When Amazon staunchly committed to becoming Earth’s most customer-centric company, it ultimately made the same decision for you. Because in order to succeed on the intensely competitive Amazon marketplace where customers always come first, you simply must follow suit or fail to ever get off the ground. There’s no greater evidence of this than the prominence —and sheer power of— your Amazon product reviews.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the importance of Amazon reviews and share top ways to improve your own review strategy. Let’s get to it!
Why Are Amazon Reviews So Important?
Amazon is a notoriously crowded marketplace with no shortage of products to choose from. That being said, the risk of buyer’s remorse is very real, and the vast majority of shoppers need more reassurance that a product that they can’t physically interact with before purchasing won’t end up being a big disappointment.
Amazon reviews, which can be provided in the form of one-tap star ratings, a written comment, or video, provide social proof that a product is (or isn’t) worth purchasing from the people who have already done so.
While much has been said about the trustworthiness of this peer feedback, reviews are still proving to play a pivotal role in the consumer decision-making process with 79% of shoppers reading Amazon reviews before making a purchase.
Amazon facilitates this by making review numbers readily available to all customers. They’re one of the first things shoppers see on your listing and when your product is shown in Amazon’s search results.
If the quality and quantity of those reviews are strong and your conversion rate is high enough, this will signal to Amazon that you’re also helping to put the customer first. As such, Amazon will give these products greater visibility, allowing you to rank higher and more easily convert clicks to orders.
How Can Reviews Help My Advertising?
The relationship between your reviews and advertising mainly involves your product’s retail readiness. Is your listing set up properly? Does it include all the information consumers need to make a decision? This is what being retail ready means.
You’ll want to optimize (i.e. improve) every single part of your product page and selling strategy, from your content and images down to your inventory procedures and pricing. And, you guessed it, your reviews also play a key role.
To be retail-ready on Amazon, products need to have a 3.5-star rating and at least 15 good reviews. If a product falls below that star rating, it will become ineligible for certain advertising options because Amazon no longer wants to prioritize products that don’t look to be enhancing the customer experience.
Simply put, when reviews so strongly influence conversion, sending ad traffic to a product without strong reviews doesn’t make much sense.
3 Tips for Improving Your Amazon Review Strategy
First, let’s recap: we know that reviews legitimize a product to potential customers and impact its product ranking. We also know that reviews improve conversion, which will, in turn, improve your advertising performance. But what many sellers don’t know is how to get more reviews — and better ones at that. Here are three strategies that can help you do so.
Be Proactive and Send Out Product Review Requests
One of the best ways to get more product reviews is to ask for them. Because let’s face it, when left to their own devices, most shoppers won’t go out of their way to leave a review. Your odds increase exponentially when you give them a little nudge in the form of a polite and perfectly timed review request.
Amazon does send out its own solicitation for ratings, but not for every order. You also have no control over these messages, but you do if you send them yourself.
As an Amazon seller, you’re allowed to send proactive permitted messages to request seller feedback and product reviews through Buyer-Seller Messaging, Amazon’s Request a Review button, or with third-party tools that work with Amazon’s Selling Partner API. All Amazon asks is that you follow the rules. You may not, under any circumstances:
- Offer free gifts or other incentives for positive reviews
- Outright ask for positive reviews, even without an incentive
- Instruct customers to buy from your website or visit another shopping site
- Ask buyers to contact you directly if they’re unhappy instead of leaving a negative review
Manually sending review requests through Amazon requires you to log into Seller Central, find the order, and select the buyer for each request that you send. Most sellers need a faster, more efficient way, which is why so many rely on feedback and review automation tools like FeedbackFive by eComEngine for help.
FeedbackFive connects to your Seller Central account and sends out review requests on your behalf to people who have purchased your products. Prebuilt campaign options, including Amazon’s official Request a Review and your own customized Buyer-Seller Messaging template, make it easy to request reviews from more buyers in a fraction of the time it would take you to do so yourself.
Pay Close Attention to the Timing of Your Requests
What makes a request perfectly timed? Well, it will really depend on your product, but you want your review request to reach someone when they’re experiencing peak excitement about the product and the value it brings them.
Amazon requires you to send requests within 30 days of order completion, but that doesn’t mean it has to be done right away. In fact, most products would benefit from having buyers spend a little more time with them before receiving a very important (and very public) rating of their quality and performance.
In our experience, here are some general timing guidelines for requests that have historically been very successful for sellers:
- 5-7 days after delivery for smaller consumables
- 8-10 days after delivery for sports and outdoor items and leisure products
- 14-21 days after delivery for larger, longer-lasting products
- 30 days after delivery for beauty products, vitamins, and supplements
Seasonal products and holiday items are often exceptions to these rules as they’re typically ordered well ahead of time. If you sell these types of items, you’ll want to change the timing of your requests to be closer to when they’ll actually be used.
FeedbackFive users can easily adjust the timing of their emails by setting up custom Campaign Rules for specific SKUs or ASINs sold. Segmenting your buyers in this way allows you to perfectly tailor your message according to what was purchased.
Monitor Your Reviews to Uncover Common Trends
So far we’ve discussed a few key tactics for improving the quantity of your reviews, but Amazon also closely examines the quality of your ratings. Here’s why you should, too.
Monitoring your product reviews for common trends helps you stay in tune with the reputation of your products, and subsequently, that of your Amazon business as a whole. Armed with this information, you can begin to:
Improve your existing products: Find out what’s working well and what isn’t straight from your customers themselves. Could updating your product photos or listing content solve an issue spotlighted in a negative review? Or, if the problem is widespread enough, does something need to be addressed with your supplier?
Identify new product opportunities: While not every review will end up being helpful, finding those that are can be a boost to your profits. Pay attention to what buyers want and look for ways that you can meet their needs. This could be in the form of a new product line or even creating kits or bundles with your existing products.
Strengthen inventory planning: When you regularly see a steady stream of satisfied shoppers, you’ve likely got a winning product on your hands. Protect it at all costs! Make sure you keep this item in stock and watch out for any sudden drops in reviews that may signal something went wrong.
In addition to monitoring your own ASINs, it’s also beneficial to keep an eye on those of a few close competitors as this intel can help inform your own strategy.
But keeping track of all this information can be hard. Seller Central doesn’t do you any favors, and checking individual product pages even once a week is a big chore.
FeedbackFive also has flexible product review management plans that make it quick and easy to monitor and analyze your reviews from one central location. Just identify the ASINs you want to track and the tool will automatically begin compiling a detailed review history for that item. Sort and filter your review data to find what you need.
In addition, you can turn on FeedbackFive’s text and/or email alerts for negative reviews to know much sooner when something needs your attention.
Start Getting More Amazon Reviews Today
With the right review strategy, your Amazon business can flourish. Continue to ask for reviews and, once you have them, dig deeper into why you received that rating and what you can do about it. This can help shed light on how to get better ratings from more buyers.
About the Author
Ellen Sipp-Paris is the Content Manager at eComEngine. Her goal is to help educate Amazon sellers so they feel more confident in what can be a complicated marketplace. When she’s not writing, she enjoys taking nature walks, reading, and going to concerts.