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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