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How Product Reviews Can Boost Sales and Cut Ad Costs on Amazon

This article was contributed by our exhibitor Massview. Learn more about their business here!

The biggest struggle when launching a new product is convincing shoppers to buy it, especially when it’s not high in the search results. What’s worse though, is when shoppers search for your targeted keyword but then buy from your competitors instead of you.

This not only means a lost sale, but Amazon’s algorithms take this as a signal that their product is more relevant for that keyword than yours. This means they win more of the ad share for it, and get even more sales, and the cycle continues in their favor.

This article is about how to break this cycle so you can launch your product to the top and beat out your competitors, all while getting a better return on your advertising costs.

Understanding Sales Velocity and How it Affects Your Rank

When shoppers are visiting your page and not buying, this means you have a low Conversion Rate. In other words, the percentage of orders per session is too low, because customers aren’t being won over by your product page.

When a shopper buys from a competitor over you, it increases their rate of sales or Sales Velocity. This is the biggest factor for where you show up in search results, so every sale counts. 

The problem is that search result ranking is a win-lose game: if one seller goes up, another seller must come down. 

So when a competitor wins the sale, this negatively affects your performance in search. Worse, it also affects your Sponsored Product ad placement, because your conversion rate is a big factor for whether you win each ad auction or not.

Thankfully, when you improve your Conversion Rate, you win more ad placements at a lower cost. Even better, Amazon sees your product is more relevant to this keyword, so you get better placements, more visibility with customers, and a decreased ACoS (Average Cost of Sales).

So Conversions Rates are clearly important, but how do you improve yours?

How to Maximize Conversion Rates

Your first instinct to get better conversions might be to optimize your product listing. This is a great start, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. 

To test this claim, we even tried removing almost all of the text from one of our top-ranking product pages, and it still stayed on the first page of search results because it still got tons of sales. 

That’s because something else is much more important for conversions.

The best way to maximize the number of shoppers who buy your product is your review count. Your star rating itself is important too, but having three hundred 4-star ratings is going to help you out a lot more than having thirty 5-star ratings.

Customers don’t want to take risks with their purchases: they want to see that a lot of other people have bought this product and were more or less content with it.

Before we go any further, it’s important to note that you cannot buy or trade reviews. Amazon has banned this practice, and violating their terms of use can lead to your account getting banned, and in some cases, you may even face a lawsuit.

Now that you know what to avoid, here are several ways you can get more legitimate reviews without violating any law or Amazon policy.

How to Increase Amazon Reviews Without Violating Amazon’s Terms of Use

These are some of the best ways to increase your review count for a product.

1. The Amazon Early Reviewer Program

This is the first thing you should do to boost reviews if you have a new product, and if you have less than 5 reviews, there is no reason not to use it. 

When you enroll in the Early Reviewer Program, Amazon offers your buyers a small cash incentive to leave feedback for your product once the sale is done. Plus, it barely takes a minute to set up, and only costs about $60 per SKU. 

The only catch is that you’ll still need to figure out how to get those first few sales!

To get it started, click Advertising in your Amazon Seller Central account, then click Early Reviewer Program. From this section you can enroll any of your products with a review count under the maximum.

2. The Amazon Vine Program

Vine is the next stage to consider after the last program, and it’s another great way to generate initial reviews. 

Vine works like this: first, Amazon recruits some of the top reviewers on the site to sign up – people whose reviews are honest and frequently voted as helpful by other shoppers. Then, you give them free samples of the product in exchange for a review.

The major upside of this is that you’re basically guaranteed to get reviews. Plus, rather than having a 5-review maximum, they cap you at 30 reviews. Better still, so far there’s no cost, aside from the existing fees to store and ship your items from FBA.

The catch to Vine is that it’s invite-only, and you need to be in the Amazon Brand Registry to qualify. To find out if you do, go to the Advertising section of your Seller Central account and see if there’s an option for Vine. If not, you haven’t been invited yet.

If you’ve registered your brand and haven’t been invited, you may want to call Seller Support to see if there’s anything you can do to get access. Sometimes this is all it takes.

3. Take Advantage of Review Requests

This isn’t a program so much as it is a tactic. Sellers often don’t get as many reviews as they want simply because they don’t bother to ask for them! There are countless ways to request reviews, and some are more effective than others.

One of the most basic options if social media. If you have a solid Facebook following, this can be a great place for it. A big advantage of this method is that if the customer likes you on social media, their review is more likely to be positive.

Still, there’s a way better option: the Request a Review button. It’s quick, easy, free, takes almost no effort, and has been proven itself very effective at getting more reviews. Plus, it’s right there in your Seller Central account!

The catch here is that you still need to make the sale before you request each review, which can be harder in the beginning.

The second catch is that once you’re getting more than a few sales, going into your Seller account and clicking the button for each order can get really annoying.

The Massview team got sick of clicking this button all the time, and developed an “Auto-Request Review” feature to the Chrome extension, Monocle.

4. Combine Review-Requests with Rebates to Launch Quickly

We almost called this one number 3.5, because it combines with #3 to help you build your search rank, all while giving you more customers to request reviews from.

It’s a simple formula: entice customers with rebates to make sales quickly, then use the review-request button to maximize the chances that each sale leads to a review.

Notice that we suggest rebates rather than coupons. Coupon codes can help get sales, but they don’t count as full-priced sales, so they don’t help your search ranking as much. With rebates, you still get the Verified Purchase badge, which Amazon and its shoppers will both take more seriously.

To set up rebate sales, try a review-boosting website like Snagshout. Aside from having hundreds of thousands of engaged shoppers to promote products to, Snagshout’s messaging is optimized to encourage customers to leave reviews.

Be careful which review-boosting site you use, however. If a company requires shoppers to leave reviews (rather than requesting or encouraging it), you risk getting your Amazon account banned. This is because buying or trading reviews go against their policies.

Summary and Final Notes

Your product page is the biggest point of contact you have with your Amazon shoppers, so it’s essential that everything on your page helps them buy with confidence. 

The more you improve this page, the better your Conversion Rate will be. This helps your ranking in search results, but it also helps lower the cost of your pay-per-click ads such as Amazon Sponsored Products.

You should never neglect your product listing’s title, bullet points, or photos of course, but a high review count is one of the most important factors for increasing your sales per page visit.

If you’re ready to get your daily sales numbers up and get more reviews in the process, try a platform like Snagshout. Pairing this with an Auto-Request Review feature will ensure many more customers leave reviews after purchase.

If you liked this piece, you may want to read Massview’s Ultimate Guide to Increase Your Amazon Sales. It has tons of actionable advice and points you to other free resources that can help improve your eCommerce business.

About Massview

Massview provides a full suite of marketing tools for Amazon sellers to increase sales and climb to the top of the marketplace. This includes product research tools to find niches with unmet demand, keyword tools to help bring products to page one of Amazon's search results, and a Facebook chatbot to build a mailing list while promoting that product with coupons or rebates.

Massview also enables users to quickly build landing pages, create video shorts, and promote products to buyers using rebates on its consumer-facing platform, Snagshout (which lets sellers require shoppers to either share their purchase on social media or submit user-generated photos or videos in exchange for the discounted product).

Massview's product promotions through Snagshout are optimized to increase Verified Reviews while staying compliant with Amazon's ToS. Initial testing with Massview tools showed a 3x increase in organic review rates compared to selling without them. So far, Massview has helped thousands of Amazon merchants climb to page one search results for their keywords.

-Drew Estes, Massview.com