Understanding the power of product reviews on Amazon in 2023

Posted on Categories Partner articles, Reviews

Partner article

In the world of selling on Amazon, good product reviews have the power to make or break an Amazon product listing and potentially a business. They act as social proof, demonstrating that others have tested and (hopefully) liked a product.

It’s great if you already have an army of social media influencers you can call on to promote your brand, but if you don’t have this, getting a load of positive product reviews early on in a new product life cycle is probably the next best thing. 

It’s why reviews from customers provide such valuable insights into product performance and customer satisfaction, making them essential for any successful Amazon business.

Why product reviews are critical for Amazon sellers

For Amazon sellers, product reviews form the bedrock of a product’s reputation online. More than just customer feedback, they significantly influence product visibility and buyer trust, directly impacting sales and ranking.

A high number of positive reviews can convince potential customers of a product’s value and reliability, while a spate of negative reviews can quickly turn potential buyers away – be mindful of product quality fade if you are placing multiple repeat orders with your supplier – if you take your eye off the ball this can really hurt your listing. 

The direct impact of customer reviews on sales and conversion rates

If you didn’t already know, product reviews have a direct correlation with sales and conversion rates.

Products with a high number of positive reviews have a much higher likelihood of being purchased over competitors with fewer reviews or a lot of negative reviews. And it makes sense right?

Customers feel more confident about their purchasing decision when they see that others have had a positive experience with the same product.

And selling a product on Amazon is all about squeezing every little drop of juice out of that lemon!

How product reviews improve visibility and SEO on Amazon

Reviews in 2023 play a significant role in Amazon’s search algorithm. When you get reviews, provided they are positive and verified reviews, your product is more likely to rank higher than an identical product with fewer reviews. 

This improved visibility leads to increased traffic and potential sales. Moreover, reviews can contribute to your product’s SEO as they often contain relevant keywords, making your product more likely to appear in both Amazon and external search engine results.

Encouraging an Amazon product review: best practices for product quality

The best and simplest strategy to get reviews on Amazon is simply by making a great product. Period.

Ensuring your product exceeds the customers’ expectations is the first step in encouraging customers to write reviews. Buyers expect to receive what they’ve been promised, and going above and beyond these expectations can lead to glowing reviews.

Regularly assessing your product quality and addressing any concerns promptly can prevent negative reviews and keep your customers satisfied.

Tip: make amazing product packaging 

Oftentimes, buyers will simply review the packaging as soon as they receive the item in the mail.

Spending a little bit of money on really nice packaging can massively impact your review rate and your number of 5-star reviews overall. On your next order, give it a try and see what happens.

The role of excellent customer service in generating reviews

Another way to get people to leave reviews is by offering exceptional customer service. It can motivate a satisfied customer to take the extra step and leave a positive review. Try to quickly and efficiently address customer inquiries, resolve any problems they face, and exceed their expectations whenever possible.

Customers can often leave seller feedback by mistake and if this happens, providing they have left negative seller feedback, you can now contact them to resolve the issue or request for the feedback to be removed if it goes against Amazon policies. 

Navigating Amazon’s review policies: dos and don’ts

It’s vital to understand Amazon’s review policies to avoid the old Amazon Slapdown. The guidelines have been set up to maintain the authenticity and trustworthiness of reviews which is what Amazon has built a lot of its reputation on.

Engaging in shady practices like purchasing reviews or creating fake ones can lead to severe consequences, including being banned from selling on Amazon. It’s always better to earn reviews organically by providing high-quality products and excellent customer service.

A few don’t’s

Incentivized reviews: Never offer money or free stuff in exchange for a review. 

Fake reviews: Never reach out to review groups (often on Facebook) to get fake reviews for your product. 

Insert Cards asking for incentivized reviews: Never put an insert card into your product packaging asking for a product review in exchange for a free product or gift voucher.  

The Amazon Vine program

The Amazon Vine Program is a great way to get more reviews on Amazon – especially for new listings. A spin-off of the Amazon early reviewer program, Vine is a little more expensive, but the best way to get legitimate white-hat reviews. 

