You cannot create, modify, or post reviews on your own product pages, or competitor products.
● You cannot solicit product reviews through free products or discounted prices (incentivised reviews).
Persuading Buyers to Leave Product Reviews
There are many ways you can persuade buyers to leave produce reviews on your product pages that follow the rules laid out by Amazon.
Amazon Early Reviewer Program: this program allows you to register in the brand registry. For a $60 fee per SKU you can enroll in this program to get initial reviews. Amazon will select random buyers of your product, and in exchange for $1-$3 from Amazon they can post a review for the product they bought. Enrolling in the program lasts for one year, or until you get five reviews for the product. It is recommended you use this program for new products.
Request reviews from customers who have left positive seller feedback. Many customers on Amazon don’t know the difference between seller feedback and product feedback. Monitor your seller feedback and contact customers that have left positive feedback reminding them about product reviews.
Request reviews from customers who have engaged you in customer support. Positive customer support experiences can lead to customers leaving product reviews more often. Engage with customers by asking questions before a purchase or offering technical support after. You can simply ask them to leave a review after any support given.
Product giveaways and discounted products: you can use Amazon giveaways with a set number of winners, with discount codes for non-winners.
Product inserts can be included with your products so that customers are reminded about product reviews when they opened their purchased product.
Product launch announcements sent to customers about future products and their launch dates will get more buyers and more reviews.
Product packaging: first impressions are important. Good quality and creative packaging that protects the product will leave more of a positive impression and lead to more product reviews.
Grey and Black Hat Techniques to Avoid
Grey and black hat techniques can result in your account being suspended. Some of these techniques include the following.
Friend and acquaintance reviews: Amazon keeps track of customers’ information and can detect if reviews left are from people related to you (family, friend, employees) through analyzing shipping address, IP addresses, etc. Discount amounts also tip them off.
Email appending services can be used to target or contact customers. Using these services to obtain customers; information that you as a seller should not have access to will result in your account being suspended. Do not contact customers directly through email, always use Amazon’s system.
Amazon brushing is a technique using fake accounts to purchase products and send them to random people, then posting product reviews through those fake accounts.
Bribing Amazon employees can result in your account being suspended, some sellers have been known to attempt to bribe up to $300.
Product relisting is when sellers take a dormant listing and updates it to a new product, but leaves the positive reviews from the previous product still in place.
Dealing with Negative Reviews
Sellers cannot delete or revise reviews, so engage with customers and attempt to fix issues they are having. Positive interactions with a seller can influence reviews. You can ask afterwards for customers to delete or revise their review.
You can ask Amazon to remove negative reviews if you believe the comment is inappropriate by using “report abuse” and stating your issue with the comment. Amazon does not always approve requests.
Replying publicly to the negative review can give you the opportunity to explain your side of the issue, and the steps you took to solve the problem to ensure it does not happen again.