How to Get Reviews on Amazon and Improve Your Amazon Seller Feedback

Introduction

Every eCommerce entrepreneur wants to know how to get reviews on Amazon. And rightfully so, reviews not only fuel rankings in Amazon’s search results, they are a difference-maker when it comes to whether or not a customer buys your product. However, getting Amazon reviews is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the often-misunderstood buyer-seller communication on Amazon.

The goal of this article is to demystify customer communication on the Amazon Marketplace and to get you thinking about it strategically so that you can maximize its value for your business. The questions at hand: 

  • What’s the difference between reviews and feedback? What’s their value? How are they measured? Should you pursue one more than the other?
  • What are Amazon’s guidelines for asking for seller feedback and product reviews? What happens if a seller violates those terms?
  • How can you improve your reputation, branding, customer service, seller feedback, and product reviews using emails to buyers?
  • Is the more robust Buyer Seller Messaging option right for you or would using the more limited (but less risky) Request a Review feature be better? 
  • Should you use Amazon’s Seller Central or the Seller Labs Pro Communications Center Powered by Feedback Genius to meet your communication needs?
  • How can you use automation, powerful features, and proven best practices to get more (and better) feedback and reviews on Amazon?

In this article we’ll tackle the above questions so that you can build a successful buyer-seller communication strategy and reap the benefits, including selling more, ranking higher, strengthening your brand, and keeping customers happy.

Chapter 1: Understanding Amazon Seller Feedback and Product Reviews

Not to be confused with one another, seller feedback and product reviews serve different purposes in building a brand and a seller’s reputation on Amazon (for a detailed, in-depth explanation, read Seller Feedback vs Product Reviews: Build Your Reputation on Amazon). That’s why, when referencing the two, make sure to include “seller” in front of feedback, and “product” in front of reviews. That way there’s a clear definition between the two since Amazon feedback and reviews are often incorrectly used interchangeably. 

Seller Feedback vs. Product Reviews in a Nutshell

Amazon Seller Feedback

The seller feedback metric is used to measure the quality of an Amazon seller. Shoppers are encouraged to rate their experiences with a seller by leaving feedback based on shipping and communication. Using the five-star rating system — similar to a product review — buyers can leave their feedback after the purchase.

Seller feedback is especially crucial to third-party (3P) resellers because they compete with others who sell identical products. Sellers with higher Amazon feedback scores, faster shipping, and lower prices tend to win the coveted Buy Box more often, which equals more sales.

Amazon Product Reviews

Product reviews are a core element of the Amazon shopping experience because they help potential buyers make educated purchasing decisions. Since shoppers can’t physically see or touch products on the Amazon Marketplace, they rely on previous shoppers’ experiences to provide them with crucial information.

Product reviews help an ASIN’s organic search rank. This is especially true when a product has just launched on Amazon. The first 5-10 reviews are imperative to the product’s discoverability on the site. Product reviews contribute to your overall success and reputation.

Key Distinction to Keep in Mind: One big difference between the two is that product reviews are displayed on the product detail page as opposed to seller feedback, which is not shown there and requires some deeper clicking to find.

Chapter 2: Communicating with Amazon Buyers: The Do’s and Don’ts of Messaging

First and foremost, YES you can ask buyers for seller feedback and product reviews! Many sellers wrongly believe that Amazon no longer allows them to do so. That belief is false. Sellers can and should pursue feedback and reviews for every order — they just need to do it in careful compliance with Amazon’s Communications Guidelines. As any experienced seller will attest, this is much easier said than done given Amazon’s strict rules and rigorous enforcement of those rules. To keep up with Amazon’s continual refinement and updating of its messaging policy, read Amazon Communications Policy Changes and Buyer-Seller Messaging Updates.

Basic Rules for Requesting Amazon Seller Feedback and Product Reviews

DODO NOT

Send ONE communication asking for seller feedback OR a product review (one, not both) using Buyer Seller Messaging or Request a Review within Amazon Seller Central or via a reputable third-party tool.

Send multiple requests.

Adhere to all of Amazon’s Communications Guidelines.

Use conditional language like “If you love the product, leave five stars. If you’re not happy, contact us directly.”

Use neutral, respectful language.

Ask buyers to change existing reviews, even if there is resolutio

Personalize the message in compliance with Amazon’s guidelines.

