Your reviews on Amazon are what could make or break your business. They’re what build social proof and encourage customers to pull the trigger during their purchasing decision.
In fact, 84% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from their family and friends. And to go even further, over 68% of customers read between 1 to 6 reviews before they decide to purchase on your website.
However, getting reviews for your Amazon business can feel like a minefield: one simple misstep, and you could get sanctioned by Amazon. That’s why you must get familiar with all the good and bad tactics of collecting Amazon reviews so that you don’t make any costly mistakes.
Since getting reviews plays such a vital role in running a successful Amazon business, many stores are willing to do whatever it takes to collect them. Even if it means taking the risk of getting themselves in trouble on Amazon’s platform.
However, while gray hat tactics may seem like an easy route to get amazon reviews, they’re not worth losing your business in the long term. Here are a few common tactics that stores use to fake their reviews but end up getting them banned from selling:
These activities may boost your social proof in the beginning but will end up creating your Amazon store’s downfall. Amazon has a strict policy on fake reviews and won’t hesitate to get your business banned if you’re caught. Here’s a screenshot from Amazon’s review policy page of potential consequences if you don’t comply:
Paying for fake reviews or writing them yourself may seem like a no-brainer of things you shouldn’t do as a serious Amazon business. However, stores use other common tactics to collect reviews that could potentially get them in trouble on Amazon without realizing it.
It’s all because of Amazon’s subtle and complex regulations that are implemented on the platform. Below are common ways of collecting reviews that you should avoid:
Facebook retargeting consists of going through your list of previous buyers and using the data to run ads to retarget customers on Facebook. In the Facebook ads, you can ask your audience to review any prior product purchased.
You can collect this data from Amazon’s Central Order reports. Next, you can download all of the information and upload it to Facebook as a custom audience. You’ll then run the Facebook ads and ask for previous users to drop their Amazon reviews.
Why It’s Not a Good Idea:
You don’t want to use this tactic because it goes against Amazon’s terms of service. Amazon prohibits sellers from contacting customers outside of its platform, especially when using data from it to retarget previous shoppers on different channels.
Another way to collect Amazon reviews from customers is to use Amazon’s Buyer-Selling messaging feature. Through Buyer-Selling, you can ask the customer to drop in their feedback on their purchase.
Why It’s Not a Good Idea:
Amazon has stringent rules when it comes to using its Buyer-Seller messages. For example, you’re only allowed to ask for a review once. Also, you can’t explicitly ask for the customer to drop in a positive rating instead of a negative one.
Not respecting these rules could lead to Amazon preventing you from using its Buyer-Seller feature. So if you plan to use Buyer-Seller messages to collect reviews, you’ll have to remain very careful.
A creative tactic to collect more Amazon reviews is to include slip-in inserts as part of your product packaging. They’re product cards that showcase your gratitude to the customer and make the purchase feel more special.
As part of the postcard’s message, you can ask the customer to drop their product reviews online. It can also include the different steps your customer can take on Amazon to drop their feedback.
Why It’s Not a Good Idea:
Amazon has specific rules to follow when it comes to product inserts’ messaging. For example, you can’t offer customers gift exchanges, such as a discount or refund for a product review.
That said, there are still various ways you can use to collect more reviews without getting sanctioned by Amazon. Here’s how to get Amazon reviews the legal way and gain peace of mind:
As obvious as it seems, to improve customer experience and Amazon reviews, it all starts by delivering excellent product quality. If your product quality is subpar, you’ll be less likely to get the positive reviews that you’re seeking for.
By optimizing the quality of your product, you'll naturally see an increase in positive feedback from customers as a result. If any of your products frequently comes back returned or with complaints, you can take it off your store for a while and fix the issues to stop the negative reviews.
When you go to your Amazon dashboard and view your orders, you’ll notice a “request review” button. By clicking on this email, Amazon will send an automated email to your customer and ask them to rate your product.
It’s a simple way to ask the customer for their feedback while respecting Amazon’s rules. Here’s how the email will look like in the shopper’s email inbox:
The process is speedy for the customer: all they have to do to drop their feedback is click on the stars, and they’re good to go. However, keep in mind that there’s no way to customize this email in any shape or form, but it will help you collect more ratings.
Even better, with Amazon’s new Selling Partner API, you can automate the pushing of the “request a review” button. We’ve implemented that API at Pattern, and use different strategies to target getting more reviews, like choosing between asking everyone and asking repeat purchasers for reviews–knowing that repeat purchasers are more inclined to leave good feedback.
A practical and safe way to collect more reviews for your store is to enroll in Amazon’s Vine Program. The program is available for any store that signed up for Brand Registry and helps your business easily connect with other reviewers.
How the Vine program works is that stores must provide free samples of their products, and Amazon will connect top reviewers to take a look at the items. These reviewers are known as “Vine Voices”.
Then, these Vine Voices will drop their feedback on your product, and their review will come with a “Vine Voice” badge on your product page. Their assessment will be as honest as possible without any bias involved in their rating.
When it comes to getting more positive reviews on Amazon, it’s the simple things you do that count. Always make sure that your product listing includes all the information the customer needs to know about your product, so they don’t end up getting nasty surprises.
