The Real Deal on Amazon FBA Reviews
Why you want them, how to get them, the psychology behind them and the elephant in the room.
I broke it into 3 sections:
𝟏) 𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁
𝟮) 𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄𝘀
𝟯) 𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗱𝗼 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄𝘀
If you watch ANY of the Amazon seller groups on Facebook, people always talk about how hard it is to get reviews. Product reviews are so coveted and prized among sellers that there are even black-market review farms STILL making cash even though Amazon is cracking down harder and went thru the biggest review wipe in history in 2018.
So, what’s the big deal? We all know reviews on your listings drastically up the conversion rates of purchases but are they REALLY that hard to get? The truth is NO….no they aren’t. The trouble is that because you are selling on Amazon and in the echo chambers of amazon Facebook groups, you’ve simply bought into that mantra.
Why you want reviews for Amazon FBA
Before we get into the HOW of getting reviews and why it isn’t that hard, let’s take a look at WHY they are such a big deal with some statistical data. If you have an online presence, your brand and business reputation is your most prized asset. In a world where online reviews show up virtually everywhere, potential customers can’t help but be confronted with reviews about a business’s products or services — the good, the bad and (sometimes) the downright ugly.
Does this mean that you need hundreds of reviews before your listings will get traction on Amazon? Nope.
*𝟗𝟎% 𝐨𝐟 𝐜𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝟏𝟎 𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰𝐬 𝐨𝐫 𝐟𝐞𝐰𝐞𝐫 before they feel they can trust a business….. 10! Not 65, not 38, not 100…..10…… you should be planning on how to go about getting them BEFORE you launch your product and brand but more on that later.
*32% of customers from an opinion by reading 1 to 3 reviews.
*68% by reading only 1 to 6. This means 2/3 of your customers are going to decide to trust your brand after reading just 1 to 6 reviews.
*Customers typically look at the top reviews first. This is one of the reasons it is important to continually get fresh reviews – it keeps the inevitable negative reviews pushed down.
But what about your competitors? Amazon is an interesting platform in that all of your competitors are right next to you, which would be like going out for pizza and having 40 pizza restaurants literally right next to each other all around the same parking lot and all equally easily accessible to you. This doesn’t happen in real life but it allows for something interesting to happen on Amazon:
**20% of customers review one site before deciding
**59% of your customers look at 2 to 3 before deciding
**21% look at 4 or more before deciding
***58% put the highest weight on overall star rating
***2nd priority to most customers is the sentiment of the
*** Just 41% of gave review recency the highest priority
Stats on stars:
87% want to see 3 to 5 stars before considering using a product or business – so just because you get the odd negative review don’t crap your huggies…..you’ll be ok.
4 stars seems to be a threshold point though as 56% of customers won’t do business with a company that has less than 4 stars
Lastly, customers are realistic with only 8% expecting a business to have a 5 star rating before considering using them.
Plan Reviews Into Your Launch
In the world outside of Amazon, businesses have their reviews and presence in as many places as they can. When I built my brick and mortar businesses one of the first things I did was get my company listed on over 100 different local search sites and had a plan in place to have a couple of reviews at least on each of them.
The products and brands I sell on Amazon are backed by testimonials not only on Amazon but in various other places as well – My FB brand page, in my Facebook advertisements, my Shopify store, my brand IG channel, through my customer’s shared social proof, in various group pages for the niche’s my products are in where people have bought my products and shared them and their thoughts, IG reviewers and influencers, etc…….all over the damn place!
I planned all of those channels 𝐁𝐄𝐅𝐎𝐑𝐄 I ever bought a sample!!! I want people knowing how good my stuff is no matter where they look.
So, when you launch and are wondering why nobody is buying your product, even after the giveaways, it is because there is nothing to help people gauge your reputation.
In a later article, I will talk about how to run engagement campaigns on facebook alongside your purchase campaigns in a way that allows all of the likes, comments, and shares you accumulate in the engagement campaign to show up on the conversion campaign to help people that are in buying mode to get proof BEFORE they compare you on Amazon.
