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Getting Reviews on Amazon

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MitchM

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To make it short and simple: I've been selling really well on Amazon since launching back in November. While I know that my product is great quality and customers love it, I am getting reviews at less than 1% (right now I have 16 five star reviews and 5 of them are from people that I know).

I want to do a launch soon, but in order to maintain ranking on the keyword, I will need at least 40 reviews by my estimation. Further, I have heard that if I do a promotion and give the codes away outside of Amazon (in order to do a follow-up asking for a review) - Amazon no longer counts those reviews as verified! And sometimes they apparently don't even let them leave a review.

I've also heard a lot of conflicting opinions about following up for reviews with customers through Amazon. It seems that many people think you should stray away from doing this because customers already get an automated message from Amazon for feedback a few weeks after the purchase.

How in the hell is a new seller supposed to keep launching new products with this review rate? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

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NickC

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Offer a better product than your competitors. If your only difference is having more reviews than you're fighting a losing battle
 

MitchM

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Offer a better product than your competitors. If your only difference is having more reviews than you're fighting a losing battle
I do offer a better product. I have full confidence in that. I never said that number of reviews is my differentiating factor... I am new in this space and am competing with people that have thousands of reviews. It's a matter of driving up my conversion rate and maintaining rank.

I'm basically just asking for any tips/advice on how to increase the rate of reviews. Thanks for your feedback though.
 

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[QUOTE=" I want to do a launch soon, but in order to maintain ranking on the keyword, I will need at least 40 reviews by my estimation. Further, I have heard that if I do a promotion and give the codes away outside of Amazon (in order to do a follow-up asking for a review) - Amazon no longer counts those reviews as verified! And sometimes they apparently don't even let them leave a review. .[/QUOTE]

I am no Amazon expert but have had some modest success. I am not sure that the number of reviews is that critical to ranking. When I have launched products, after getting only 20 reviews or so, I have frequently ranked above products with about 300 reviews. I think conversion is what Amazon's algorithm looks at most closely.

There is a myth among sellers that the absolute number of reviews is critical in influencing buy decisions. This has not been my experience. Also, Amazon conducted its own internal study and found that after a product has received 21 reviews, getting more reviews than that did not really make a difference to shoppers. I forget the source so I can't give you a citation, but remember that it was from a source I trust and respect.

I've also heard a lot of conflicting opinions about following up for reviews with customers through Amazon. It seems that many people think you should stray away from doing this because customers already get an automated message from Amazon for feedback a few weeks after the purchase. .[/QUOTE said:
Getting reviews seems to be getting harder these days. I think Amazon mainly automatically asks for reviews for new sellers. I do use a follow up email sequence, but the review rate is pretty low.

I launched my latest product in September. It was better than its competitors, but I could not get it off page 6 and could not get reviews. I enlisted my wife's help (who is a much nicer person and has a much larger social network) and she emailed about 40 of her friends telling them about the product and asking if they'd be interested in receiving it for $1. She got about 25 positive responses and I created $1 coupons. Once they ordered, they got the auto-response review request sequence and most left reviews. Reviews were "verified." This doesn't violate ToS because there was no quid pro quo. But when my wife's friends got the auto-responder review request sequence, they were, of course, going to leave a review to help a friend.

Also, one thing I did not do, but should have done when I started is this: I got a lot of 5 star product reviews on the "seller feedback" page. The best course of action is to email those folks and say "Glad you loved the product! Thanks so much! Could you do me a small favor? . . . [briefly explain difference between product reviews and seller reviews and leave a product review link].
 

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Sorry for the messed up formatting on my previous reply.
 

NickC

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I do offer a better product. I have full confidence in that. I never said that number of reviews is my differentiating factor... I am new in this space and am competing with people that have thousands of reviews. It's a matter of driving up my conversion rate and maintaining rank.

I'm basically just asking for any tips/advice on how to increase the rate of reviews. Thanks for your feedback though.

1. You should try to create a good follow up email sequence, which should increase your review conversion rates.

2. Include an insert card with product asking for review

Maybe you can run the product at a discount to get a large amount of sales and increase chance of reviews quickly, if you really see it necessary. Any methods of getting reviews in exchange for discount or friends and family is a very risky move.
 

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Your sales velocity has way more to do with your ranking than the number of reviews. The more you sell the higher your ranking. The higher your ranking the more sales you'll get.

I don't use coupons or codes to get the sales. The better way is to have the lowest price. You will likely need to be the lowest price... temporarily. Keep an eye on your rankings as sales come in. You won't want to stay the lowest price. Once your ranking increases you can move your price back up bit by bit.

You'll want a service like Feedback Genius or similar to automatically email those customers because you do want to have reviews as they help better your conversion rate.

(I believe biophase laid out this system or similar in one of his Gold threads.)
 

biophase

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(I believe biophase laid out this system or similar in one of his Gold threads.)

I launch with a low price + PPC + asking for reviews via automated feedback emails + asking friends to purchase. That combination usually gives me a boost and jumps me to the front/second page. Then I hope it sticks. Many times it falls back down and I need to repeat the process again.
 

Real Deal Denver

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I don't know how the system works, but I have received emails from the sellers of products that I've purchased, asking for reviews. I usually follow up with a review.

I also, as mentioned, get follow ups from Amazon asking me to review products, which I usually do.

Your 1% review rate is anemic. I'm guess your product is a commodity type of product, because most of the products I purchase have lots of reviews. And I do heavily lean on reviews for my selection process, so they are important.
 

MitchM

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I don't know how the system works, but I have received emails from the sellers of products that I've purchased, asking for reviews. I usually follow up with a review.

I also, as mentioned, get follow ups from Amazon asking me to review products, which I usually do.

