How to Get More Product Reviews
Some Amazon Sellers Want Them
Most Amazon sellers are interested in more and better seller feedback. But many would like to see more product reviews, too. Here are three reasons why:
1. Buyers trust them – The customer is always right, even when one customer is deferring to another. Research indicates that many buyers trust online reviewers more than professional critics and as much as personal recommendations.
2. They can boost sales – “Recommendation agents” foster a virtuous cycle that not only builds trust but also leads to a higher intention to purchase recommended products. That’s how academics talk, but it’s still true.
3. Some products need them – Sellers with unique products or manufacturers building brands can especially benefit. In those cases, product reviews can further distinguish an offering and generate repeat sales.
Whether you want to give buyers access something they rely upon, are looking for another way to increase sales, or need create more product awareness, you may have cause to see your product reviews grow.
First Rule: Ask
As with seller feedback, the most important task is simply to ask. Yes, asking is OK with Amazon, provided you do it correctly. (For more on that, see below.) It is also true that Amazon includes a “Rate and Review Purchases” link in its requests for feedback – positive, neutral and negative – that reach a subset of your customer base.
But just as sellers discover that an automated and personalized feedback request service can increase their number of positive feedbacks, so too they find that it can boost their number of product reviews. With FeedbackFive’s email builder tool, it’s easy. You simply select the option to “include product review link” and a customized link for each purchased item is added to the email.
Sellers at FeedbackFive’s Pro and above plans have another choice. They can remove the feedback link completely, turning the email into a product review request alone. Access to FeedbackFive’s advanced email template settings enables that option, which could especially benefit sellers with their own or unique products.
Second Rule: Follow the Other Rules
There are “do’s and don’ts” to product review solicitation, as there are with feedback requests. According to Amazon policy, sellers can’t write reviews – of their own or competitors products. Apart from a free copy of the product, no compensation for reviews is allowed. If you do offer a freebie, you have to make “clear that you are soliciting an unbiased review.” Even if you’re not offering a free product in advance, you have to solicit honest opinions, not just positive. And once a negative review is posted, it stays. Not to worry on that score, however, the occasional negative product review actually can boost credibility. [Ed note: Some sellers have told us that Amazon will remove product reviews that talk about pricing.] (Also, if you are a manufacturer or otherwise formally associated with a product, you may consider participating in Amazon's Official Comment program.)
By breaking these rules, you can get into trouble with Amazon. Posting fake online reviews also could result in an encounter with law enforcement officials, as it did in New York with these 19 companies.
Play by the rules, however, and you can become more closely engaged with buyers, both those who like to write reviews and the larger number who benefit from reading them. This, in turn, can draw more attention to particular products, increasing sales and encouraging repeat business.
Originally published on October 31, 2013, updated August 26, 2019
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.