Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect our most recent and accurate data as of Sept. 2020.
Curating positive ratings and reviews on your Amazon listing is one of the easiest ways to increase consumer trust, brand equity, and sales. That’s why Pattern’s Amazon experts decided to find out what happens to sales, conversion, and overall sessions when you increase your Amazon star rating from an average rating (3.5) to a good rating (4.5).
We analyzed all the star ratings across our products to find out how changes in star rating affect other key metrics on the Amazon marketplace. Let’s dig in to our findings, how Amazon’s recent rating and review structure change has already forever changed the Amazon rating landscape, and a few strategies for how you can increase your star rating.
Conversion rate goes up by 12% with an Amazon star rating increase from 3 to 5
Our study found that, controlling for sessions, brand, and category, star rating has a coefficient of .044. This suggests that, for every increase in star rating by 1, there is about a 4-5% increase in conversion rate. At 3.5, the conversion rate was 24%. Conversion rate increased to 29% at 4.5—an increase of 1 star rating.
From a star rating of 3 to 5, there was an increase of 12% in conversion rate.
You can see how Amazon star rating affects conversion rate on all of our data overall on this graph below.
Last year, Amazon changed its review structure to allow customers to leave a star rating on a product without having to write out an actual product review as well. The change seems to counterbalance the fact that, before the change, customers were more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one.
However, as Marketplace Pulse notes, it’s not doing anything to help with fake product reviews on Amazon. If anything, it’s making Amazon’s fake review problem worse as customers can’t inherently tell whether simple star ratings are trustworthy or not.
The change has had two visible impacts: customers are leaving more reviews, and, on the whole, more positive reviews. Since the change began around 4 months ago, various brands like AirPods and Hanes have seen a drastic increase in the amount of ratings received, which have in turn increased their star rating from anywhere between .1 to .3 stars.
This is significant because, as we’ve already discussed, ratings have impacts on conversion rates. Plus, Amazon has become customers’ go-to when checking product reviews.
Feedvisor reports that over three-fourths (79%) go to Amazon to check reviews, a third (32%) go to a search engine like Google, and 25% go directly to a retailer website. Only time will tell whether or not this change will continue to help brand’s with good product offerings increase their star rating, and how Amazon will manage fake ratings going forward.
As we’ve seen, getting your Amazon star rating from average to good is important. So how do you get that star rating up? Here are a few simple strategies for increasing your star rating on Amazon.
1. Always respond to negative reviews (usually 3-star reviews or below).
Responding to poor customer feedback actually increases purchase intent. Brand responses improve product sentiment among potential buyers because they can see that the seller is active and cares about the customer journey. For example, shoppers who saw brand responses to negative reviews were 186% more likely to purchase than those who didn’t.
2. Provide genuine relation-building responses
Don’t just copy and paste a corporate response. People can tell the difference. Lengthier, more detailed, and more balanced customer feedback is considered the most helpful. If you messed up, own it and try to do better next time. Don’t try and blame the customer. The customer is always right!
3. Include a CTA in your response.
Remember: Reviews often contain calls to action and opportunities to respond. If you leave an option for disgruntled customers to receive a return and support on your end, they’re much more likely to come back (and other potential customers reading your response are more likely to shop there).
However, be careful not to ask too much more of your dissatisfied customer—if you ask them to take too many additional steps they’re more likely to be unsatisfied with the overall experience.
Want to get an analysis of how a star rating increase on your Amazon listings could impact your sales? Contact a Pattern representative today.
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If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.
Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.
At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead.
An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.
A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:
Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance.
Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS.
To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.
A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.
It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.
Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins.
Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.
As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.