Amazon reviews – product reviews guide

Your ultimate guide to getting Product reviews for your Amazon business. Find out about the most powerful ways to get positive reviews without risking your account.

Amazon reviews – product reviews guide for your business

Welcome to the ultimate Amazon product review guide. In the next paragraphs of this article we are going to go over all that’s worth knowing about Product reviews (and seller feedback), how to get them, how to improve your positive review rate and pave your way to rule the buy box.

The ultmate Amazon product review guide

What can you expect from this guide

By definition, this is a very thorough guide. If you are new to Amazon or the subject of Product reviews, you should consider reading through it. If you already have experience you can skip ahead to sections you are less familiar with so you can improve your game, sell more of your product, dominate the Amazon website and its marketplace and grow your Amazon business.

What is the importance of Amazon product reviews

Importance of Amazon product reviews and seller feedback

There are few factors that are more important to your Amazon business than product reviews and merchant feedback. They are important in a variety of ways that range from customers to Amazon itself. In this section we are going to touch on the aspects that you must know about the importance.

The importance of reviews and feedback to customers

The importance of reviews and feedback to Amazon buyers

Every Amazon merchant understands that honest customer reviews and merchant feedback are important for potential customers who look for a product. These customers view your listing page and according to the rating decide if the product is worth their hard earned money. While the effect reviews have on the customer’s propensity to buy their effect goes far beyond.

How Amazon regards product reviews and seller feedback

Customer reviews and feedback are also crucial since they play an important role in Amazon’s algorithm. Since the algorithm decides if and where your listing will appear on the page and if and for how long you’ll appear in the buy box, you must make sure to get enough positive reviews and positive feedback from customers to get you the extra needed points from the Amazon perspective.

What you can learn from your Amazon product reviews and feedback

Last but not least, the feedback and product reviews shoppers give you, the seller, an important data source that can help you march forward with confidence. If your customer reviews are declining, you can tell that your sales will plummet as well. If your feedback is falling, your account health and items sold will suffer. While the metrical indication is important, you must also look at the remarks to learn the specifics that are costing you precious stars. Maybe the product quality deteriorated, maybe shipment is taking longer than expected or maybe your listing doesn’t convey a truthful picture of the product. Once you fix whatever went wrong, the metrics will start climbing and you’ll know you are on the right track.

Getting Amazon reviews and feedback is an ongoing task

Even when you get to your coveted star rating you shouldn’t rest. Why? Since recent reviews count much more than older reviews both for Amazon and for potential customers.

Recent customer reviews also provide better information for you to improve on. Make sure you constantly gather new customer reviews on Amazon to be the best seller you can.

What are the best ways to get Amazon product reviews

The most effective way of gathering Amazon reviews

Establishing the fact that Amazon customer reviews are important is simple, but how can we actually make it happen? In the next segment of this article we are going to go over the best and most effective ways to get Amazon customer reviews and merchant feedback.

You must actively request feedback and reviews

Many Amazon sellers rely on chance and wait for customers to leave reviews and comments on their own. This is equivalent to hoping your product will sell without marketing it, helping the client to get to know us or even making your listing readable and engaging. It can happen, but not often enough.

In order to get reviews, the first step is to just ask. This might be the most important habit in the toolbox of an Amazon seller – asking them to write a review after each purchase is made.

Next we are going to discuss the different methods you can use to request customer reviews and feedbacks from customers.

Offline methods of requesting customer reviews

There are a few offline methods you can take to get customer reviews. The main advantage of using them is that they can come in addition to the more popular online methods and one isn’t coming at the expense of the other.

  • Product inserts – are cards and notes you are physically adding to your packaging. These notes contain requests for reviews and feedback  from customers with links so there’s a chance that when the customer reads them, clicks the link and writes a feedback. As we will discuss in one of the next paragraphs, any direct communications with customers, such as this, must be done very carefully. Our suggestion: this is an effective method but you should be careful about your wording and also make sure it doesn’t take too much effort to add to the packaging.
  • In product call to action – this one is for the advanced readers and only fit a small percentage of products. You can add the call to action as part of your actual product. A good example is if you sell an e-book about marketing. You can add to the chapter about requesting reviews an example of your own merchant account and add links while asking the buyer to rate you. This can be very effective but only applies to a small percentage of products.  Our suggestion: If this method is relevant to your product we suggest to consider it warmly. It can give you an edge that your competitors just won’t have.

Using Amazon’s new products programs to get reviews

This is a small but important segment that revolves around programs (Vine and Early reviewers program) designed for newly launched programs. Both programs can get you your first product reviews and feedbacks and can put you on the path to early sales of your product and continued growth.

