Reviews are essential to a product’s success on Amazon, as is common knowledge. Since Amazon eliminated its review incentives, it has become increasingly difficult to obtain reviews. Nonetheless, there are a few simple, tried-and-true methods for obtaining Amazon product reviews; some are entirely ethical, while others are not.
We’ll talk about how Amazon product reviews are doing right now and how to get those important initial reviews in this blog.
- How to Get Ratings and Reviews for Products on Amazon
- How Product Ratings Are Calculated on Amazon
- The Amazon White Hat Review Method
- Amazon Vine
- Press the button to request a review.
- Utilize Product Inserts
- Giveaways of Products and Product Discounts
- Introduce New Products to a VIP Club Email List
- Ask for testimonials from clients who have given sellers positive feedback
- Reach Out to Critical Reviewers on Amazon
- Excellent Packaging
- Get Amazon Product Reviews from Clients You’ve Helped with Customer Support
- Black Hat Strategy: Referrals from Friends and Acquaintances
- Black Hat Strategy: Review groups on Facebook
- Using Email Append Services to Target/Contact Customers is a Black Hat Tactic
- Black Hat Strategy: Blasting Fake Reviews with Zombie Accounts
- Black Hat Strategy: Paying Amazon China Staff to Remove Unfavorable Reviews
How to Get Ratings and Reviews for Products on Amazon
This BLOG will explain how to obtain ratings for your product, including both text reviews and straightforward star ratings. What matters to all of us is a product’s star rating, which is determined by your overall rating.
Amazon changed its review system to ratings in 2020. Customers can now just leave a star rating in place of a text review, which is the difference.
A customer can leave a star rating on Amazon much more easily than they can write a written product review. As a result, it is now simpler to obtain ratings on Amazon. Reviews tend to be less subjective than ratings.
How Product Ratings Are Calculated on Amazon
Since introducing verified and non-verified reviews in place of incentive reviews, Amazon has been using a more complicated formula to determine a product’s rating. Not every review and rating is given the same weight.
When determining a product’s average rating on Amazon, a sophisticated weighted-average algorithm is employed. A product could have anywhere from a 0 to 5 star rating if it only has one five star review.
Although Amazon does not disclose the parameters taken into account by this algorithm, it is widely acknowledged that the following elements are crucial:
- Examine age
- Reviewer profile (review count, average rating, number of reviews left, etc.)
- Duration of the review
- The quantity of constructive votes
- Reliable or unreliable
- Review by author versus rating
- Variation from the average score
In essence, a recent, lengthy review of a product on Amazon that has received many helpful votes and was written by a reviewer with a strong profile will probably appear near the top of your reviews and will also give your overall rating more weight.
The Amazon White Hat Review Method
An effective white hat review technique for obtaining Amazon product ratings and reviews is as follows:
1. Amazon Vine
Amazon launched the Vine program to all sellers in December 2019.
You enroll your product in Vine through Seller Central’s Advertising menu in order to use it. After that, you give your product away to Vine Voices members—individuals who have a track record of insightful reviews. Enrollment will cost $200 per product starting in October 2021. It was free until October 2021, but even so, it’s a great deal when you consider that it used to cost Seller Central clients $2500. Only products with fewer than thirty reviews can be enrolled.
Although reviews on Vine tend to be more critical than average, it’s still a great way to get some early access. One to three star reviews are typical. Compare this to the Early Reviewer program, where the majority of reviews are usually rated four or five stars.
2. Press the button to request a review.
As stated earlier, the Request a Review button was introduced by Amazon in 2019. According to our testing, clicking this button raises the rate of reviews by roughly 10% to 20%. The most crucial thing you can do to get more reviews is to make it more likely for your current clients to leave one.
Further information regarding which orders you can use this button on and what happens when it is pressed is provided below:
- Must be applied to orders placed between 4 and 30 days after delivery.
- Requests for seller feedback and product ratings will be sent in the same email.
- You cannot personalize the message.
- You can still request a review separately after using it.
This button can be manually clicked from Seller Central’s Manage Orders page. But automating this with a tool, like the Chrome extension for Jungle Scout, is by far the simplest option.
We go deeper into a few frequently asked questions about customer communication that businesses might have in our Unofficial Guide to Amazon’s TOS.
3. Utilize Product Inserts
Product inserts are helpful for encouraging customers to write an Amazon review, but you have to be careful not to include any if/then language in the insert—for instance, “We’ll give you a lifetime extended warranty if you leave us a review.”
