The Worst Way to Earn Reviews on Amazon and What to do Instead
It’s a focus for many brands, especially when launching new products, to earn reviews on Amazon. In doing so, products will be quicker to gain traction and sales velocity. However, it can be challenging to earn authentic and impactful reviews. Not to mention, earning enough reviews to cement a product's legitimacy is equally difficult. Because of the nature of reviews, many brands and sellers earn reviews through unethical means. Continue reading to learn more about reviews on Amazon and the best and worst ways to earn them for your brand.
The Balance Between Quality and Quantity
When it comes to quantity, a recent study suggests a product needs to have a least 20 reviews to be effective in influencing a purchase. And, generally speaking, we believe the more reviews a product has, the better. But, if reviews are negative or fake, quality surpasses quantity.
When Brands and Sellers Game the System
For smaller, younger brands, earning reviews can be more difficult than it is for well-established brands. But, some larger brands also go the extra mile to game the system. This is unfortunately common practice because it’s nearly impossible for Amazon to monitor and enforce guidelines across its massive catalog.
Below we list some of the most common ways brands and sellers game the system to earn reviews.
- Writing fake reviews for competitors.
- Soliciting reviews in exchange for a gift.
The dishonest landscape can be discouraging to brands that put in the time and effort to earn reviews legitimately. But, what many don’t realize, is that getting caught could result in having a brand shut off for 21 days. And a second offense results in permanent removal from the channel.
How to Overcome Unethical Practices and What to do Instead
At Marketplace Strategy (MPS), we help our customers position themselves and their products to ethically earn reviews. And we strongly suggest others do the same and avoid risking their entire business for the sake of quick reviews.
Below are a few quick tips for brands committed to fair practices.
- Report violations via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Protect your brand by becoming Brand Registered
- Enroll in programs like Project Zero and Amazon Transparency
- Leverage Amazon’s Request a Review Feature via Seller Central
- Consider participating in the Early Reviewer Program
- Lean into Amazon’s Vine Program, now available to both Vendors and Sellers
Keeping the above in mind is critical. But, brands should focus on the quality of their listings, creative efforts, and content strategy. Reviews can be earned through high-quality image libraries, product descriptions, bullet points, and other elements of a product detail page. It’s important to communicate clearly to ensure shoppers understand exactly what they’re buying. This way, when a shopper receives their product, it meets their expectations and increases the likelihood of a positive review.
At MPS we understand the urgency of earning reviews to propel a brand’s business. However, we also understand the need to do it properly in order to protect a brand’s future on Amazon. Now, more than ever, protecting your brand is essential to survival. So, we discourage giving in to the temptation to earn reviews quickly and taking a lethal risk. The potential short-term boost is never worth losing everything. We’ve seen eight-figure brands that have violated Amazon’s conditions promptly removed from the catalog. So, it’s important to remember, size and revenue won’t excuse a brand from repercussions of unethical behavior.
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