  • Early Reviewers ProgramLike Vine, this program was created by Amazon to get you your first 5 reviews of your product (it will no longer be active as you reach 5 reviews). The program incentivizes shoppers to test new products. In exchange, they users will enjoy a small token of appreciation (e.g. a $1-3 gift card). This program will only apply to new products and you will be charged $60 after you receive your first review.
  • Amazon Vine -The Vine program was made to boost customer reviews up to thirty (30) Amazon product reviews. In this program, Amazon gets your products in front of a special community of select reviewers that will assist in kick starting your sales by gaining early reviews, feedback and product ratings that will signal the trustworthiness of your service and products on Amazon.

As mentioned, both these programs are great if you are launching a product. However, once you reach the first 5 or 30 product reviews you can no longer use them. That’s why the main focus should be given to the following section. The one about your option to request for reviews online and in mass.

Getting reviews and feedback with online methods

The vast majority of review requests are naturally done online. Well, that’s a small surprise when dealing with e-commerce 🙂

There are multiple ways you can take that differ on two main factors – effectiveness and associated risk. The factor of risk is super important and will be discussed in detail in the following paragraphs.

But first, let’s go over the possibilities of online review requests:

  • Buyer – seller messaging –  is Amazon’s equivalent of email. This allows you to communicate and message with your buyer and also to ask them to write a review. While this can prove effective it is perhaps the most error prone option. If you are making a direct approach to a user you must be certain not to violate any requirements.  Our suggestion: Using this method should be done super carefully and only if you are certain you don’t cross any guideline.
  • Request a Review button – is a relatively new addition to your Amazon seller’s toolkit. It’s a button that Amazon added to each product order page. Whenever you click it, it will send a review request via email to the buyer. The email will be sent in the buyer’s native language. This is very effective but the biggest advantage is that, since Amazon are the ones in charge of the wordings, it is 100% compliant to community guidelines. This is by far the option with the least risk and is highly recommended.  Our suggestion: This is the method we would deploy. It is almost riskless and very effective. Just make sure to automate so it doesn’t take too much time. (more on that later).

The case for automating the review process

After going over the methods of collecting reviews, we should consider the cost this process takes on your time and daily operations. As a seller, your day to day is already jam packed with tasks, research and analysis. Can you afford to spend time on anything else?

Luckily, you don’t have to. Automations will let you set up your rules just once and from that moment on the requests will happen automatically.

Almost by definition, this applies to the two online methods of buyer-seller messaging and the Request a Review button.

When you set up an automation, which by the way takes less than 3 minutes, all you’ll have to do is see the reviews and ratings accumulate while you do nothing.

The challenge of manually using the Request a Review button

Amazon’s new feature, the Request a Review button is the safest and therefore the most powerful and effective way to get your products reviewed and to get merchant feedback. When the button is clicked it sends an email generated by Amazon which ensures the content follows their requirements. However, clicking the button for each and every order has a few disadvantages:

  • it takes time – repeating this action on each order will take time, even if you are a small seller. If you are a large merchant doing it manually is just about impossible.
  • it is easy to forget – if you decide to manually click the button, you are very (very) likely to forget and miss out on orders and therefore miss out on potential product reviews and merchant feedbacks.
  • it is hard to manage – often you want to send the review after a different amount of days for different items post purchase. Managing it in a manual process will consume much of your time and will leave you a fraction of the time you need to actually follow your merchant duties.

As you can guess, our recommendation is not to waste time and use the Request a Review button manually. In the next paragraph we are going to go over how to automate it.

Automating the Request a Review button

Luckily you no longer have to manually click the Request a Review button. You can use HighFive, a free seller app that is automating the Request a Review button for you.

Once you install and set it up, Lonesome labs review app will send the Request a Review emails by Amazon for each  order made.

You can decide what is the time frame to send the request, for example 8 days after delivery, and you can even decide on different time frames for different products. This comes handy when the client will need more time to properly experience specific products.

The app also gives you additional capabilities like data and ability for analysis of your feedback score over time. It is a free professional app you can start using now.

What should I be aware of and avoid doing?

There are things to avoid when gathering Amazon reviews

In the last few paragraphs we went over the importance of getting Amazon product ratings and the methods for getting them. However, we emphasized this must be done with caution.

In the next segments in this article we are going to go over the actions you must avoid while asking for reviews. Remember, having a 5 star rating on your products and 5 star merchant feedback with thousands of product reviews isn’t worth squat if Amazon will suspend your merchant account.

The first rule of sellers club – don’t make Amazon angry

Seriously, just don’t cross Amazon.

Amazon set out very clear customer product review policies and community guidelines. You should read them carefully, especially if you are using any of the risky methods, like Buyer-Seller messaging.

In short, it is important to understand where Amazon comes from. They aim to provide an exquisite customer experience for customers and neutral product reviews and ratings and unadulterated or tempered by sellers. In a way, Amazon wants the customer’s to share honest feedback that sellers did not influence or affect in any way.