Your 1% review rate is anemic. I'm guess your product is a commodity type of product, because most of the products I purchase have lots of reviews. And I do heavily lean on reviews for my selection process, so they are important.
It's not a commodity whatsoever and that is what drives me a bit nuts about the lower review rates. The ones that I do get are beaming, but since I have been leaving the reviews to amazon's messages I guess I'm just relying on someone to go out of their way to leave a review.
 

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+1 on feedback genius or similar

Also work on clearing out reviews with shipping issues, not related to your product, etc.
 

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ZeroTo100

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I launch with a low price + PPC + asking for reviews via automated feedback emails + asking friends to purchase. That combination usually gives me a boost and jumps me to the front/second page. Then I hope it sticks. Many times it falls back down and I need to repeat the process again.

Thanks dude...I know you're a big Amazon guy. I am assuming amazon is where most of your sales happen but are you also getting sales on your site as well? Any of that traffic coming from amazon/repeat buyers directly on the site?
 

DaDream

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Your sales velocity has way more to do with your ranking than the number of reviews. The more you sell the higher your ranking. The higher your ranking the more sales you'll get.

I don't use coupons or codes to get the sales. The better way is to have the lowest price. You will likely need to be the lowest price... temporarily. Keep an eye on your rankings as sales come in. You won't want to stay the lowest price. Once your ranking increases you can move your price back up bit by bit.

You'll want a service like Feedback Genius or similar to automatically email those customers because you do want to have reviews as they help better your conversion rate.

(I believe biophase laid out this system or similar in one of his Gold threads.)

I still have to look more into how Amazon rank is calculated. I wonder if there is a formula out there. I find it enlightening the fact that actual sales is what boosts rankings the most. This has to be the reason why there are so many Amazon review groups out there. Sometimes I ask some of the Chinese sellers promoting products. Some claim to offer as much as 200 products for free. When so many of them do this. They must be getting great results. Hacking the ranking algorithm.

I have done a bit of research recently. See this thread for reference: TheGreatAmazonPurge: A daily updated list of purged Amazon reviewers

Amazon has been banning tons of top reviewers and deleting lots of reviews from the platform. Some say they use AI bots based on text recognition which assigns values to words. The more positive the words used on a review the more the likelihood the person who made the review will lose the ability to post new reviews. The account gets wiped. I have read of a few nightmare stories of sellers that lost their ability to use Amazon as a sales channel because of fake reviews.

Some sellers also claim other sellers pay people to leave negative reviews so as to shut down a competitor. I don't sell on Amazon. Maybe I will try one day. Tips on staying safe though?
 

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Guys,

question: How do you get your first reviews without breaking TOS? Or at least without a huge risk of getting caught. I am from Europe but selling on Amazon US and don't have friends over there that I could ask to buy and review (which would be also against TOS but from what I heard, it is doable if you are not friends on FB or etc.) I am not in a rush and I believe I have a great product. So, I really don't want to use shady tactics. But at the same time, Amazon is really putting all the risk on the seller:

If you get a one star (e.g. from a competitor) right at the beginning, you are doomed. Conversion will drop even lower than with no reviews, PPC wont work anymore etc. So getting at least 4-5 reviews is important at the beginning just to be kind of "protected". @biophase Anything you can share?

Any small review groups here that help each other out? Obviously, I am not refering to those big shady Facebook groups with "Coupon hunters" etc.
 

biophase

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Guys,

question: How do you get your first reviews without breaking TOS? Or at least without a huge risk of getting caught. I am from Europe but selling on Amazon US and don't have friends over there that I could ask to buy and review.

@biophase Anything you can share?

Any small review groups here that help each other out? Obviously, I am not refering to those big shady Facebook groups with "Coupon hunters" etc.

If you don't have any friends in the USA to buy and review. I'd probably ask people on this forum to do it, maybe ask 5-6 people?
 

Departed

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If you don't have any friends in the USA to buy and review. I'd probably ask people on this forum to do it, maybe ask 5-6 people?

Yes! Great idea! Let me start by asking here:
Anybody willing to buy my product and review it? I could give you the money back either via Paypal or wire transfer or via Amazon gift cards. I would prefer Amazon gift cards. The product is USD 39, I would send you a gift card for $50.

You should have written at least 1 review in the past and not be in any FB Review Groups or similar stuff (e.g. Launch sites) - I think, Amazon got pretty good at discovering these types of reviewers. And Ideally, you should have kids (age 3-10) so that the product can maybe be even of any use for you. You should just write 2-3 sentences (happy to prepare something for you).

Anybody who would be willing to take the time out of his busy day send me a DM to discuss further. This would really mean the world to me. Thank you!!
 

Champion

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[QUOTE=" I want to do a launch soon, but in order to maintain ranking on the keyword, I will need at least 40 reviews by my estimation. Further, I have heard that if I do a promotion and give the codes away outside of Amazon (in order to do a follow-up asking for a review) - Amazon no longer counts those reviews as verified! And sometimes they apparently don't even let them leave a review. .

I am no Amazon expert but have had some modest success. I am not sure that the number of reviews is that critical to ranking. When I have launched products, after getting only 20 reviews or so, I have frequently ranked above products with about 300 reviews. I think conversion is what Amazon's algorithm looks at most closely.

There is a myth among sellers that the absolute number of reviews is critical in influencing buy decisions. This has not been my experience. Also, Amazon conducted its own internal study and found that after a product has received 21 reviews, getting more reviews than that did not really make a difference to shoppers. I forget the source so I can't give you a citation, but remember that it was from a source I trust and respect.
[/QUOTE]

Thanks for this post, extremely interesting about the 21 reviews!
 

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