How to Get Reviews For FBA
Now that we know why they are so important let’s take a look at 𝐇𝐎𝐖 𝐓𝐎 𝐆𝐄𝐓 𝐌𝐎𝐑𝐄 𝐑𝐄𝐕𝐈𝐄𝐖𝐒!!
First off, most of you reading this are only trying to get reviews by following some 3 step email sequence and using Feedbackwhiz or another autoresponder. While this is important, it is also not the most effective way of doing things – ESPECIALLY with Amazon sellers. Short version is that people buy on Amazon.com because they want the convenience of comparing something they are looking for with the competition, clicking to buy and having it delivered WITHOUT having to interact with sales people or make an effort to take time out of their day to shop in person.
An email is nice afterward but immediately after purchase and delivery, most customers are not wanting to get flooded with a ton of emails from a brand because they are wanting to use their product and move on with life…you are slowing down the high they are getting from their new shiny object by asking them to take time and leave feedback. Moreover, you haven’t offered them anything for their time. Does this mean you shouldn’t email people…….didnt say that! Yes to email but yes to having more effective content and timing to give them what they need and to give you your best chances of getting feedback.
Email tips for more Amazon Reviews
Email tips: People are most likely to leave a review AFTER they have interacted with you. If we stick to the 3 email sequence within the Amazon ecosystem, the first one you might offer some ideas on how to use your product as well as any instructions they may need. I usually have this one delivered as a thank you for the order. This way when they get the product, they have a better chance of looking at the email again and it gets them thinking about how they are going to use it. This not only builds their excitement but keeps “buyer’s remorse” away.
The second email, I usually send when the item ships. I let them know about my customer service and warranty policy and to respond immediately to the email if they have any questions, concerns, problems, etc. This allows me to keep potentially negative reviews away before they arise. Most people are having things delivered 2 day via prime so the email about customer service shouldn’t be too far removed from their minds.
Most sellers follow a similar strategy but most sellers send a third email asking for feedback THE DAY AFTER delivery. 𝐈 𝐝𝐨 𝐧𝐨𝐭. 𝐈 𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝟑 𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐤𝐬 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐝𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲. This is for a few reasons:
1) Unless the experience with the product or your customer service was amazing, people DO NOT immediately leave feedback the moment they receive your product. Same with brick and mortar businesses….unless the service was really amazing or really terrible, people don not immediately leave reviews upon leaving an establishment. It is the same with purchases actually. There are a HUGE number of people that will add to cart after clicking on an ad or searching for something but wait 3 weeks to buy it. This is called a delayed purchase and can be tracked to see how effective your ads and conversions are via a FB pixel…..but more on that later.
2) By giving them time to enjoy your product without you hounding them like a dog for reviews, they will have a better opinion about their purchase and be more likely to give feedback. This is your opportunity to get them to interact with you. Most people have some polite script to ask for “an honest review” both trying to get social proof and not piss off amazon in the process….1 to 3% huh…. The reason your feedback is converting so low for the objective is both timing as mentioned above AND your lack of understanding about WHY people leave feedback (this topic will be covered later in this article).
Instead of asking them for “honest feedback” tell them that you are looking for feedback on how to improve your product or customer service. You can also mention again that if they are not satisfied to contact you immediately. Ask pointed questions like would they buy it again or recommend it to a friend.
You can also encourage them to “help the community” by leaving a photo or video review (I can hear some heads exploding with that last statement). These survey style questions give people something to think about and since you’ve given them time to enjoy your product, they now have something to write about. The point is that you’ve given them leading questions if they feel like talking….starting to see the picture?
3) Amazon’s recent review sweep has seen people’s reviews wiped by the hundreds and even had their listings blocked from receiving more reviews temporarily. I will talk about the data I’ve seen and my theory behind it in a later section but I will tell you that if you get your organic reviews a few weeks AFTER purchase, you will be much more likely to have them stick as these delays between a purchase interaction and review showing up are more matching of the delay that takes place in the real world.
