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Reviews are vital for any business that sells on Amazon. They impact everything from product visibility to inventory planning. Recent and relevant reviews provide important insights for online shoppers, who often turn to reviews to inform purchase decisions.
Getting Amazon reviews can be challenging for sellers and brands. It's also important to understand Amazon's review guidelines to avoid putting your account at risk. In this guide, we'll discuss how to improve your Amazon business with customer reviews, how to get more reviews, and how to stay compliant with Amazon policies when requesting reviews.
An Amazon review is a public rating of the buyer's satisfaction with a particular product. Based on a five-star scale, reviews can be provided in the form of a simple star rating, written explanation, or video. Since the company's founding, Amazon has amassed millions of high-quality reviews from shoppers across the globe, making it the most prolific source of consumer-generated product information in the world.
Buyers can either write a full review or simply score a product on a five-star scale without leaving comments—this is called a rating. Ratings are included in the total number of reviews on an Amazon listing and factor into the overall star rating but do not include text or other content. The total number of reviews and ratings appears as "global ratings" on the listing. Amazon does not use a simple average to calculate the overall star rating. Things like review recency and whether the item was purchased on Amazon or somewhere else affect the average. Amazon's system also looks for signs of untrustworthy reviews.
As pointed out in our Amazon feedback guide, reviews are different than seller feedback. Many people use the terms "feedback" and "review" interchangeably, but, in the strictest sense, an Amazon review should only reflect the buyer's experience with the product itself - not the seller.
Amazon customer reviews are an important building block for the continued success of your product. Amazon customers rely on reviews to inform purchase decisions.
Quality reviews help increase product search rankings, which allows more buyers to discover your product, increasing your sales potential. Buyers are more likely to purchase a product that has good reviews, so getting your first few reviews soon after a product launch is crucial.
Customer reviews can provide useful data for improving your products. Learn what's working and what needs to be improved straight from your customers. Look for the types of comments and suggestions that appear most frequently in your reviews, then consider how you might be able to implement them.
Want to differentiate your products by creating kits or bundles? Looking to add a new product line? Your reviews provide a wealth of information about what buyers want, directly from buyers. Keeping tabs on this data can help you identify the types of opportunities that could take your business to the next level.
Customer reviews can help you predict how well a product will sell. If you're seeing a steady stream of great reviews, it's a sign that your product is a hit. Plan accordingly when restocking to avoid stockouts. If you notice a drop in reviews, it's time to take a closer look at your product.
As an Amazon seller, one of your main goals is to ensure that buyers are happy with your products. Reviews give you the opportunity to find out exactly what customers think of your items. These reactions provide invaluable information and may even help you identify new use cases.
Amazon customers trust reviews to make purchasing decisions. In fact, over 90% of shoppers read online ratings before making a purchase. In a digital marketplace, buyers can't physically evaluate items. Product reviews provide vital information for Amazon shoppers.
The Amazon algorithm determines where products are shown in Amazon search results. Getting reviews on a regular basis and having a history of good Amazon reviews both factor into that algorithm. Ranking on the first page of Amazon's search results increases your chance of making a sale.
If you are a Brand Registered seller, Amazon reviews provide social proof that helps you establish and boost your brand. Whether you sell private label items or white label products, an increase in product reviews can significantly impact your bottom line.
Learn how to get reviews while staying compliant with Amazon's guidelines.
Amazon allows sellers to send proactive permitted messages to request reviews and/or seller feedback. There are a few ways to contact buyers: through Buyer-Seller Messaging, by using the Request a Review button, or with the Amazon API. Many sellers use third-party software to automate the process of requesting reviews with the Amazon API.
All communication with buyers must be sent within 30 days of order completion, include the order ID, and be translated into the buyer's language of preference.
Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging: You can manually send review requests through Buyer-Seller Messaging in Seller Central. Using Buyer-Seller Messaging allows you to customize your messages, but it's important to follow all of Amazon's guidelines for communicating with buyers when doing so. See the policies section for more information.
