How to Increase Amazon Reviews

by Matthew McAuliff, on November 20, 2014

As an Amazon merchant, you serve two masters: Amazon.com, Inc. (“Amazon”) and your customer. Although Amazon shoppers are known for being bargain hunters, they are also searching for sellers with good reputations.

Positive product reviews provide a continuous loop of trust, which in turn fosters customers’ intentions to use Amazon again and purchase recommended products (from you).

So, how do you increase the number of product reviews for the items you sell? Here are three tips to elicit more — and better — product reviews on the Amazon marketplace.

1. Target Products & Reviewers

Some products may be better suited for reviews than others. Products with passionate users are natural candidates. Books and media or any other unique or self-manufactured products are good choices. As a general rule, the more commoditized a product, the less likely it is to generate comment.

Keep in mind that asking for product reviews might help the competition, too. For example, if you sell an item that is sold by other Amazon merchants, asking for product reviews may be counter-productive. The best case scenario is to ask for a product review on private-label items or products branded to the seller.

Along with finding a suitable product, sellers may also want to reach out to likely reviewers. Amazon guidelines prohibit compensation for customer reviews, but sellers are allowed to offer a free product in exchange for an honest review, provided the reviewer “clearly and conspicuously” discloses that fact.

Amazon's policies have been updated since this post was published and offering free products in exchange for a review is no longer permissible. You can find Amazon's Prohibited Seller Activities here.

Amazon itself courts top reviewers with free products through its Amazon Vine program. This practice makes sense: experienced reviewers are by definition more inclined to write than others.

2. Give All Buyers the Option to Review

There are costs to the targeted approach. Finding potential writers, soliciting reviews and tracking requests takes time.

An alternative, enabled by FeedbackFive, is to send two separate follow up emails after a purchase is made. Request seller feedback in the initial message and a product review in the second email. This is especially effective if the product review request is sent after positive seller feedback is received. FeedbackFive automates this process for sellers and allows them to personalize their emails with professionally designed templates, product images and much more.

In the second step of the FeedbackFive email-builder tool, users can select what type of content they want to include in their solicitation email. Selecting the option to “include product review link” adds a customized link to the email. The link makes it easy for a buyer to submit a review of the purchased product. It also helps the buyer to distinguish a product review from seller feedback.

3. Review the Review

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Over time, you may encounter reviews that violate Amazon rules or merit commentary or response. In the first case, notify Amazon’s Customer Discussions team. There are several reported cases of Amazon taking steps to enforce rules against paid reviews, sock-puppet accounts and other prohibited practices.

Also, keep a close eye on the product reviews that are coming in. This can help you ensure that you’re selling products people appreciate and want.

Getting Positive Amazon Reviews Can Really Add Up

In closing, positive feedback matters, of course – but so do product reviews. They can:

  • Promote a “virtuous cycle” of trust
  • Increase product visibility on the Amazon marketplace
  • Convey useful feedback about products
  • Alert you to errors in a listing
  • Allow buyers to vent outside of seller feedback

In other words, product reviews can have a healthy impact on your business through improved customer service, increased visibility, tighter reputation management, and even increased sales.

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