Know your audience on Amazon: The power of reviews

Marjorie Borreda

VP Retail Consultant, jellyfish

On Amazon Marketplace, consumer reviews are essential to appear organically in the Search results but also for your conversion rate. Research* says that 93% of customers make buying decisions on the basis of online reviews. But what brands don’t always consider is all the insights about your consumers you can find in reviews.

In this article you will learn:

  • Reviews impact your organic share of voice and your conversion rate on Amazon
  • Why you should always check your “reviews score” (number of reviews and average rating) before launching a Marketing campaign on an ASIN.
  • How to gain more reviews: Amazon Vine Program & “Get review” button.
  • Reviews can be leveraged to learn more about your consumers and to grow your business.

The importance of reviews for your Amazon Business

While there aren’t any official figures to condemn a product to Amazon’s graveyard or be tagged as CRaP (Can’t Realize a Profit), our expertise tells us that when a product has less than a ⅗ stars average rating or less than 10 reviews, the lifespan of your product on Amazon is most likely to be short.

Anything below ⅗ stars means a drop in conversion and clicks. Why? It’s no secret that Amazon’s algorithm is impacted by reviews. Bad reviews will decrease the visibility of the product on the platformConversion rate will also suffer, as people will have less trust in your products. Because of lack of visibility and conversions, the product will drive less sales, hence lose even more visibility… the downward cycle has begun, and unfortunately it’s hard to reverse it.

If a product’s having a hard time climbing up Amazon’s search results ranking due to bad reviews, then we don’t recommend running any ad campaigns, especially automatic display campaigns that often include the average stars on the ad.

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Reviews are strong indicators for the product’s credibility as well as reliability and it would be counterproductive to display a product with low reviews.

(Seelk studio automatically display reviews and content score by ASIN in one click so you can make sure your products is retail ready before launching a campaign)

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If you’re launching a product or having a hard time getting reviews, then we suggest the following actions : Amazon Vine Program & Amazon call to action to ask for reviews.

Getting more reviews on Amazon

1. The Amazon Vine Program

The Vine Program is a platform where brands (both Vendors and Sellers FBA) can send their products to selected testers.

Vine testers are selected based on 3 main criteria:

  • they are among the best reviewers, their reviews are deemed “useful”.
  • the reviews they leave are qualitative (spelling, syntax …)
  • the reviews they leave contain visuals, such as photos or videos

Suppliers can add products to the Vine catalog via their Vendor / Seller Central Account, which testers will choose to try or not, in order to give their opinions that will then be highlighted on Amazon. The supplier can have up to 30 copies of each product reference tested (maximum of 5 ASINs), which will be sent by Amazon.

Online reviews have a great impact on customer behavior and lead generation, so launching Vine Program can help you build customer trust and brand reputation.

Particularly for Vendors and Sellers who are going to release new products, Vine can quickly help them get customer feedback, insights, increase conversion rates and eventually boost their product visibility and sales.

2. Automatic request for reviews

Between 5 and 30 days after submitting a product for reviews, Sellers can now “request a review” via Seller Central to boost returns. Even if it is a manual action, the request message is automatic, so it’s still pretty fast and easy to request reviews and thus increase the number of reviews to improve your results.

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3. The business of fake reviews

Due to the importance of reviews for your business some brands have started to turn to fake reviews providers. We strongly discourage these kinds of actions as it is against Amazon policy and can cause backlash to your business.

Fake reviews are often of poor quality and poorly written with unusual writing styles. Even the ones that might seem legit could be duplicates from other products.

As per Amazon policy you can’t ‘buy’ reviews and if caught doing such activities, it will affect your products and accounts very badly. Buying reviews is called review manipulation and is against the terms of service. Finally, reviews must be free of any incentive. This means you cannot give your product away in expectation of a review. If you’re found to be buying reviews, you could be banned from Amazon.

Reviews are also a goldmine for Customer Insights

Beyond impacting your business (ranking in search results and conversion rates) reviews are also a goldmine of insights for brands to better understand your consumers and identify business opportunities.

1. What to Look for

Reviews can be analyzed thanks to AI and semantic analysis software which gather all keywords related to the same topic and then measure their recurrence within all the reviews. For example: “average price” “pricing” “money” “value” “cost” ”expensive” “cheap” are all expressions associated with the price of your product. How many times are consumers talking about price in total reviews? Is price the number 1 topic of conversations within negative reviews? If yes, maybe it’s time to think about promotions such as coupons or bundles.

You can conduct this analysis for all kinds of topics that are of interest for your business, for example:

– logistics, is your product delivered on time?

– taste, does your edible product taste good?

But you can go further. It’s also important to identify the topics impacting the average rating the most. For example the price might be discussed a lot (who doesn’t want a lower price?) but might not have a big impact on the average rating, whereas poor taste or a half empty jar will have a much stronger impact on the consumer’s satisfaction.

Plenty of KPIs can be monitored across ranges and brands (such as repurchase or recommendation rate, % of first time buyers, triggers or barriers to purchase…) and can help you better understand the consumer journey of your audience, their profile and the category.

2. Business Impact

A review analysis will help optimize your product pages to increase conversion.

For example: Why did they say they bought this product instead of another one? Is the product correctly understood based on the visuals and description? Or used properly? Is the information presented on the product page match expectations (color, size…)?

Another example is using reviews to better understand innovations. Think about it : You are really happy with a new innovative functionality you just added to your product. Reviews might tell you that consumers don’t understand the point or how to use it. You should definitely update the description of your product with an explanation or a new visual.

You can also run review analysis on competitors or niche categories to identify business opportunities for your R&D or product development team in order to better know what consumers want but don’t have yet.

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Before leaving

To sum up, here’s what you should remember:

  • Reviews are extremely important for your Amazon Business, few or bad reviews will impact your ranking thus your organic visibility and your conversion rate as consumers are more likely to buy your product if the reviews are good (and there are a lot of them).
  • Before getting started on advertising you should always double check your product pages and reviews to make sure that all your levers are aligned and marketing actions make sense (check out Seelk studio to see your reviews and content score by ASIN in one click).
  • If you are launching a new product or just feel that a few more reviews would not hurt, check out the Amazon Vine Program (to get reviews) or start clicking on the get review button for each sale you make to ask your consumers for some stars.
  • Once you have your 5 stars reviews don’t stop there! Use all Amazon reviews to gain insights on your consumers and develop your business to better match their needs. In the end, retail is always about making your consumers happy.

Interested in growing your Amazon business? Contact us, we combine expertise and cutting-edge technology to help brands achieve success on Amazon.

Sources : The drum.com