In a perfect world, you launch your Amazon product and it instantly becomes a hit.
Buyers flock to your product listing to leave dozens of glowing reviews.
Sales skyrocket, and you quickly climb Amazon’s ranks.
Life is good at the top, and you barely had to lift a finger to get there.
Sounds pretty great, right?
Unfortunately, for the majority of sellers on the Amazon marketplace, this isn’t how things normally go.
Sales are often slow to start, and most products initially struggle to gain any reviews at all.
Those first 5-star ratings can be especially hard to come by.
That being said, there is hope (and help!) to make it happen.
There are plenty of things you can do to kickstart your reviews and receive more positive ratings.
Ready to get started? Here are five proven methods to help you get your first 5-star reviews on Amazon.
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But Wait – Why Are Amazon Reviews So Important Anyway?
Amazon reviews, which can be in the form of one-tap star ratings, a written comment, or video, have many benefits for your business.
- Boost sales: Reviews impact your product’s appearance in Amazon’s search results. The more positive reviews you have, the higher your organic search ranking will be. This greater visibility among buyers is a direct gateway to more sales.
- Increase customer confidence: Reviews are an important substitute for the in-person shopping experience that’s absent in eCommerce. The social proof they provide can instantly convince potential buyers to purchase from you instead of someone else.
- Raise product and brand awareness: Amazon reviews aren’t exclusive to the marketplace; they also show up in online search results. Reviews can be very helpful for improving your Google SEO and connecting more consumers to your products and brand.
Review quantity and quality matter. Having few or no reviews on your product detail page can make an item look untrustworthy and leave customers questioning whether or not to buy it.
If you were shopping for the product below, which one would you rather buy?
Similarly, if there’s a relatively equal amount of positive and negative reviews, many customers will still click off the page.
So how do you get higher numbers of positive reviews that lead people to purchase?
The average online shopper is willing to spend 31% more on a seller with good reviews.
Let’s see how you can become one of them.
Buyers are much more motivated to share their thoughts when they have an overwhelmingly positive or negative buying experience.
If you sell a subpar product (i.e. it breaks easily, arrives damaged, uses shoddy materials, or has design flaws), despite all of your best efforts elsewhere, your reviews will likely always suffer.
Let’s be clear – you can’t expect to please everyone.
Occasional negative ratings are normal and expected.
But selling a quality item that provides an overall good experience will organically increase buyer satisfaction, which naturally leads to more positive reviews.
What does this mean?
- Aiming higher with your product selection – skip the bargain bin buys and cheap knockoffs.
- Researching the market and making test buys to monitor product quality.
- Vetting potential suppliers very carefully.
- Testing your packaging and shipment methods to ensure the product arrives intact.
To tip the scales even further in your favor, look for extra ways to surprise or delight your customers.
Can you include a free bonus product or maybe a cool sticker with your branding?
Even a small handout with helpful product tips or unboxing instructions would go a long way toward being memorable for the right reasons.
Your Amazon listing sets expectations for how shoppers should perceive your product.
If the item fails to live up to them, the buyer will understandably be upset.
More often than not, this is fuel for a pretty scathing product review.
Setting the right buyer expectations with your listing content and creatives can help you avoid this common scenario.
Don’t overpromise and underdeliver on anything. It will come back to haunt you.
Here are some other things to keep in mind:
1) Content should be detailed and accurate. Write a strong product title that starts with your brand name. Highlight top features in your bullet points and mention key materials and measurements.
Provide a detailed description that further differentiates you from competitors.
2) Include helpful, high-quality images. Shoppers aren’t buying anything without looking at the photos first. Help them better understand the features and benefits by including a variety of studio and lifestyle images.
Videos and infographics are also extremely effective in demonstrating product quality and proactively answering common customer questions.
3) Optimize your content with relevant keywords. While optimizing your listing content is one of the best ways to improve search visibility, drive sales, and get more reviews, it won’t work if you’re using the wrong keywords to begin with.
Many negative reviews can be traced back to the improper use of keywords. If it’s not applicable to your product, don’t use it.
Just remember, the more customers are aware of what they’re buying, the easier it is to avoid (and for smart shoppers to ignore) poor reviews that claim otherwise.
We recently surveyed over 200 Amazon sellers to learn more about their product review practices and the types of challenges they face while trying to build their ratings.
Unsurprisingly, 84% of them recognized reviews as being extremely important to the success of their business.
But nearly half went on to say that reaching buyers to get reviews is their biggest struggle.
Why is this so hard?
A couple of reasons, really.
