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Positive customer reviews boost conversion rates in any business.
Customers make purchase decisions influenced by product reviews.
Furthermore, consistent positive reviews also impact your product ranking in the A10 algorithm.
Getting reviews is challenging primarily because Amazon blocks incentivized reviews.
Besides, competitors may submit fake reviews, and the platform has no protection against them.
To address this issue, Amazon introduced the Vine Program.
To help you understand how the Amazon Vine Program works, I wrote a step-by-step guide you can follow.
Amazon Vine is a product review program that provides sellers and buyers with unbiased reviews.
Selected reviewers submit these reviews, also called “Amazon Vine Voices.” Sellers enroll in the Vine program and allow the Vine Voice Reviewers to review their products.
This Amazon product review program creates a new way for sellers to get more reviews.
The reviewers collect the products and use them for a limited time.
Then they can leave honest and unbiased feedback that is useful to other customers.
Note that the Amazon review program is different from this one.
The early review program allows buyers who have purchased a product to leave a comment.
Before the Amazon Vine program began, sellers offered discounted or free products to get quality reviews.
Moreover, some free products shipped to buyers were counterfeits, provoking negative feedback.
To prevent sellers from paying for fake reviews, the Amazon Vine Program was created.
Amazon is selective with reviewers they allow into the Amazon Vine program.
The Vine Voices slots are strictly for their most trusted reviewers. Members receive an invitation to join the program based on specific qualifications.
Amazon first verifies the reviewers’ previous feedback from other customers.
They must have written several reviews completed to qualify. Furthermore, the reviews must be helpful and accurate.
Amazon’s algorithm will match them to relevant products based on previous purchases.
Vine Voice Reviewers must follow strict guidelines when posting.
Note that Vine reviewers are not rewarded for their honest opinions and feedback.
Reviewers are expected to submit positive and negative reviews for each product.
After the sellers distribute their products for review, they have no control over the feedback on their products.
They also cannot directly contact the reviewers.
Instead, Amazon matches Vine reviewers with relevant products and tags them with a Vine badge.
This promotes trust with customers to ensure they trust the feedback.
After the reviewer receives free merchandise to review, the review is labeled as Vine Customer Review of Free Product.
Since Amazon Vine reviews are honest and accurate, negative reviews are expected. Sellers are encouraged to handle negative feedback diligently.
The simple act will help show customers they are in good hands.
In addition, customers will trust the seller better if they see how well they handle criticism.
The Amazon Vine program benefits sellers and buyers.
However, it can be challenging, especially when a brand or product is new.
Sellers distribute samples to Vine reviewers before the product hits the market.
This enables the business to get early reviews that will encourage new sales.
Customers prefer products with 4- to 5-star reviews, and Vine can help start a product listing’s progress. In addition, Vine helps increase conversion rates for your products.
Good reviews are vital to making sales and staying on top of search and browse queries.
Initially, Vine was only available in Vendor central. It launched within Seller Central in late 2019. The Amazon Vine Program came at a cost, but Amazon waived enrollment fees.
The Amazon Vine program charged a $2500 enrollment fee. Amazon decided to waive the enrollment fees, but sellers are still responsible for FBA storage and shipping fees to various reviewers.
As of October 12, 2021, Amazon charges a $200 enrollment fee for every parent ASIN you enroll in Amazon Vine.
However, the membership for Amazon Vine membership is free. Because of that, there is no compensation for all reviews participating in the program.
On the bright side, reviewers receive free products from the sellers. So even if they aren’t paid to review, the free products are theirs to keep.
Sellers can get up to 30 reviews through the Vine program. However, there is no guarantee that you will get all 30 reviews. Sometimes, Vine Voices fail to provide feedback about their experience with the program.
With Amazon Vine, you can expect high-quality reviews each time. This is because each reviewer is carefully selected during vetting. As a result, their reviews are more detailed and organized compared to regular customer reviews.
Vine reviewers aim to dive into every detail of the product. As a result, potential buyers get a helpful picture of how your product might work for them. Vine Voices leave practical feedback relevant to a customer’s purchasing decisions.
Customer reviews influence sales and conversions of your products. Conversion rates increase if your product has high-quality Vine reviews. In turn, this boosts your overall seller ranking.
Additionally, your listings start to rank higher in search queries with more sales. However, I recommend optimizing your product listing first.
Vine helps increase brand awareness. New brands, products, and slow-selling products need a boost to drive more sales. You’ll be able to work on getting quality reviews to assure your customers your products are top-tier.