That’s going to consist of uploading accurate photo images of your product and optimizing your product descriptions by making your product’s functionality clear and providing any vital information (such as if your product contains any allergic material). That way, the customer has the information they need before making the purchase, has a better experience, and is more likely to voice positive feedback on the product.
Amazon keeps a list of its top reviewers on its platform valued thanks to their expertise and insights. They hold titles on the platform such as “Hall of Fame Reviewer” or “Top Ten Reviewer”:
There are different steps you must take to collaborate with top Amazon reviewers and get more ratings. First, you’ll have to go through Amazon’s extensive list of top customer reviewers and find the ones most relevant to your industry.
Next, look at their email contact and reach out to tell them directly that you have some great products you think they’d like to review. Don’t forget to personalize each email based on their previous reviews to make your message stand out from others in their inbox.
It will feel like a numbers game: many top reviewers will say no or flat-out ignore your email. But just know that it just takes 2 - 3 ratings from Top Amazon reviewers to skyrocket your social proof.
Good ratings go beyond improving your store’s credibility. Aside from gaining the customer’s trust, positive reviews also influence your store’s ranking on Amazon. The more positive reviews you collect, the better you’ll rank on the ecommerce platform’s search engine, and the more visibility your products will have.
To get started with collecting more reviews on Amazon, start small. For example, that could be tweaking your product descriptions to make them more accurate. Overtime, you’ll gather more position reviews and improve conversion on Amazon.
Have questions? Want help? Pattern’s Amazon experts are ready to help you grow your brand’s success on the marketplace. Get in touch today.
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Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.
If you’re interested in expanding your brand internationally, you’re probably familiar with Tmall. Tmall is Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) largest marketplace, and indisputably the biggest ecommerce powerhouse in the world. It represents a huge opportunity for many brands, but entering the space is also a big challenge to take on.
At Pattern, we recommend brands looking to enter international markets should first focus on dialing in their domestic presence. Once you’re satisfied that your brand is well-represented and optimized locally, you’re ready to think about tackling new regions, like APAC, and launching on marketplaces like Tmall. Our top advice for entering Tmall is to understand and strategize around its three most important metrics: service, delivery, and content.
Service, delivery, and content ratings are the three elements that make up Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) score. Each component is scored on a scale of 1-5 that is displayed publicly on your brand’s Tmall flagship store page. This is meant to help consumers decide whether or not to purchase your products.
DSR scores are important because they’re highly influential in driving conversions—customers see DSRs as a way to quickly understand if a brand is trustworthy and worth buying from. They also matter quite a bit to Tmall itself—they monitor these scores and will take action to close flagship stores with low scores.
Let’s go over each element of the DSR score and some steps you’ll need to take to achieve high ratings.
Service is a huge ecommerce component in APAC marketplaces. In most other regions, product listings are static, and consumers use content and reviews to make a decision about what to purchase. On Tmall, consumers want to interact with your brand and test its validity before buying—each transaction takes at least one human interaction to convert.
So, to get a great service rating, you’ll need to have a large, established customer service team dedicated to Tmall sales that can offer real, human touchpoints and very fast response times. To get an idea of the speed your agents should be capable of producing, in our Tmall benchmarking exercise, 92.5% of brands’ customer service agents replied to queries via live chat within 30 seconds, 5% replied within one minute and the remaining 2.5% of brands took longer than a minute. So, look for a Trade Partner (TP) that has enough resources to compete with those numbers, support your sales, and maintain a good DSR score.
Another thing you’ll really want to focus on is a high-quality delivery experience for consumers. As in other regions around the world, Tmall consumers have high expectations for their delivery experience. In our Chinese consumer polling report that targeted consumers buying from Tmall Global, we found that 6% expected same-day delivery, 15% expected next-day delivery, and 46% expected 2-5 day delivery.They want to receive their products fast and they want the products to be undamaged and pristine upon arrival.
So, to achieve a high score for your delivery capabilities, we highly recommend partnering with a TP or ecommerce accelerator like Pattern (which serves as a TP) who has the ability to facilitate your distribution. Make sure your TP has the right infrastructure in place to support high-quality logistics experiences for all of your consumers—they should have an established, well-oiled delivery process in place and the capability to fluidly add you to their current fulfillment system.
As in every digital marketplace, content is a huge component of the decision-making process for consumers on Tmall—they can’t touch your product with their hands or see it in person before buying, so it’s important they’re empowered to make a good decision on whether or not to purchase based on the videos, images, and copy.
The goal is to make all of the content and relevant information on your flagship site easily-accessible—consumers should be able to visit your page and make a decision about whether or not to buy without navigating to a new site/page and taking their conversions with them. Images with text and extensive product details are a great way to do this, as well as making sure your service team can speak to all aspects of your product with any consumers (via text or chat).
As the world’s foremost brand partner for ecommerce acceleration, Pattern truly understands the significance of international expansion. With regional offices around the world, Pattern knows how to successfully launch and grow brands on Tmall and other marketplaces, with the data, insights, and marketplace intelligence to build the metrics that matter.
It’s important to have a fantastic brand presence, a knowledgeable guide, and a clear go-forward strategy for your best chance at success. With our in-country resources, expert teams, and extensive experience in growing brands around the globe, Pattern can help you get there.
Set up a call to get your international expansion strategy in motion.