This is why many of the rules explicitly say that you can not affect, as a merchant, the review in any way.

Here are a few examples that help convey this core principle of Amazon:

  • you can not post a review on your own product
  • you can not ask a friend or family member to review your products
  • you can not offer any incentive, like a product refund, free product or money, in exchange for a positive review
  • there are many more but you get the idea – don’t temper with customer reviews

This is why we recommended to use the Request a Review mechanism. It ensures that your wordings are compliant with the requirements set by Amazon to the community.

The second rule of sellers club – you guessed it…

First of all we hope you got the Fight Club reference. Second, there’s a reason we are repeating.

It is true you need positive reviews and positive feedback from shoppers to win the buy box but… you also need an active seller account…

What will happen if I violate Amazon’s terms of use

In the case where you violate Amazon’s rules and you are caught, you might suffer from a variety of negative outcomes set by Amazon.

Amazon might suspend your account, temporarily or permanently. They can remove your product and listings and they can even hold funds you made that are already in the system.

While we can’t tell how many of the violators are caught, we all often hear about accounts being suspended for using Fake reviews or breaking other Amazon rules. Therefore we suggest you stick with the trustworthy and safe ways and not to take risk with methods that may cause you to lose your product or Amazon business.

Other things to avoid

While the focus of this article is to improve your way of collecting customer product reviews, and this is why we emphasized the rules of contacting your customers, there are a number of other things you may wish to avoid.

Don’t over sell your products, take care of their quality and make sure the price is fair. A client that feels that they overpaid or that they didn’t get what they expected according to the product detail could likely write a negative review.  Customers look for helpful products on Amazon, quality deals and are looking to make a smart purchase and maybe enjoy a nice discount. Make sure your product gives them that and that they are happy with their purchase.

Don’t miss out on opportunities to get reviews. Every sale that you make could be an opportunity to get a helpful Amazon product review and merchant feedback.

Don’t forget to reply and comment on negative reviews and negative feedback. These are opportunities to show potential customers you care and to motivate existing customers to turn their negative review into neutral reviews.

We’ll go over some of these in detail in the following paragraphs.

Can a seller ask for a positive product review?

Asking for a positive Amazon product review

A merchant can’t ask for a positive review but they can dramatically influence their chance of getting one.

While a direct request for a positive review is prohibited there are many ways you can assist the buyer to come to the realization that they should give you a favorable review and a 5 star rating.

The reason you can’t ask for a positive review or positive feedback

We are sure you guessed it by now. You can’t ask directly because Amazon specifically forbids you from doing it and may punish you if you still do it.

Not only you can’t request or influence a buyer to give a positive feedback, but you can’t even send requests only to users you know that will give such reviews.

So how can an Amazon seller get a positive review?

There are surprisingly quite a few ways you can improve your chances of getting a positive review. The methods of doing so revolve around excellency, timing, repairing and diluting.

Is this too vague? Read on and we’ll explain each of these.

Excellency – be the best Amazon seller you can

When you sell on the Amazon website in the Marketplace you compete against a community of sellers and many more products.  Make sure you are providing excellent service, from shipping until post delivery communications. Make sure your price is fair and that your listing is helpful and honest.

Providing all of these will make you a top seller, grant you helpful positive feedbacks and 5 star customer reviews and make a good candidate for the buy box.

Timing is everything – it takes different time to evaluate different products

Not all products were born equal. Think about the difference between a chocolate and a stepper. When someone buys you a chocolate the gratification is immediate. You love it the minute it touches your lips.

A stepper, however, takes much longer to show its usefulness. Only after you use it for a few weeks, you might feel a positive chance.

This is exactly the reason why you should ask for feedback on a different time frame for different products. For example, if you sold a chocolate, ask for an Amazon product review the minute the customer took a bite, but delay the request in the stepper example to 2 or 3 weeks from the delivery date.

Following this logic can improve your average rating by a lot.  Make sure you understand the use case for your products and follow through with requests at the right time

Timing for advanced sellers – run experiments

Run experiments to improve your Amazon product reviews

Experiments? Yes, experiments! It sounds scary but it is really simple.

Now that you know that the review requests for different products might be optimal in different time frames, it’s time to find the ideal timing.

Run a simple experiment. For example, Request a Review for all items sold after a week. Run this test for a few weeks (or a set number of sales) and track the average rating you got.

Now, make the request after two weeks. Run it for the same amount of time (or number of items) and see if the average rating from reviewers changes.

The results may surprise you. A simple change can improve your rating by a lot.

The only problem with running experiments is that they take time and require mental resources. Luckily you are already using HighFive that makes it so much simpler. Set the delay for a product for 7 days, and then, let’s say after a month, set it to 14 days. The Lonesome review app will also let you see the difference in rating for the dates you want so it’s super easy to compare and find your ideal timing. Check out the link.