Vine program requirements for sellers are continually evolving. Sellers must register on the Amazon Brand registry to enroll products for review.
Sellers must also be on the professional plan.
They should also have less than 30 reviews on their product listing.
On top of that, they need to have listings with available inventory, relevant images, and in-depth descriptions.
To enroll in the program, follow these simple steps:
- Log into your Amazon Seller Central account.
- Hover over the Advertising tab and select Vine.
- Fill out the ASIN you want to enroll in the box provided.
Configure the enrollment for the ASINs. Indicate the number of units you want to distribute to Vine Voice reviewers. You only have less than 30 units available.
After preparing your ASINs, track the process through the enrollment details page by clicking on Details.
Amazon restricts the number of products you can register to 5 products per category. However, Amazon provides three enrollment sets on the Vine:
- The Basic level service allows you to enroll for up to 5 products.
- The Plus service allows you to register for up to ten products.
- The Premium service allows you to register for up to 20 products.
Once enrolled in the program, you must ship the free products to Amazon.
This allows Amazon to include them in a monthly newsletter for vine reviewers to see.
Once the reviewers spot a product they want, they can select, order, and review it.
Typically, Amazon reaches out to you if they notice that you are a good match for the program. In addition, they offer guidelines on what they look for when matching you to Vine Voices.
Amazon does not focus on the number of reviews you have completed; quality is more important.
Below are some things that they look for in reviewers:
- The helpfulness of your reviews
- Prior expertise in a specific product category
- Recent reviews
Suppose you show interest in products listed in the Vine program.
However, there is no way you can know what products are enrolled in the Vine program if you have not been invited yet. This is because:
- There is no clear structure for how Amazon picks reviewers to enter the Vine program. Sometimes, it depends on the categories under which they are looking to add new Vine Reviewers.
- Amazon does not disclose how often it invites reviewers. Hence, it is unclear if they are actively adding new Vine reviewers. However, some users post on forums like Reddit when there is a chance for new Vine reviewers. New slots become available only when old users leave the program.
Most buyers rely on reviews when purchasing online since they cannot physically see or touch the product themselves.
Amazon has protection policies to protect buyers from fake products. The Amazon Vine program is one way to address the problem. Buyers can now rely on reviews and make informed purchases.
Furthermore, the Amazon algorithm verifies reviewers’ credibility before they start. The process gives buyers more confidence in their thoughts.
As a result, buyers will likely purchase a product with a Vine Voice Selection badge or Vine Voice review of Free Product label.
Not all product listings are eligible for Vine enrollment. It is worth evaluating your inventory before enrolling in the Vine program.
Below are some items that Amazon does not allow for Vine enrollment:
- Sample products
- Adult products
- Digital software or applications
- Hazmat items
- Bundled items
- Bulky or heavy items
- Drop-ship items
Amazon allows you to cancel if none of your enrolled products has been claimed by Vine Voices. In addition, you can also cancel enrollment for products picked by Voice reviewers.
Stopping a product’s enrollment will ensure that no additional units can be claimed. However, there is no guarantee that reviews related to the product will not be published.
To cancel or stop your Vine enrollment:
- Login into your Seller Central account.
- Select Vine Application.
- Click Stop or Cancel on the bottom right corner of the page.
Each ASIN product can be enrolled in the Vine program only once during that ASIN’s lifetime. This means that once you cancel an item’s enrollment, you cannot enroll that product ASIN with claimed units.
Each enrolled product can receive 30 reviews per ASIN in the Vine program. So, for instance, if your product has 20 reviews, it can receive ten more reviews through the Vine program.
Amazon Vine customers post high-quality, honest, and unbiased opinions.
Unfortunately, Amazon does not guarantee only positive reviews. There may be negative ones too, and you must address them to satisfy your customers.
Additionally, Amazon cannot remove any reviews unless it goes against its terms of service. Sellers are not allowed to contact Vine reviewers about a submitted review.
Rest assured that Amazon only picks high-quality positive reviews for their Vine program. All reviews are relevant, practical, and well-thought-out.
Amazon actively monitors the participation of its Vine Voices, which means that only high-ranking reviewers can join the Amazon Vine program.
That way, customers are comfortable with reviews from Vine Voices.
Try out the Amazon Vine Program if you’re looking to launch new products or sell slow products. With high-quality reviews on your side, your business will thrive.
If you found this article helpful, read my article on viewing your Amazon reviews.
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