Requesting an email address from customers who register their product for an extended warranty (or something similar) is a good and comparatively risk-free way to use inserts. To remind them to submit a review, you can then add them to an email auto-responder series.
Amazon warns sellers via ominous email not to use inserts to request favorable reviews. It is still acceptable to remind customers to leave reviews; you just cannot request that they do so in a positive manner.
4. Giveaways of Products and Product Discounts
You can boost sales and the possibility of more Amazon product reviews by offering steep discounts on your products. In order to increase sales right away, I launch all of our prices with a 25% discount.
As of this writing, there are discount and rebate clubs that go beyond the bounds of white hat strategies, but they still comply with the TOS. Among these services, RebateKey is one of the most widely used. Although a large portion of buyers do actually leave reviews, these services frequently focus more on getting sellers full price credit for sales than reviews in and of themselves.
5. Introduce New Products to a VIP Club Email List
You should have been expanding your email list outside of Amazon. If you have an email list, send them links to your product detail page on Amazon directly when you launch new products, rather than sending them to your website. This achieves two goals:
- You receive your products’ essential initial sales velocity.
- You’re more likely to get happy customers on your email list who will then write product reviews on Amazon.
For Amazon, sales velocity is essential. Some people think that Amazon compensates brands that drive sales from sources other than Amazon.com.
What Effect Do Amazon Warehouse Deals Have on Third-party Sellers?
Second, individuals who enjoy your product are probably on your email list. They will therefore be more inclined to write favorable reviews. You can also use “grey-hat” tactics, such as asking customers to email you after making a purchase and providing them with a PayPal refund. You’re merely giving them a product discount in exchange for a review; you’re not refunding them. It goes without saying that once they email you, you’ve gained that crucial customer engagement and can ask them for reviews more easily.
6. Ask for testimonials from clients who have given sellers positive feedback.
The majority of Amazon customers are not entirely aware of the distinction between product reviews and seller feedback. It’s likely that most of us have at some point seen product reviews on Amazon posted in Seller Feedback. It is imperative that you review seller feedback on a regular basis.
Send out proactive emails to all customers who have left positive seller feedback, particularly to those who have reviewed products, asking them to do the same. I even send out emails with attachments like this one that detail the process for leaving product reviews. Customers who do not leave any feedback at all are rare, and those who do tend to write product reviews after leaving seller feedback.
7. Reach Out to Critical Reviewers on Amazon
It was nearly impossible to identify the buyer identity of a critical reviewer, so until recently, you were unable to get in touch with customers who left a negative review. However, in 2021, Amazon made it possible to get in touch with users who had given a review of three stars or less.
This feature is useful for starting a conversation with customers who have left unfavorable reviews in the hopes of making them happy and getting them to edit their reviews. However, there are a few key points to remember regarding this buyer contact feature:
- Critical reviewers receive a canned message from Amazon, and you are unable to send a personalized message until the customer replies to the canned message.
- You have to have a registered brand.
- There is a chance that the client will change the review.
Although you won’t receive any more reviews using this strategy, getting customers to edit or remove unfavorable reviews may have a greater influence than anything else.
In the world of online shopping, well-packaged products help buyers ignore defects, while poorly-packaged products draw attention to those flaws. A customer’s initial impression of your product is its packaging, which is also frequently the basis for their review. Below is an illustration of packaging from one of our former brands.
You should put a little more time and effort into your product packaging if you want to have a 4.5- or 5-star product. Poly bags and plain boxes are out of the question. When at all possible, use full-color boxes. Add sufficient user manuals along with other product inserts to make your product seem professional, even for the most basic ones.
9. Get Amazon Product Reviews from Clients You’ve Helped with Customer Support
Regardless of the product, the majority of people are happy to leave a positive review if you strike up a conversation with them and offer excellent customer service. And by genuine engagement, I don’t mean some autoresponder from Feedback Genius. Participation may involve:
- Inquiries concerning a product prior to purchase
- Inquiries concerning a product prior to purchase
- Technical assistance following a purchase
- Returns for goods that are merely out of use
- Bringing happiness to an irate client
When you ask a customer during a conversation, “Would you mind leaving a review? Most clients will gladly comply. Customers who ask questions about a product before placing an order are the easiest to get reviews from. Verify with them after a week to make sure they received the item. They will ask for a review AFTER responding to your business email to confirm that they received the product.
Strategies for Writing Grey and Black Hat Amazon Product Reviews
Without discussing black hat and grey hat review strategies, no piece on obtaining Amazon product reviews would be comprehensive. Although I completely oppose these tactics—in fact, I would advise against using them at all—it’s helpful to understand how sellers in the current Amazon environment are obtaining reviews.