Repairing the damage done by bad reviews and negative feedback

You should always go over the comments people leave as product feedback and customer reviews, especially neutral reviews and negative feedback (or vice versa).

Whenever you receive an unfavorable comment make sure you reply and try to satisfy your client as much as you can.

Why is this important? For multiple reasons. The client might alter the negative review into a positive product rating.

Potential customers will see that you are a responsive merchant they can contact and are more likely to buy from you.

And finally, it seems that the A team (Amazon) algorithm treats favorably Amazon sellers that address a buyer’s remarks since it says a lot about their service.

Diluting negative reviews with positive reviews

Yes, that’s a thing! Let’s say an ungrateful @$# left you a negative review. You tried to reply and fix the issue but the review is still there. Well, you can simply drown the negative review with a whole lot of 5 star reviews. This is even more powerful since recent customer reviews have a bigger impact on both potential customers and on Amazon.

Just make sure you use a review automation, like HighFive, to easily collect the new reviews.

How can I remove negative reviews from Amazon?

Ways to remove negative Amazon reviews

Many Amazon sellers are surprised to hear that there is a lot to do with negative reviews and you can even remove them.

A customer review that should have been a feedback

Many times a customer review will be about the seller, and not about the product. In such cases, you can flag the Amazon product review and Amazon might remove it

A customer review using unaccepted language

Amazon will remove product reviews that contain “obscene language” or “personally identifiable information”. In case a negative review contained one of these, you can ask Amazon to have it removed and improve your product rating.

Fix the customer’s complaint

Fix your customer's complain on Amazon and soothe them

If you received a negative review, read it carefully and try to fix the problem at hand. Once you do, reply to the client and advise them of your actions.

This may accomplish multiple positive outcomes:

  • the client may remove or improve their review
  • potential customers will see that you care and will be more likely to buy
  • Amazon will treat your Amazon account more favorably
  • This is also an opportunity to improve your offering and conduct. Comments help us get to know us and our faults and provide better product and service.

Neutral reviews should be treated as negative reviews

Since our end game is winning the buy box, we can’t settle for neutral reviews, so if you get a neutfral feedback or review try to have it removed as explained above.

Should I reply to customer comments?

Should you reply to Amazon customer comments

You should always reply to customer remarks.

This can help turn negative reviews into positive ones

A grateful customer that see that you took steps to mitigate their concern can reverse their negative review. Every complaining customer would be happy to hear: “Thanks for sharing your concern, I’ve sent you a replacement”.

The buying propensity will rise

Potential customers see that they can trust you so they worry less about making a purchase

Amazon algorithm likes active sellers

When you address remarks and contact requests the algorithm is more likely to carry you forward towards the top of the marketplace and the buy box.

The way to get to know us best

When a user mentions a fault it’s the best opportunity to learn and improve our game. Instead of feeling bad about a bad review, think of it as free advice from clients that know us and really care.

What are the tools I should use to get positive Product reviews on Amazon

Tools for getting positive reviews on Amazon

The tools of the trade for a successful Amazon merchant are numerous

Review request automation tool

In order to get to the top you need many positive as well as recent customer reviews. In order to avoid doing it all manually, use an automation tool.

There are buyer-seller automation tools, some paid and some free. All these tools must be handled with care so you don’t upset Amazon.

Luckily, the recommended Request a Review method can also be automated, using Lonesome labs’ free Amazon seller app.

Tools for conducting experiments

In order to find the best timing for a request, you should run experiments as explained above. You must meticulously follow your rating and make sure you send the request on time. Excel and Google sheet are good tools to aid you in such experiments.

You can also use the HighFive app which will both make sure you send on time (since it does it for you) and allows you to easily compare each part of the experiment to find out the ideal timing.

How can I win the buy box

How can you win the Amazon Buy Box

Winning the buy box is the holy grail of every Amazon seller. There are many things you must do but today we’ve touched on a few:

Always be requesting

Request a review for each order made. This is what can bring you to the top

Automate when possible

If you don’t automate the request you are bound to forget and miss on opportunities or not ask on the proper times.

Get positive reviews from customers

Make sure you provide the best product and service and be the best merchant you can to get as many positive reviews and feedback from customers.

Quickly deal with negative Amazon reviews

Ask Amazon to remove the product reviews you can and quickly reply to the rest

Find the best time to contact customers

Carefully analyze your product usage to find the proper time for a request. Use experiments to be more exact.

Use the best Amazon seller tools

Using the best Amazon seller tools

Get HighFive, a free powerful merchant app to automate and control your review process. This service also gives you all the data and insights you need.

Many Amazon sellers wonder how come such a potent tool is free. The reason is simple – as we launch new paid apps we will tell you about them and since you’ll know how awesome our tools are, we hope you’ll join them as well. In any case HighFive is free for life when you get it now.