4) If you learn the art of Copywriting you’ll be able to both make the email more interesting and perhaps even funny. This will get you higher open rates and even higher engagement. See the example below.
𝐒𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝟐𝐛) 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐝𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐧’𝐭 𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝!!
So in the previous section, we talked about email feedback
through amazon and how the bulk of people rely on ONLY that tool to get reviews to boost their listings and reputation. I also mentioned earlier in the article that I have reviews and listings on multiple channels so that people can be directed to any one of them for more validation.
1) Amazon early reviewer program – it is $60 for up to 5 amazon approved reviews. No brainer.
2) Question….how do you get people off of amazon and engaging with you so that you don’t have to worry about TOS restrictions and can interact with them like a real business would? Easy, go to your seller central account and get an order history report. This will be a spreadsheet of all of your customers and orders….minus their email of course. Wait a minute Steven……if I don’t have their email then how do I get ahold of them? My poor dears….keep reading. Take that spreadsheet and upload it to facebook as a custom audience.
𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐮𝐧 𝐛𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐬!
Film a video or have one made thanking them for their purchase, re-introduce your brand and customer service, invite them to join your FB page and community for more ideas and giveaways as well as visiting your website where you just happen to have an opt in for an email list which will send them content on how to use their items, things other owners are doing and saying, coupons, early bird discounts, etc.
Run that thank you video to the custom audience we just mentioned.
This is also an opportunity to Upsell them by offering a discount or free gift for buying again. You can also offer them a gift when they give you proof of a review by opting into your email on the website. They get to see the person or people behind the brand and a video is 𝐌𝐔𝐂𝐇 more likely to hit their emotions and get them to take action.
My personal favorite is having them opt into my email list because we are “running a contest” where the winner will get some incentive or mystery prize of the day for opting in and purchasing on certain days.
Secondarily, I can use that custom audience to generate look-a-like audiences so that the people I am running my Facebook ads to are a better match to my end goal of converting them to customers.
I can also use surveys to these folks and ask those pointed questions about buying again or recommending to a friend. My sneaky ass LOVES surveys because I get hard data back at a much higher rate than a typed response somewhere. I then make that positive data an 𝐢𝐧𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐡𝐢𝐜 in the photos of my listing (not fair)! Seeing something like “91% of our customers would buy this again” or “88% of our customers would recommend this to a friend” are 𝐏𝐎𝐖𝐄𝐑𝐅𝐔𝐋 things to see when people are on the fence about buying something.
You should also be doing this with a Messenger Bot flow. I taught people the concept of adding a scannable QR code and instructions to their product insert or package to get people to interact and get into an off amazon bot flow. This allows you to add value post purchase, tag them as as both a purchaser and someone who engaged after purchase, and converse with them to address problems, farm reviews, and get them into your off amazon eco-system. A video covering this can be found here: Manychat reviews . It should be noted that instead of the parametric QR code mentioned in the video, you will need to use a regular QR code and attach it to your bot flow via a referring URL. How to do that can be found here: QR code generator
3) Rewarding customers for reviews is an accepted business practice outside of Amazon. BUYING reviews or incentivizing a certain spin, angle, or rating should be avoided on every platform. That being said…..for your FB, email and off amazon groups, offer discounts for feedback shared publicly (on Amazon) and host periodic drawings and giveaways for reviews submitted within a certain timeframe. Are you noticing the THEME OF ENGAGEMENT? This is how normal businesses run off of amazon because they know that by making the process as easy as possible and compensating folks for taking the time, they are not only more likely to get more reviews but they are also keeping their brand in front of their customer base 𝑼𝑷𝑷𝑰𝑵𝑮 𝑻𝑯𝑬 𝑪𝑯𝑨𝑵𝑪𝑬𝑺 𝑶𝑭 𝑹𝑬𝑷𝑼𝑹𝑪𝑯𝑨𝑺𝑰𝑵𝑮!!!!!
