Leveraging Customer Reviews On Amazon: A Comprehensive Guide

Amazon Expert

Hi I’m Steven, Founder of My Amazon Guy, a 500+ person Amazon Seller Central agency out of Atlanta, GA. We Growth Hack eCommerce and Marketplaces through PPC, SEO, Design, and Catalog Management.

Leveraging customer reviews on Amazon, in the ever-evolving world of fierce competition, can be your secret weapon to success. These valuable insights, shared by satisfied customers or vocal critics, can significantly impact your Amazon rankings, sales, and overall business growth. 

Join us as we delve into the strategies that can set you apart in this thriving marketplace through the power of customer reviews.

Leveraging Customer Reviews On Amazon: Impact on Amazon Rankings

The role of customer reviews in Amazon’s algorithm

Customer reviews play a significant role in Amazon’s algorithm, also known as the A9 algorithm, for a number of reasons:

  1. Product Ranking: The more positive reviews a product has, the higher it tends to rank in search results. This is because Amazon’s algorithm sees positive reviews as a sign of a product’s popularity and quality. 
  2. Customer Trust: Products with a higher number of positive reviews are more trusted by customers. Amazon’s algorithm takes this into account, placing such products higher in search results to enhance the customer experience.
  3. Sales Velocity: Positive reviews can lead to an increase in sales, which is another factor that Amazon’s algorithm considers when ranking products. The more a product sells, the higher it will rank.
  4. Feedback for Improvement: Reviews, both positive and negative, can provide valuable feedback for sellers. This allows them to make necessary improvements to their products, which can ultimately lead to more positive reviews and a higher ranking.
  5. Verified Purchase Reviews: Amazon’s algorithm places a lot of weight on “verified purchase” reviews. These are reviews left by customers who purchased the product directly from Amazon. These reviews are seen as more trustworthy and can significantly influence a product’s ranking.

Remember, while customer reviews are important, they are just one of many factors that the Amazon algorithm considers when ranking products. Other factors include price, sales history, product availability, and relevance to the search query.

How positive reviews can boost your product’s visibility

Positive reviews can boost your product’s visibility in a number of ways.

The correlation between the number of reviews and ranking

The number of reviews a product has on Amazon can significantly impact its ranking. Here’s how:

  1. Improved Search Engine Rankings: Amazon’s A9 algorithm considers the number of reviews when determining a product’s ranking. Products with a higher number of reviews, particularly positive ones, are likely to rank higher in search results.
  2. Increased Consumer Trust: A product with a high number of reviews typically indicates that it is popular and trusted by consumers. This can lead to more clicks and purchases, which further improves the ranking.
  3. Boosted Sales Velocity: More reviews often lead to more sales, and this sales velocity is another critical factor in Amazon’s ranking algorithm. A product that sells more frequently will typically rank higher than similar products with fewer sales.
  4. Visibility in ‘Top Rated’ and ‘Most Wished For’ Lists: Products with a high number of positive reviews can appear in Amazon’s ‘Top Rated’ and ‘Most Wished For’ lists, which can significantly increase their visibility and ranking.

While the number of reviews can correlate to higher rankings, it’s important to note that the quality of reviews also plays a significant role. A product with fewer but highly positive reviews can sometimes outrank a product with more reviews but a lower average rating. Amazon’s algorithm is designed to prioritize the customer experience, so products that are well-received by customers tend to rank higher.

Leveraging Customer Reviews On Amazon: Quality of Reviews

What does “quality of reviews” refer to?

The quality of reviews typically refers to several key elements:

  1. Detail and Relevance: High-quality reviews provide specific, detailed feedback about the product or service. They focus on the features, functionality, and performance, and how these aspects met the customer’s needs or expectations.
  2. Helpfulness to Other Customers: A quality review is not just about sharing an opinion, but also about helping other customers make informed purchase decisions. This means including information that others might find useful or relevant.
  3. Accuracy and Honesty: Quality reviews accurately reflect the customer’s experience, both positive and negative. They are honest, fair, and not misleading, providing a balanced view of the product or service.
  4. Clarity and Coherence: Good reviews are well-written and easy to understand. They are logically structured, use clear language, and avoid unnecessary jargon.
  5. Constructive Criticism: When the review is negative, a quality review provides constructive feedback. Rather than just complaining, it offers suggestions for improvement, helping the seller or manufacturer understand how they can improve the product or service.
  6. Compliance with Review Guidelines: Quality reviews also adhere to Amazon’s review guidelines. They do not contain promotional content, offensive language, or personal information, and they are related to the product or service in question.