Amazon Request a Review Message: The Request a Review message is sent directly from Amazon to the buyer on your behalf upon your request. It cannot be customized, but it is automatically translated into the buyer's preferred language. You can send manual requests from the Order Details page in Seller Central or use software to automate this request. Sellers have been getting great results with this messaging option. In a random sampling of FeedbackFive customers, we saw a 41% increase in the daily average review rate after implementing this feature.
Software for Amazon Sellers: You can find tools that connect with the Amazon API, like our own FeedbackFive, in the Amazon Appstore. Our software allows you to schedule customizable review requests with Buyer-Seller Messaging templates or to send Amazon-generated requests with the Request a Review messaging system. No matter how you prefer to send review requests, FeedbackFive's automation and scheduling features will save valuable time while helping you increase your reviews.
As always, be sure to follow all Amazon guidelines when communicating with buyers.
It's deceptively simple, but having a product that provides a good experience for the buyer is the first step to getting more reviews. Buyers are most motivated to share their thoughts when they have a very positive or negative experience. Aim high when developing or selecting your products.
The best way to get more product reviews is to ask for them. You can do this by clicking on the Request a Review button in Seller Central, by sending a review request through Buyer-Seller Messaging, or by using software such as FeedbackFive.
Product inserts can be a great way to ask for reviews. Follow Amazon’s rules and use neutral language. Explain how to leave a review, and you might just reach buyers who wouldn’t ordinarily think to leave a review. Don’t offer coupons or incentives of any kind on your insert. Get creative and consider offering care instructions, unboxing tips, assembly tips, or other useful information.
Amazon sellers and vendors can participate in the Amazon Vine program to get reviews from Vine Voices. These detailed reviews are often among the most helpful to shoppers. The product must be enrolled in Brand Registry for Seller Central eligibility.
Test your products extensively before launching them on the Amazon marketplace. Consider third-party testing as well, especially if your product could cause harm if it is not performing properly. Ensure that your product instructions and warranty are clear and easy to understand.
Your Amazon listing sets expectations for how buyers perceive your product. Make sure your listing is detailed and descriptive. Include quality product photos and lifestyle images to help shoppers understand your product. If the item is available in different sizes or colors, include detailed information about each variation on your listing.
Here's what you should know if you sell products in more than one Amazon marketplace.
Amazon has 20 marketplaces across North and South America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East. You can sell on Amazon in the United States as well as: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UAE, and the United Kingdom.
A product's reputation on one marketplace is not transferrable to a different marketplace. In other words, if you're selling internationally, it's important to get Amazon reviews from buyers in each country where your product is available.
Amazon does display global ratings for ASINs, but the number of ratings shown can vary by marketplace, even for the same ASIN. It is unclear how reviews from other countries impact your product when you begin offering it in a new marketplace. Top international reviews will be displayed with your listing. However, shoppers in other countries are more likely to trust buyers in their own country, so it is important to get local reviews as soon as you can.
For example, let's say that you enroll your top-selling product in the Amazon Global Selling program to reach customers in Europe. You've already received hundreds of Amazon.com product reviews from satisfied buyers in the United States. To maximize the item's international visibility, however, you will now need to develop a process to get reviews from buyers in each European marketplace.
Be sure to use professionally translated messages when requesting reviews in other marketplaces. If you are using the Request a Review messaging system, your message will be automatically translated into the buyer's chosen language.
Amazon allows sellers to request product reviews, but it's important to follow the rules.
In October 2016, Amazon banned incentivized reviews. As an Amazon seller, you cannot offer any type of financial compensation, free products, deep discounts, coupons, or other rewards in exchange for a product review. Do not participate in social media review groups.
Amazon prohibits you, your family, and your employees from reviewing your products as well as competitor's products. Reviewing your product or a competitor's is a form of review manipulation. After all, the goal of reviews is to provide unbiased information that will help other buyers.
Don't overwhelm Amazon buyers with product review requests. Instead, send one well-written, courteous request and keep it simple. This increases the odds that the buyer will share their product experience, which helps Amazon maintain a healthy product review ecosystem for all customers.
Do not ask buyers to leave a positive review for your product. You should always ask for product reviews in a neutral manner. Avoid using if/then statements such as "If you love your widget, leave us a review on Amazon."
