How to Get Amazon Reviews on Your New Products

It may be as simple as asking for feedback.
Woman Taking Photos of Products for Online Store

When it comes to selling on the Amazon Marketplace, being able to garner legitimate customer reviews is important for ranking. In fact, the volume and positivity of reviews are among the most important ranking factors in Amazon's A9 algorithm. The more positive feedback an item has — particularly consistent 5-star reviews — the more likely Amazon is to recommend it to customers.

Reviews are also key to selling online products. A recent BrightLocal survey found that 78% of shoppers trust online reviews the way they trust personal recommendations. However, according to online reviews analyzer Fakespot, as many as 30% of Amazon reviews aren't legitimate.

A key to good rankings is getting legitimate customer feedback by following best practices and joining programs like Amazon Early Reviewer, while adhering to review policies and avoiding schemes to buy Amazon customer reviews. Read on to learn more.

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Reviews Are Virtual Word of Mouth

Products often rely on word of mouth. While it's helpful to ask neighbors about the best local day cares or new restaurants, the online review has become a valuable tool for finding out if a coffeemaker's carafe is sturdy or whether or not a vacuum lives up to its claims.

"E-commerce has become a massive moneymaker and year to year, it has consumed more of the retail market," says Saoud Khalifah, CEO of Fakespot. "Reviews are an integral part of any e-commerce transaction as you cannot view or physically judge the product, therefore you must rely on the opinion of fellow consumers."

Know the Amazon Review Policy

Familiarize yourself with Amazon's review policies. Some seem obvious, as the rules state you're not allowed to review your own products or negatively review competitors' products. Remember that you can't offer free products or vouchers in exchange for reviews.

Fake Amazon Customer Reviews and How to Spot Them

Surprisingly, most fake reviews typically aren't written by bots or AI. Those are easily detectable by Amazon and review spotters. The majority of fake reviews are written by real people, either hired directly by the Amazon seller or through a third-party marketing company.

As many as 30% of Amazon reviews aren't legitimate, according to online reviews analyzer Fakespot.

Consequences of fake reviews are steep, too. In 2015, Amazon sued more than 1,000 freelancers using the website Fiverr to allegedly write fake reviews in exchange for cash. In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission even became involved, invoking a $12.8 million fine in February against New York City-based Cure Encapsulations, a weight loss supplement seller that had been purchasing Amazon reviews since 2014.

Though Amazon reviews offered in exchange for incentives have been banned in its policies since 2016, fake reviews still are surprisingly prevalent — not only on Amazon, but on other retail sites such as Walmart and Sephora. Vox published a leaked email in which a beauty brand encouraged employees to post fake Sephora reviews.

With all these protocols in place, Fakespot, which analyzes reviews not only from Amazon but other large e-commerce sites, found that about 30% of reviews could still be fake. Online shoppers can check for fake reviews by entering the URL on the Fakespot site, which then assigns an A-to-F grade to the review quality and recalculates the percentage of reviews that are reliable.

SEE ALSO: The DealNews Seller's Guide

"Fakespot uses artificial intelligence technology to detect bot-generated, promotional/influencer, and biased reviews," Khalifah says. "We look at the variables related to reviews and reviewers to calculate if any given review is reliable or not.

"Any deceptive patterns would be raised through our analysis engines and then passed on to the user of the website," he adds. "As it stands, we have amassed over 4 billion reviews in our corpus which allows us higher accuracy and effectiveness at detecting fake reviews on major platforms."

Sellers caught buying fake reviews can get banned from the Amazon marketplace, a punishment that Amazon saboteurs have even used to their advantage to get competitors banished.

In "Prime and Punishment: Dirty Dealing in the $175 Billion Amazon Marketplace," The Verge told the story of a vendor who found 16 new positive reviews overnight. He reported the activity to Amazon, but then days later found his account suspended. A competitor had framed his company for buying fake reviews. After a suspension that cost about $150,000 in lost income, the seller eventually got his account back.

An Asian Woman Reviewing Inventory in Warehouse

How to Get Amazon Reviews That Are Legitimate

It might seem overly simple, but one of the best ways to get legitimate Amazon reviews is to simply ask the customers buying your product for feedback — as long as you're not offering an incentive, of course.

No time to read? Check out this edition of the DealNews Seller's Guide!

In a StartupBros post, one Amazon seller offered his strategy, in which the company asked for feedback. Those who were happy with the product were politely asked to leave a review, and the company also tried to right those who were unhappy. In the end, about 93% of those contacted said they felt positive about the experience.

It's easy to request feedback with Amazon's automated system. A simple to-the-point message is often the best route. If you're uncertain of how to begin, templates are available online.

Consider the Amazon Early Reviewer Program

The Amazon Early Reviewer Program asks Amazon shoppers who have purchased a product to share a review, sometimes in exchange for a $1-$3 Amazon gift card. To enroll, Amazon sellers must access the Seller Central portal under the Advertising tab. Submit the SKUs for the products you'd like enrolled — each costs $60 — then upload the products. An orange badge designates the Early Reviewer Rewards reviews.

Want to ask for feedback? Try using Amazon's automated system and the free message templates available online.

Vendors Can Try Amazon Vine

Amazon top reviewers sometimes are invited to become Vine Voices. They provide early reviews of new Amazon products after receiving free products that have been submitted to the program by participating vendors. Vine reviewers are invitation-only, and the vendors have no contact with the Vine reviewers, who are free to provide honest feedback. Vine reviews are identified as such by Amazon.

SEE ALSO: Are You Using Amazon Keywords Effectively?

Amazon Vine is available only through Vendor Central, meaning it's only for vendors. To participate, vendors submit the products to Amazon and can expect an entry cost of $2,500 per product.

Generating legitimate Amazon reviews for products may involve time and effort, but reviews can boost ranking and sales.

Josie Rubio
Contributing Writer

Josie Rubio was a Brooklyn-based freelance editor and writer, who interviewed everyone from Britney Spears to ghost experts during her lengthy journalism career. She visited five continents, and loved to write about travel, food, nutrition, health, gardening... and pretty much everything.

Note: Josie Rubio died on December 3, 2019.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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