Remember, while sellers can encourage customers to leave reviews, they should not attempt to influence the content of the review in any way. This can lead to penalties from Amazon.

Why is the quality of reviews important?

The quality of reviews on your product listings on Amazon is crucial for several reasons:

A yellow and white poster promoting the need for high-quality reviews on Amazon.

How do I determine the quality of my customer reviews on Amazon?

Determining the quality of your customer reviews on Amazon involves understanding and evaluating several key factors:

  1. Rating: The star rating gives an immediate indication of customer satisfaction. A higher average rating suggests better quality reviews and overall customer satisfaction.
  2. Content: Analyze the content of the reviews. High-quality reviews are detailed, provide specific feedback about the product, and help other customers make informed decisions.
  3. Relevance: Check if the reviews are relevant to the product. They should discuss the product’s features, performance, and value, not irrelevant topics or issues related to delivery.
  4. Constructive Criticism: Even negative reviews can be high quality if they provide constructive feedback on how to improve the product.
  5. Verified Purchase: Reviews marked as “Verified Purchase” are generally considered more trustworthy, as they confirm the reviewer actually bought the product from Amazon.
  6. Helpfulness Votes: Amazon allows customers to vote on whether a review was helpful. A high number of “helpful” votes can indicate that a review is high quality.
  7. Review Frequency: Regular and recent reviews can indicate a consistent level of product quality and customer satisfaction.

Leveraging Customer Reviews On Amazon: Requesting Customer Reviews

Amazon does not require sellers to request reviews from customers because it already does this on your behalf. To request a review for a specific order, we recommend using the “Request a review” feature found on the Order Details page. Instead of reaching out to the customer via email or Buyer-Seller Messaging, this method offers several advantages:

  1. Combined Requests: When you use this feature, both a product review and seller feedback are requested in the same email. These requests utilize standardized language and are automatically translated into the customer’s preferred language.
  2. Timing: You can utilize this feature to request reviews once per order, and it’s best done between 5 and 30 days after the order’s delivery date. This ensures that customers receive relevant and timely review requests, enhancing the likelihood of their participation.

Watch this video where Steven Pope, founder of My Amazon Guy, shares a review generation strategy:

Leveraging Customer Reviews On Amazon: Encouraging Customers to Leave Reviews

Importance of post-purchase follow-up emails

Post-purchase follow-up emails play a crucial role in your Amazon business for several reasons:

  1. Enhance Customer Experience: Follow-up emails can provide additional value to customers, such as usage tips for the product, or simply thanking them for their purchase. This can enhance their overall shopping experience.
  2. Encourage Reviews: Politely asking for a product review in a follow-up email can help increase the number of reviews you receive. More reviews can boost your product’s visibility and ranking on Amazon.
  3. Address Issues Proactively: By checking in with customers, you can address any issues or concerns they might have before they leave a negative review. This allows you to turn potentially negative experiences into positive ones.
  4. Build Customer Loyalty: Follow-up emails show customers that you value their business and care about their experience. This can help to build customer loyalty and increase the likelihood of repeat purchases.
  5. Collect Valuable Feedback: Feedback received through follow-up emails can provide valuable insights into how your product is being received, and can highlight areas for improvement.
  6. Promote Other Products: Once you have established a relationship with the customer, follow-up emails can also be used to introduce other products you sell that might interest them.

Providing excellent customer service to generate reviews

Providing excellent customer service is a strategic way to generate more reviews on Amazon. Here’s how you can approach it:

  1. Be Proactive: Reach out to customers after they have received their order to ensure everything is satisfactory. This can help solve any issues before a possible negative review and shows you value their feedback.
  2. Prompt and Polite Communication: Respond to customer inquiries in a timely and polite manner. Quick, effective responses can leave a positive impression and encourage customers to leave a review.
  3. Solve Issues Effectively: If a customer has a problem, resolve it promptly and effectively. Customers appreciate sellers who are committed to their satisfaction and may express this in their review.
  4. Ask for Reviews: After providing excellent service, it’s okay to ask customers to leave a review. However, remember to stay within Amazon’s guidelines – don’t pressure or incentivize them to leave a review.
  5. Continuous Improvement: Use customer feedback to continuously improve your customer service. Demonstrating commitment to improvement can lead to positive reviews.
  6. Follow-up: After resolving any issues, follow up with the customer to ensure they are satisfied with the solution. This extra step can enhance their overall experience and potentially lead to a positive review.