You can send a product review request message to buyers, but you cannot include any type of marketing messages or promotions. You are prohibited from linking to any website, including your Amazon storefront. Do not include an opt-out link or any links in logos. If you want to use your logo, the image cannot include your URL.
Never create variation relationships between products with the intention of manipulating reviews. Attempting to boost an item's star rating via review aggregation is also review manipulation. Do not attempt to divert negative customer experiences away from Amazon while asking buyers with positive experiences to leave a review for your product.
Buyers are telling you exactly what they think of your products. Are you listening?
What is the best way to monitor and track Amazon reviews?
Currently, Amazon does not notify sellers or brands when new customer reviews are published. As a result, some go to the effort of manually checking product detail pages for new reviews on a daily basis. This might be feasible for sellers or brands with a handful of ASINs, but, in the long run, it is not a scalable approach for growth-minded companies that sell on Amazon.
Leveraging Amazon review software, such as FeedbackFive, can be a more efficient way to stay on top of product reviews. FeedbackFive continuously monitors all of your ASINs and notifies you (via text message and/or email) within moments of an issue that requires your attention.
You can also see the impact of your review requests, including a historical view of one-tap ratings and written reviews received. Detailed campaign analytics offer important insights for your Amazon review strategy.
Amazon vendors cannot send review requests. However, vendors can monitor and receive alerts for Amazon reviews.
Unlike Amazon feedback, which can be downloaded from Seller Central, review data is not easily accessible to merchants who are not brand registered. Some sellers maintain review data in documents or spreadsheets (such as our free template for Microsoft Excel). Although this approach is certainly better than nothing, spreadsheets can be prone to error, costly to maintain, and divert your attention away from growth-oriented activities like product sourcing, private labeling, bundling, and advertising.
A more scalable approach leverages Amazon product review software, such as our FeedbackFive tool. Review software eliminates the time-consuming tasks involved with ASIN monitoring, delivering in-depth data analytics that are kept current in near real-time. Colorful charts and graphs bring your review data to life, making it easier to make informed decisions about buyer preferences and satisfaction trends on Amazon.
Yes, Amazon allows customers to change or remove their reviews at any time. However, sellers cannot ask buyers to edit or remove their reviews. If a review violates Amazon's community guidelines, Amazon may remove the review. So, what can you do if you receive an unwarranted negative review?
Make an attempt to resolve the buyer's issue with your product, but be aware that it may not lead to an updated review. Buyers do not have to remove or change their review, even when the problem is resolved. Never attempt to ask or influence a buyer to change their review.
Hey, negative reviews happen sometimes. Here's how to handle them.
Negative reviews can really hurt. It's hard not to take them personally, but try to view them as a learning experience. When you receive the inevitable negative rating, be sure to respond in a professional manner and attempt to resolve the problem if you can. Train your employees to respond in the same way.
Amazon does not allow buyers to post "abusive or inappropriate" language. Buyers are also not allowed to share "personal information about a transaction partner." If you receive an abusive review that violates Amazon's Community Guidelines, you can report it to Amazon for potential removal.
Negative reviews can actually be very useful for your Amazon business. Look for common concerns and work with your supplier to resolve them. Advice from unsatisfied customers can show you what you need to fix. Negative reviews can also signal the end of a product life cycle or highlight opportunities to innovate.
You want positive reviews, but that doesn't mean you must only have 5-star ratings. In fact, while positive reviews are obviously a boon to your business, a product review rating that is too close to perfect might scare some buyers away. The occasional negative review can actually help your business.
Sometimes negative reviews can mean that it's time to revisit your product description. Are you experiencing negative ratings for failure to meet buyer expectations? Revise your listing to ensure that all variations and dimensions are described effectively. Consider including FAQs to answer common questions.
The occasional negative review is bound to pop up. However, if you regularly receive negative reviews for the same product, it might be time to remove it from your lineup. That's especially true if you've already tried to make improvements to the product and listing. Not every product is a winner, and sometimes it's better to refocus your effort on a new product.