95 Amazon Reviews Update – DON’T PANIC!
Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you will have gathered by now that Amazon has done a major update, basically banning “Incentivized Reviews”.
From What I’ve seen on the Facebook groups, as usual, in response to an Amazon shifting of goalposts, the usual panic and “The sky is falling!” mentality abound.
My advice is: Don’t Panic! There are and will be multiple ways remaining of gathering the necessary reviews. I’ll be going into detail on that in the next couple of weeks.
More importantly, as I focus on in this episode, is to put reviews into perspective in the first place.
- The main purpose of giveaways as part of a launch is, and always was, to get Sales Rank by getting sales! Simple! Reviews were, apart from being a nice bonus, mainly a plausible reason for a drastic price reduction.
- We don’t necessarily need hundreds of reviews to compete. THis idea is, according to Kevin Kind, just “Hogwash!” In reality, I think it depends on the competition. In some markets, maybe you do need 100-150 reviews. But if you are that worried, simply avoid markets where you need 100s of reviews just to look plausible on page 1. Go for lower competition niches, which is generally good advice anyway unless you have pots of cash.
- The average review (no. of stars) is way more important, in my and others’ experience, than the number of reviews. I’ve seen my conversions drop from 30% to under 10% in response to an average rating change of just 4.8 stars to 4.2. Quality not quantity!
- The quality of the individual reviews that FIRST display on your page is also crucial for better conversion. As Kevin King said, you need to have a video review or two in there (it’s the only way for most of us to have videos in our listings at all). And customers’ photos are seen as way more reliable than our own, so those are very important too. You only need a few reviews to get selling anyway, so these are the ones to go for first. How? Watch this space and I’ll tell you, but for now, just know there are still multiple options open.
- Apart from anything else, organic reviews tend to have a flavour of authenticity (apart from not saying “given in exchange for a discount” which always looked lame anyway). SO have an email follow-up sequence in place to get them -and get selling! I’ve had around 3-5% conversion on this, so not huge. Some people have better, some worse. But it adds up. For example, if you sold say 10 units a day (300 a month) for 3 months and got 5% of those customers to leave reviews, that should give you around 45 genuine reviews. With judicious use of other methods of reviews, that gives a nice solid feel to your listing.
- Basics: Differentiate and make sure your product is good! That way, you will end up with high average reviews. Remember – the average review is CRUCIAL. Way more important than raw numbers.
- Finally, don’t forget, this update is (for now at least) only for amazon.com. SO if you sell in .co.uk or .de or any other European marketplaces, I would gather reviews while I can in the old-school way to get ahead of the game before the inevitable transfer of this new policy to Europe. Nevertheless, the quality of your first 10 reviews is still way more important than getting a ton of mediocre “in exchange for a discount” reviews. And organic reviews will ALWAYS be best.