The days of advertising free products in exchange for five stars are over.
With the world's largest online retailer clamping down on incentivized reviews in the latest Amazon T.O.S. update, social proof is no longer an easy target. With the right approach, however, you can still get more reviews on Amazon without running afoul of the rules and risks of a suspended account.
It's easy for sellers to see their review numbers dwindle and throw in the towel if a follow-up email fails to get results.
That's a mistake.
You need customer feedback on your page. Without it, your sales will suffer.
Amazon is a buyer's platform. When they come to the marketplace, they are ready to make a purchase.
Before they pull the trigger, people want to know where it's safe to spend their money. If you can communicate your product's value through reviews, your product will rank higher on the page.
Social proof is important, and the retail giant's algorithms place a great deal of weight on user experience.
Having sales is great, but reviews put you in position to dominate.
To sell, you need eyes on your product.
On Amazon, that means high organic rank and traffic. Nearly 82 percent of online consumers use product reviews to inform their buying decisions.
Knowing their users are looking to reviews for help with decisions, Amazon product ranking rewards sellers who showcase quality feedback.
Rewards come in the form of favorable positions on the page leading to better traffic. Of course, this assumes other ranking factors such as keywords and categories are optimized for the product.
Once you have the buyer's attention, it's time to sell.
Beyond your product description, images and pricing lie your biggest weapon: hundreds of authentic testimonials singing your praises. Research shows many consumers take peer reviews more seriously than other endorsements, including government ratings for efficiency and safety.
Good reviews are your brand ambassadors in motion. If eight out of ten buyers are reading your feedback, and your customers have positive things to say, conversions will follow.
Great reviews all have one thing in common: they're honest.
Valuable feedback doesn't have to be perfectly written; it just has to resonate with a user in a way that creates trust.
Shoppers recognize organic reviews when they see them. They are personal. They are diverse. And, they don't sound like ad copy.
For you, the best part about organic reviews is their far greater likelihood to be from a verified purchase, which ranks better than unverified purchases commonly associated with inorganic feedback.
How do you generate organic reviews?
The best way is to solicit feedback through engaging emails designed to automatically coincide with the stages of a purchase and ownership of your product.
The best sequences are personalized, have a reason for being sent (other than the review "ask") and offer added value to the customer. The additional benefit can be in the form of an offer of continued support for your product or a discount on future purchases.
The critical thing to remember is to never tie the added value directly to a completed review.
When a purchase is made, contact the buyer and thank them for buying your product. Take this opportunity to explain a little about your brand and the type of business your new customer has chosen to support.
The delivery of your product is an opportunity for you to reach out and ask if everything went as expected. This is an appropriate time to introduce an added value offer and even broach the subject of reviews. Take the time to explain the importance of honest reviews to both buyers and sellers like yourself.
A few days after delivery it is reasonable to believe that a customer has now used your product for the first time and is happy with the experience. Now is when you should strongly encourage your new friend to share their thoughts with other shoppers looking for a similar product. Strong copy refined using A/B testing will get you more organic Amazon reviews. A quality autoresponder service makes the process quick, easy, and affordable.
Even the best products sometimes struggle to get organic reviews.
Maybe your email copy isn't dialed in yet. Perhaps your first fifty customers all dislike leaving reviews. Whatever the reason, quickly generating feedback after launch is a hurdle most businesses need to overcome on their way to success.
If you find yourself in this position, you need to move aggressively, but be careful to stay within the TOS. The last thing you need is a suspended account shutting down sales entirely.
Fortunately, there are creative ways to strategically stimulate feedback without breaking the rules.
When Amazon changed its Terms of Service, many online retailers panicked.
They gave up.
However, the smart ones saw an opportunity.
Prevented from giving away valuable inventory, sellers quickly discovered new ways to get more reviews on a level playing field.
You can too.
With a sound strategy for generating organic reviews, your next launch can be supported by substantial feedback in a short period of time. Your buyers will notice. Amazon will notice. Your product will fly off the digital shelf.