You can only enroll products with few or zero reviews and it costs $200 per parent ASIN. You must give away your products for free to a select group of verified Amazon customers.  In my experience, these are savvy buyers who know the system – as a result, this often leads to (almost) everyone leaving five-star reviews which is great!  

I normally enroll the maximum number of units in the program which is 30 – with the goal of getting up to 30 reviews in return. In all my years selling on Amazon, I’ve never had 30 people leave reviews, but for the $200 investment, it is totally worth it to get your product off and selling with a bang. 

How to politely ask for reviews: crafting the perfect follow-up emails

So you are probably wondering if I can ask for a review. And the answer is yes!

However, asking customers for reviews requires careful communication. Follow-up emails should be polite, personalized, and not too pushy. 

It’s crucial to thank the customer for their purchase, provide any additional assistance they might need, and gently prompt them to leave a review. However, respecting the customer’s privacy is essential and not overwhelm them with too many messages.

Leveraging product inserts for review generation

Product inserts can be an effective tool in prompting customers to leave a review. These physical notes or cards placed in your product’s packaging can help you get more Amazon reviews, provide a more personal touch, and kindly request a review. This tactic should be used carefully, ensuring it adheres to Amazon’s policies.

At no point should you attempt to sway the outcome of the review or try to incentivize a review. Here are two examples. 

Good: Thanks for your purchase, we would really love you to leave us an honest product review!

Bad: Like the product? Leave us a 5-star review and we’ll send you a gift card! Don’t like the product? Reach out to us at hello@company.com and we will help you out! 

Responding to negative reviews: turn a setback into an opportunity

Negative reviews are not the end of the world; in fact, they can provide valuable feedback to improve your product and customer service. Responding promptly and professionally to these reviews shows your commitment to customer satisfaction. 

By addressing the customer’s concerns and providing a solution, you can turn a dissatisfied customer into a loyal one, potentially reversing the negative impact of their initial review. 

Bite the bullet and shower them with love (and maybe a free replacement product) and hopefully, you can turn it around and get them to change their mind. 

Automating the review request process: tools and software

There are a whole host of tools and Chrome plugins which really help you automate the process of requesting reviews, saving time and effort. These automation tools typically work by sending follow-up emails to customers after a purchase, asking for their feedback. 

This helps ensure that no potential review is missed and allows you to focus your efforts on other crucial aspects of your business.

Thankfully Sellerboard has one such tool called AutoResponder which will help you get more reviews and also allows you to request reviews automatically. The system also allows you to request reviews in bulk too, saving you a tonne of time to work on other aspects of your business.  

Future of reviews on Amazon: how evolving consumer behavior affects reviews

As consumer behaviors and expectations evolve, the importance of reviews on Amazon continues to grow. The recent suspension of Amazon sellers for manipulating reviews should not be taken lightly. 

Consumers are increasingly turning to reviews before making a purchase, and they value honest and transparent feedback. More importantly, the backbone of buying on Amazon used to be the review system – If consumers lose trust in this, Amazon (and we as sellers) are in big trouble.  

The importance of maintaining a strong, positive review presence and adapting your strategies as consumer behavior changes will be vitally important moving forward. 

Final thoughts: making reviews an integral part of your Amazon strategy

To sum up, product reviews are not just a nice-to-have element for Amazon sellers; they are a crucial part of a successful selling strategy.

By focusing on generating positive reviews, promptly addressing negative ones, and leveraging tools to automate and streamline the review process, you can significantly boost your product’s visibility, credibility, and sales on Amazon – and above all, try to make a great product and build that list of fans who love what you do! 

About the author:  Matt Hapgood is a father, surfer, and entrepreneur. He has worn many hats in his career, from being a removal guy in Vancouver to teaching elementary kids in the UK, as well as a parking valet in the French Alps. He’s the founder and main contributor to MattHapgood.com and is currently living in the Algarve, Portugal.