Product reviews are key to Amazon’s success. A large part of the reason people shop on Amazon is that they want to see what other customers have to say about a product before they buy it (or choose to buy a competing product).
Even people who don’t shop on Amazon come to check out the customer reviews before buying the product elsewhere, which gives Amazon an opportunity to win their business.
In this article, we will share with you the best tips to get more reviews on Amazon.
Amazon Product Rating and Review Policies
In the heat of competition, unethical sellers post bogus reviews to make their products look better and competing products look worse. In an attempt to ensure fair play and assure shoppers that the ratings and reviews are authentic, Amazon has established the following product rating and review policies:
- Don’t post reviews of your own or a competing product.
- Don’t offer any financial incentives, discounts, free products, or any other compensation to any third parties to post product reviews or engage a service provider to post reviews of your own or a competing product.
- Don’t offer or provide a refund or reimbursement after the buyer posts a review of your product.
- Don’t offer or issue a refund, payment, or reimbursement in any form to a customer in exchange for posting, revising, or removing a product review.
- Don’t ask a reviewer to change or remove a product review.
- Don’t engage friends, family members, employees, or any other associates to post reviews of your own or a competing product.
- Don’t use any tools or mechanisms to divert negative reviews to other platforms while routing positive reviews to products listed on Amazon.
- Don’t ask or prompt buyers in any way or through any means, including a product’s packaging, to post only positive reviews of your products.
- Don’t create variations with unrelated products with the intention of aggregating the product reviews for those items.
- Don’t use a customer account to post, revise, or remove a product review.
Amazon has a zero-tolerance policy toward any violation of these policies and will take immediate action against any sellers found violating these policies. Penalties include but aren’t limited to the following:
- Removal of any product reviews posted in violation of the policies or removal of all reviews associated with your product and potential suspension of all future reviews for that product
- Permanent removal of your product from the Amazon marketplace
- Permanent removal of selling privileges and withholding any payments or funds
- Legal action, including lawsuits and referral to civil and criminal enforcement authorities
- Public disclosure of your name and other related information
For additional information about Amazon’s customer product review policies, click the Search button near the top of Seller Central, search for “customer product review policies,” and use the search results to explore the topic.
If you’re involved in the design or manufacturing of a product or are the brand owner, product reviews may serve as valuable feedback. Use insights gleaned from the feedback to improve the product and your product listing.
How to Get More Reviews on Amazon
1. Enrolling new products in the Early Reviewer program
If you’re a brand owner, Amazon allows you to use its Early Reviewer program to solicit up to five reviews from customers who’ve purchased the product. In exchange for posting a review (positive, negative, or neutral), the customer receives a $3 Amazon gift card.
To take advantage of this program, you must enroll in a product and pay a $60 fee plus any applicable taxes. The enrollment covers all stock-keeping units (SKUs) in a parent or SKU family or standalone SKU. After you enroll a product, Amazon chooses buyers at random and requests that they post a review of your product in exchange for a $3 Amazon gift card. Amazon continues to request reviews for up to one year or until five reviews are posted.
Eligibility for this program is based on the following requirements:
- You must be the product’s brand owner.
- The product must have fewer than five reviews.
- The product must be priced above $9.
- The product must be sold in the United States.
To take advantage of the Early Reviewer program and enroll one or more products in it, log in to Seller Central, open the Advertising menu, select Early Reviewer Program, and follow the on-screen directions.
2. Taking advantage of the Amazon Vine program
If you’re an Amazon Professional Seller, you can enroll certain products in Amazon’s Vine program to obtain reviews from trusted reviewers called Vine Voices. These select reviewers are invited by Amazon to participate in the program due to the quality and helpfulness of their past reviews (based on feedback from other Amazon customers).
Amazon sends the product to review to Vine Voices, who use the product for a period of time and post their unbiased review. Sellers are prohibited from influencing, modifying, or editing the reviews.
To participate in the Vine program, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a Professional Seller
- Have your brand registered in Amazon’s Brand Registry
- Have eligible FBA offers
To be eligible for consideration in the Vine program, a product must meet the following criteria:
- Be registered in Amazon’s Brand Registry
- Have fewer than 30 reviews on the product’s detail page
- Have a buyable FBA offer in new condition and be available in inventory
- Not be an adult product
- Be launched at the time of the enrollment (no pre-launch products)
- Have a product description and image
To enroll in the Vine program, log in to Seller Central, open the Advertising menu, select Vine, and following the on-screen directions.
During the writing of this article, the Vine program was free, except for the cost of free products supplied to Vine reviewers, but Amazon reserves the right to revise the program terms at any time.
3. Send an email requesting a personalized review.
After customers make a purchase, Amazon sends them a generic email asking them to leave a review. Most people ignore the email.
If you follow up yourself, you can reverse the trend. Make the email more personal by including the buyer’s name in the subject line and body of the email. Include a link to your product page on your website so the customer can easily leave a review.
Finally, explain why a review is important to the customer. If you want to grow your customer base, explain how reviews can help with that. Also, by reading their review, you can let the customer know that you want to improve their experience. Or you can appeal to their ego by reminding them that sharing their experience can help influence others.
Do not force someone to leave positive reviews. That’s not allowed on Amazon.
4. Ask for reviews in your email newsletter
If you have a comprehensive eCommerce marketing plan, you probably have an email newsletter. Add a section to your template asking for reviews. Even though this won’t generate a ton of clicks, it can lead to a few more reviews on a regular basis.
A women’s clothing retailer like Anthropologie promotes recent product reviews in their marketing emails. Subscribers are also encouraged to write product reviews.
5. Request reviews through social media
Your customers who follow you on social media and know how much they love your products might be willing to write you a review.
Just as you include a request for reviews in your email newsletter, you should regularly ask for reviews on social media. Ask your customers to write reviews on Amazon about products they have recently purchased from you.
6. Add a product insert asking for reviews
When you package your products, include an eye-catching insert asking customers to leave reviews. Use bright colors and stunning photos. Describe in a simple way how to leave a review on Amazon.
Ask for a review, not a five-star rating. Amazon prohibits inserts that specifically ask customers for positive reviews and/or promote negative reviews by asking customers to contact them instead.