Here’s another video where you could learn about contacting buyers for their reviews:

Can I offer incentives to get customer reviews?

No, offering incentives for reviews is against Amazon’s policies. Amazon’s guidelines are designed to maintain the trust and integrity of reviews on the platform. They explicitly prohibit any kind of manipulation of product reviews. This includes offering incentives like discounts, free products, or cash in exchange for reviews.

Violating these guidelines can lead to severe penalties, such as suspension or termination of your seller account. It’s important to encourage reviews in an ethical and compliant way, such as by providing excellent customer service, selling high-quality products, and politely asking customers to leave a review after their purchase without offering any form of compensation.

Leveraging Customer Reviews On Amazon: Dealing with Negative Reviews

Responding to negative reviews

Responding to negative reviews can be a delicate task. Here are some best practices to follow:

  1. Respond Promptly: Customers appreciate a quick response. This shows them that you take their feedback seriously and are committed to resolving their issues.
  2. Stay Professional: Always maintain a professional tone, even if the review is harsh or unfair. Avoid getting defensive or argumentative.
  3. Apologize and Show Empathy: Start your response by apologizing for the negative experience. This shows the customer that you genuinely care about their satisfaction.
  4. Address the Issue: Acknowledge the specific issue mentioned in the review and provide any additional context if necessary.
  5. Propose a Solution: Whenever possible, propose a solution to the problem. This might involve a refund, replacement, or steps to fix the issue.
  6. Take the Conversation Offline: If the issue is complex, consider asking the customer to contact you directly. This allows you to address the issue in more detail without airing all of the specifics publicly.
  7. Learn from the Feedback: Use negative reviews as an opportunity to improve. If you notice a trend in the complaints, consider how you might modify your product or service to better meet customer expectations.

To know more about how to manage negative reviews, here are some videos you can watch:

Can negative reviews help build credibility?

Yes, negative reviews can, paradoxically, help build credibility for your Amazon listings for several reasons:

  1. Realistic Expectations: Negative reviews can help set realistic expectations for potential buyers. They provide a balanced view of the product, which can prevent future negative reviews from customers who had unrealistic expectations.
  2. Authenticity: A mix of positive and negative reviews can make your product reviews appear more authentic. If a product only has positive reviews, customers may be skeptical and question their legitimacy.
  3. Improvement Opportunities: Negative reviews can highlight areas where your product or service can be improved. By addressing these issues, you can enhance your product and customer satisfaction over time.
  4. Trustworthy Response: How you respond to negative reviews also matters. A professional and thoughtful response to a negative review can demonstrate to customers that you value their feedback and are committed to resolving issues, which can build trust.
  5. Decision Making: Some customers specifically look for negative reviews while making their buying decision. They want to know the worst-case scenario before making a purchase.

While no seller wants negative reviews, they are a normal part of doing business and can be used strategically to improve and grow. However, it’s important to aim for predominantly positive reviews by offering high-quality products and excellent customer service.

Leveraging Customer Reviews On Amazon: Track Your Reviews

Is there a tool in Seller Central for tracking customer reviews?

Yes, the Customer Reviews page offers brands a convenient means of monitoring all new customer reviews for their products and extending assistance to buyers when the star rating falls below four. 

This monitoring of customer feedback serves as a crucial step in identifying and rectifying product or listing issues, as well as detecting and reporting instances of abuse. 

By providing support or solutions to dissatisfied customers, you can enhance overall customer satisfaction.

It’s important to note that this feature is exclusively accessible to sellers who are registered as brand owners. If you do not have access to this feature, it indicates that you haven’t been verified as a brand owner.

Accessing the Customer Reviews Page

Learn how to create a new customer in WooCommerce using the Seller Central Management tool by My Amazon Guy.
  • In Seller Central, go to Brands > Customer Reviews.
  • You have the option to filter customer reviews based on their star rating, brand (this applies when the brand owner is a “Brand Representative” for multiple brands), or specific time periods. Simply utilize the filters located at the top right corner to refine your search and access the reviews that matter most to you.