1. Black Hat Strategy: Referrals from Friends and Acquaintances
I have a suspicion that the majority of sellers have been guilty of asking a friend or relative for a review or two. This is directly against Amazon’s TOS. Since Amazon is adept at identifying connections between reviewers and sellers (through shared IP addresses, shipping addresses, etc.), sellers utilizing these tactics should exercise caution to prevent Amazon from discovering these connections. When utilized in moderation, Amazon’s detection levels are low. Generally speaking, if a small number of reviews raise red flags, Amazon will simply withhold them from publication.
2. Black Hat Strategy: Review groups on Facebook
There are a ton of Facebook review groups where you can give away your product and then refund members once they’ve left a review. This is an illustration of a Facebook review group. On Facebook, type in “review group” to find a ton more results.
One of the most offenses that can result in an Amazon suspension is the explicit exchange of a refund for a review. Since the entire transaction happens outside of Amazon, it is challenging to follow. Nevertheless, all it takes is one customer contacting you via Amazon and requesting a refund to trigger serious suspicion on Amazon’s part.
3. Using Email Append Services to Target/Contact Customers is a Black Hat Tactic
Amazon is renowned for taking all reasonable steps to prevent sellers from gaining access to consumer data. Both phone numbers and email addresses are concealed. Email appending services retrieve a customer’s phone number and/or email address by taking Amazon shipping information and comparing it to Big Data databases. The majority of services have success rates far lower than the 40% claimed by some.
After you obtain their email, it’s not a good idea to get in touch with them directly, but you can use these services to remarket to customers on Facebook, Google, and other platforms. with little possibility of being discovered by Amazon.
4. Black Hat Strategy: Blasting Fake Reviews with Zombie Accounts
Fake reviews are a major problem on Amazon, especially for Chinese sellers. To amass hundreds or even thousands of fraudulent reviews, this is done on a massive scale. In essence, these services buy things from sellers on Amazon using fictitious accounts, then post fictitious reviews. These services are extremely sophisticated. The cost of each review varies from $1 to $3, depending on how likely it is that Amazon will find these reviews.
Amazon is constantly engaged in a game of whack-a-mole to combat these phony reviews, and they are getting better at identifying them and permanently suspending sellers who use them. But you don’t have to look very far to discover that many sellers continue to use phony reviews with impunity.
Black Hat Strategy: Paying Amazon China Staff to Remove Unfavorable Reviews
Employees at Amazon are currently taking bribes from sellers to carry out a variety of nefarious tasks, such as removing negative reviews, which is a major problem for the company. I’m not kidding when I say that this occurs frequently, particularly among Chinese sellers. I’ve seen price sheets from Chinese vendors, and it looks like Amazon review deletion services are not cheap—they cost about $300 for each review deletion.
Evaluate Upvoting, Evaluate Removal, etc.
There are a few more things, both white hat and black hat, you can do to enhance your review profile.
Examine the Upvoting
Is the first review that appears to be awful and has only one star? You can upvote your best reviews to make them more visible and decrease the visibility of the unfavorable ones, even though you might not be able to remove it.
The reviews that are most helpful are typically shown at the top on Amazon.
You can request that loved ones upvote (re: mark as helpful) a favorable review. Additionally, there are services that offer to upvote reviews for between $0.50 and $1.00 each. Not only does this violate the TOS, but it also doesn’t seem like Amazon is keeping a close eye on it.
More black hat: in 2019, there are rumors that if a specific review receives a lot of abuse reports, it will be automatically removed.
How to Get Amazon Reviews Taken Down
Unbelievable as it may seem, Amazon will occasionally delete unfavorable reviews.
Reviews with objectionable language (swearing, racist terms, etc.) or URLs are the easiest to remove.
But as of late, Amazon has also agreed to delete reviews that are solely focused on product fulfillment from its inventory. To request this kind of removal, just create a case in Seller Central, include a link to the review, and be very explicit about why you want the review removed. Even though Amazon detests removing reviews, it’s still worthwhile to try, despite the low success rate.
Nowadays, you can find several services that will automatically remove non-compliant reviews for you. One such service is uglyfeedback.com, which basically uses bots to search through reviews, find any that break Amazon’s terms of service, and request that the review be removed.
In the past year, there has been a significant shift in the environment for getting reviews on Amazon. Product launches are now much more difficult, but for many sellers, this is a good thing since it keeps out a large chunk of the competition.
How do you review a product that is being launched? Do you employ any strategies that aren’t listed here? Kindly share in the section below.