Did you realize that when getting reviews you should also be figuring out a way to get repurchases or cross selling your customers on other items you offer? Of course you should….they are telling you how much they like you…meaning that they would likely buy again or a complimentary item IF OFFERED!!!!!
Get Your Amazon Reviews Everywhere
4) 𝗛𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗼𝗳 𝗲𝗹𝘀𝗲𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲!! Some of you know that I came to Amazon from building brands elsewhere and that is the reason I say a lot of the things I do. One of the best things I’ve done for my Amazon brands is having Shopify store to mirror my Amazon listings. I won’t go into the benefits and whys from a sales perspective in this article but from a review standpoint it would be this:
On my Shopify stores I have a gallery of photo reviews as social proof about my products. I use those photo testimonials ALL over the place on social media and in my FB ads. I also use my Shopify stores as part of my retargeting sequences for some of the campaigns I run…..like when people don’t use an amazon coupon within 21 days after opting into my list or for people who make it to my landing page but don’t give me their email.
They simply need more validation of their purchase so I send them to my shopify stores where they can see 𝐏𝐇𝐎𝐓𝐎𝐒 of people with my products and what they have to say. They can even buy right there on the shopify store because I have them all set to be fulfilled by amazon and linked to my FBA account so that the inventory levels update.
5) Generate a local loyal army of followers: I have a niche group running and engaged with content on FB well before I go to launch the product. I always get pre-production samples to my groups so that I can get REAL customer feedback on what to add, change, etc to the product design from the factory BEFORE I place an order for production with a supplier. If I’m real touchy, I will also have production samples made with all logos, colors, packaging, etc in place and take it to the group for feedback. This also means that I have a few people ready to rock for those first reviews when the production stock hits amazon.
6) Two people removed…..this is a Grey area tactic but not terrible….. This is for those struggling to get those “initial reviews” during launch and need a kick in the pants to their listing. Do what follows PRE LAUNCH and have a plan before you place an order with a supplier. We all know that Amazon frowns on friends and family leaving reviews and prefers reviews to come from people we don’t know. It is best if they don’t live in the same city as you either.
Make a list of 5 friends – girlfriend, mom, good buddy, etc. don’t care but list at least 5. Go buy 5x Visa gift cards for the full price of the your product and even 10x Amazon $10 gift cards if you want to really grease the offer. Tell those 5 people about your doing business on amazon and needing help. Tell them to get a friend you don’t know to buy the product and leave a review. Tell them that the ghost friend can use the visa gift card to buy it and for helping and leaving a review on your product listing, Your friend and their mystery friend get a $10 Amazon gift card for the trouble.
If you want to be safe, stagger distributing the gift cards so everything doesn’t hit amazon at once. Make sure that you aren’t connected in any way to the ghost. If you ask your mom, have one of your mom’s work friend do it. If you ask your best friend, have him get his brother from another state to do it.
Psychology – Why People Leave Reviews
There are loads of studies on this and here is the synopsis of why people leave reviews, so pay attention and start thinking like your customers. The easier you make it on them to leave feedback, the more likely they will be to do so:
*Leaving a review is an above and beyond addition to buying something so customers need something extraordinary to be motivated to do so. Be it positive or negative, leaving a review is an emotional thing.
*People will leave reviews if they are venting a frustration with an experience or product and cannot easily get a swift remedy to their situation.
*People will praise if something is positive beyond their expectations. It could be customer service, how well the product solved their problem, the quality of the materials or design of the product, etc. The point is that it was well beyond what they felt was expected and had to tell people.
*Validating a purchase to the community. This could be if they spent a good bit of money on something and need to tell people how great it was so that they aren’t bitten by buyer’s remorse.
*Wanting to be part of the community
*Wanting to leave feedback in the interest of helping the company better itself.
I look forward to hearing what you think in the comments.