First, the battle for a buyer’s attention has become increasingly difficult.
You have to fight for every second of their time against some pretty fierce competition – family obligations, a mountain of emails, social media apps, etc.
Secondly, there’s still a lot of confusion around Amazon’s review rules.
Bad actors have been all over the news for years now, leaving many sellers fearful that their own review methods will get them into trouble.
One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that sellers can no longer ask for reviews.
This isn’t the case at all.
Seller feedback and/or product review requests are considered to be proactive permitted messages.
Per Amazon’s communication guidelines, these requests can be sent through Buyer-Seller Messaging, Amazon’s Request a Review button, or third-party tools that work with Amazon’s Selling Partner API.
Sellers get into trouble when they break the rules. You may not:
- Give free gifts or incentives in exchange for reviews
- Explicitly ask for positive reviews, even without an incentive
- Tell buyers to purchase directly from your website or somewhere other than Amazon
- Ask unhappy buyers to contact you directly instead of leaving a negative review
Amazon does occasionally send review requests on your behalf, but not for every order.
You have no control over the timing of these messages, but you do if you send them yourself.
Your odds of getting buyers to respond increase exponentially when you give them a little nudge in the form of a polite and perfectly timed review request.
What does “perfectly timed” mean?
It largely depends on your product, but you ideally want your review request to reach someone when they’re experiencing peak excitement about your product and the value it brings them.
So, don’t rush the process if you don’t have to!
Most products would actually benefit from having buyers spend a little more time with them.
As long as you send your requests within 30 days of order completion, you’ll be A-okay.
Based on our 10+ years of industry experience, here’s some timelines that work very well for certain products:
- 5-7 days after delivery for small consumables
- 8-10 days after delivery for sports and outdoor/leisure products
- 14-21 days after delivery for large, long-lasting products
- 30 days after delivery for beauty products, vitamins, and supplements
Minor adjustments like these can help turn what would have potentially been a poor review into a positive one.
Ask any top seller, athlete, business owner, etc. and they’ll all tell you the same thing: the secret to success is to always be improving.
Keep this mantra in mind the next time you get a negative review.
Remember, a few bad reviews here and there is fine.
Nobody is perfect, and lower ratings help to legitimize your product to buyers.
What you don’t want is this to become the norm.
To stop it from happening, treat all of your negative reviews as a learning experience.
What can you do to avoid the same type of response in the future?
Monitoring your reviews for common trends among buyers is the best way to keep an eye on the performance of your products. It can help you:
- Improve your product listings: Correcting misleading or incorrect information in your product listings can make your page stronger and produce more satisfied buyers.
- Enhance your existing products: Find out what’s working well and what isn’t straight from your buyers themselves. Would a material or design change make them happier?
- Identify new market opportunities: Pay attention to those “I wish this product had___” comments and put those ideas into action. It could produce a new product line or a more profitable kit or bundle.
- Strengthen your inventory planning: Keeping highly reviewed products with plenty of positive reviews in stock should be a top priority. Any sudden drops in review quality with these superstars should be addressed immediately.
Check out the product review below. Although the listing claims the cup is leakproof, several reviews like this one claim otherwise. Updating the listing language and/or improving the product could prevent more of these negative reviews in the future.
In addition to monitoring your own reviews, it’s also highly recommended to watch how a few competing products are faring with customers.
At the end of the day, it can still be a numbers game.
The more buyers you reach, the more likely it is that you’ll receive a review.
But solely relying on your Amazon audience may not be enough.
As an Amazon seller, you may not ask Amazon shoppers to buy from your website or another shopping platform.
However, you can bring in as much external traffic as you want (and you want A LOT of it!).
Build out your email lists and ask these presumed-to-be fans of your brand for Amazon reviews.
The same goes for your social media groups – just be careful to remain compliant with your requests.
Running ads both on and off Amazon can also bring in a ton of traffic.
Affiliate marketing, influencer, and micro-influencer partnerships have also proven to be very successful at reaching new audiences and boosting business.
Pro tip: To see a better return on ad spend, it’s highly recommended that you be retail-ready with at least 15 customer reviews and a star rating of 3.5 or higher before you begin running ads.
Implementing these strategies can help you kickstart your Amazon reviews and get more 5-star ratings.
But make no mistake about it – it does take some work.
If you need assistance, the team at eComEngine is here to help!
We’re the creators of FeedbackFive, the #1 ranked seller feedback and product review request automation tool on the Seller Central Partner Network.
Proactively managing your product and seller reputation with FeedbackFive is one of the best ways to build better ratings and preserve your spot at the top.