The Amazon Seller’s Guide to Getting Reviews in 2021
Did you know that 92.4% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product if they can read a credible review of it first? It’s statistics like these that illustrate just how important product reviews are. And yet, customer reviews are not easy to obtain—particularly for Amazon sellers.
According to LandingCube.com, the average review rate for Amazon products is around 1–2%. In other words, you can only expect one or two reviews per 100 products you sell.
We tell you this because a lot of sellers express frustration over their low number of reviews, only to find out they’re at or above average. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t strive to improve that figure! In fact, with the right strategies, you can certainly increase your review rate—and that’s precisely what we’re going to teach you how to do in this article.
But before we get started, we want to assure you that all the strategies covered herein are either officially endorsed or permitted by Amazon. As a disclaimer, we strongly discourage you from using any tactics that violate Amazon’s terms of service, such as paying for reviews or writing fake reviews. Engaging in black hat methods like these can get you suspended or permanently banned from the platform.
With that being said, now we’re ready to dive in! Let’s begin with what is arguably the most important way of obtaining positive reviews:
1. Focus on Product Quality
Whenever you’re building something—whether that be a business, a house, or a software program—you want to start with a solid foundation. We like to consider product quality the foundation of Amazon reviews since this is what your customer feedback is primarily going to be based on. Because of that, product quality should be at the top of your list as far as priorities go.
Keep in mind that whenever you sell a product, you’re also selling a customer experience. If the customer experience is positive, people are naturally going to want to leave a good review without you having to ask. But note that the opposite is also true (even more so, in fact). A 2018 study conducted by ReviewTrackers, for example, found that consumers are 21% more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one.
So what can you do to improve your product quality? Start by reading your own reviews. Look for common complaints and resolve these issues. If you haven’t launched your product yet, search competitors’ reviews for common complaints. You’ll get a lot of positive reviews from customers if you can simply provide a solution to their most pressing problems.
Another thing you can do to boost customer satisfaction is to use professional photos and provide a detailed description of the product. This will ensure customers know exactly what they’re purchasing and increase the likelihood that it will meet their expectations.
Remember: if your product sucks, all the outreach strategies in the world aren’t going to help you. So make sure you start with product quality first.
2. Request a Review
Did you know you can request a review directly through Amazon? To take advantage of this feature, log in to Seller Central. When you view your orders, you’ll see a button in the upper right-hand side that says “Request a Review.”
Clicking this button will prompt Amazon to send an email to the customer asking him or her to review their recent purchase. Note that this is a standardized email, meaning it is not customizable. The wording is the same in every email, save for the seller name and product details.
What’s great about this feature is that it really streamlines the review process. All the customer has to do is click the stars in the email to give it a rating from 1–5. They don’t even have to go through the effort of writing anything!
In all honesty, there’s no excuse for not using this feature, considering it’s provided by Amazon. If you have a high sales volume, you can further streamline the process by using a tool that automatically hits this button for every purchase, like JungleScout or SageMailer.
3. Sign Up for Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program
It’s difficult to get reviews when you launch a new product. Even Amazon knows that, which is why they offer an Early Reviewer program.
This paid service can help you hit the ground running by incentivizing early buyers to leave a review. Here’s how it works.
First things first: you have to join Amazon’s Brand Registry. Once you’re registered, you can enroll new products into the Early Reviewer program for $60 per product.
Once enrolled, Amazon will contact customers who recently purchased your product and offer them a small Amazon gift card (worth a few bucks) in exchange for a written review. Any reviews you obtain through the program will be tagged with a badge that reads “Early Reviewer Rewards.”
Amazon will keep searching for reviewers for up to one year or until your product receives five reviews from the program (whichever comes first).
One thing to bear in mind is that you can’t influence whether it’s a positive review or a negative review. You could very well receive five reviews through the program, all of which are negative. To prevent this from happening, make sure you have a quality product (see point #1) before you sign up for the program.
4. Enroll in Amazon’s Vine Program
Another program you might consider enrolling in is Vine. It is similar to the Early Reviewer Program, but with some notable differences.
For one, both programs are offered through Amazon, and they both help connect sellers with reviewers. But here’s where they differ.
Instead of paying $60 per product to enroll in the program (like you would with the Early Reviewer Program), instead you provide 30 units of your product to a group of top reviewers. These elite reviewers, known collectively as “Vine Voices,” will be offered these products for free in exchange for an honest review. Like the Early Review Program, reviews you get through Vine will be tagged with a special badge.
To be eligible for the Vine Program, you must be a Brand Registered Seller or Vendor. Additionally, your product must have less than 30 reviews.
We highly recommend taking advantage of this program, as it is the only legal way to trade free products for a review per Amazon’s terms of service.
5. Use Product Inserts
One simple and easy way to get more Amazon reviews is to use product inserts.
A product insert is a small card that you include in your packaging. On the card is a written note that thanks the customer for their purchase and kindly asks them to leave a review. Here’s an example:
You’ll then want to provide instructions for how to leave a review. Some sellers include a QR code on their product insert that links directly to the product review page to make the process as easy as possible.
If this strategy is of interest to you, don’t jump the gun just yet! There are some important dos and don’ts to be aware of before you begin designing your product inserts.
- Invest the time and money to make it look polished and professional
- Keep the message short and sweet
- Include instructions or suggested uses for the product on the other side of the card
- Request positive reviews (if you request a review it must be a neutral request)
- Ask customers to contact you directly rather than going through Amazon
- Offer a reward (such as cash back or an Amazon gift card) in exchange for a review
One last thing you should be aware of before we move on: competitors have been known to purchase their rival’s products and report sellers whose product inserts violate Amazon’s TOS. So don’t even think about being sneaky.
6. Actively Monitor Your Seller Feedback
Oftentimes, customers will mistakenly leave product reviews in the Seller Feedback section of your profile. When this happens, you should politely ask these customers to post their feedback on the product listing as well.
The sooner you do this, the better, as you want the experience to be fresh in the customer’s mind. Therefore, it’s important to actively monitor your Seller Feedback so you can follow-up with cases like these in a timely manner.
Needless to say, you only want to do this when the customer experience was positive. If you come across a negative review in your Seller Feedback, contact Amazon to have it removed. They will delete commentary that should have been posted as a product review.
For maximum results, use a combination of the methods listed above. A multifaceted approach is going to get you a lot more reviews than if you only implement one or two suggestions.
With that being said, it’s also important that you keep your expectations realistic. None of these methods are going to get you a ton of reviews overnight. Any strategy or tool that promises you that is likely either a scam or against Amazon’s TOS.
If you’ve been at this for a while and the reviews still aren’t coming in as fast as you would like them to, be patient! Steady persistence always pays off; you just have to be willing to wait for it.