Try to persuade, intimidate, or bully buyers into leaving or changing feedback or reviews.

Stay up to date on Amazon’s terms of service and periodically audit your messages for compliance.

Offer incentives, including but not limited to, promotions and coupons.

Remember that “When in doubt, leave it out” and err on the side of caution.

Include links or external contact info, including but not limited to, email addresses.

Automate your messages to save time and build relationships with buyers.

Attempt to contact buyers directly.

Remember that it’s Amazon’s marketplace and you have agreed to play by their rules.

Attempt to contact buyers who have opted out of feedback/review emails.

Promote other products, brands, websites, etc.

Solicit reviews from paid sources, friends, family, etc.

Try to work around Amazon’s rules.

Communications Violations: Mitigating Risk and Dealing with Restrictions

One of the most-asked questions we get is “How do I get product reviews AND avoid incurring restrictions on my Amazon seller messaging privileges?” The answer is simple: don’t break any rules (there really is no magic or formula). Admittedly Amazon’s Program Policies are lengthy and confusing. They are subject to change and Amazon does not hesitate to make frequent changes, often without notifying sellers. It can be hard to keep up with all of the Amazon guidelines, but at the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to do so. 

Many Amazon sellers come to us saying that they’ve been restricted from Buyer Seller Messaging for 30 days (not the same as an account suspension) and they don’t know why. To them, it seems as if they’ve not violated any of Amazon’s Communication Guidelines. 

Often, when we help these sellers, we dig deeper into their accounts and we see that they have indeed violated Amazon’s policies either unknowingly or because they thought the infraction so small as to be negligible. Other times, there’s no clear violation. Regardless, a 30-day Buyer Seller Messaging restriction is not likely to be overturned nor is it worth the time it will take you to try.

What to Do When You Are Restricted from Amazon Buyer Seller Messaging for 30 Days

  1. Stay calm, remember that it’s just 30 days, and know that while you will be temporarily unable to use Buyer Seller Messaging, you are not out of the game when it comes to getting seller feedback and product reviews.
  2. With Buyer Seller Messaging off the table for a time, switch to using Request a Review. While it is more limited than Buyer Seller Messaging, Request a Review is effective and still available to you even when restricted from Buyer Seller Messaging.
  3. Audit your messages and make sure that everything is compliant so that you don’t receive another restriction for the same infraction. If you find a violation, rectify it immediately. If you see nothing wrong, reread the Amazon Communications Guidelines just to make sure you didn’t miss any points or updates.
  4. If you still can’t find the problem, contact Amazon Support and ask why you received the restriction. The representative who responds may or may not be able to help you but it’s worth a shot.
  5. Wait out the 30 days, and if you’re certain there is no violation, you might try returning to Buyer Seller Messaging. If so, know that you are now at risk for a second messaging restriction, which can lead to the dreaded Amazon account suspension. If this happens, you can try to appeal it, but it’s very difficult and very expensive, and suspensions are rarely overturned.

Chapter 3: Methods of Getting Seller Feedback and Product Reviews: Buyer Seller Messaging vs. Request a Review

When it comes to asking for Amazon seller feedback and product reviews, you have two options for contacting buyers: Buyer Seller Messaging or Request a Review. Buyer Seller Messaging is infinitely richer in what you can do and achieve, but it’s also riskier as any modifications that you make to the original Amazon template can violate Amazon’s Communications Guidelines. Request a Review, on the other hand, is a simple, minimal, unchangeable message sent by Amazon that carries no risk as it’s inherently Amazon compliant. Assuming that you are not restricted the choice between Buyer Seller Messaging and Request a Review is yours, but you must use one, not both. There’s no right choice, it’s all about your goals and the level of risk you are willing to take.

Key Differences Between Buyer Seller Messaging and Request a Review

Buyer Seller Messaging

– Available only to sellers who are NOT restricted from Buyer Seller Messaging

– Available in Seller Central (limited features and no automation)

– Available within Seller Labs Pro’s Communication Center Powered by Feedback Genius (includes automations, event triggers, analytics, A/B testing, more)

– Multiple pre-configured templates

– Customizable, personalizable text and look and feel that reflects your request and your brand

– Appears sent from your brand

– Risk of 30-day (or permanent) Buyer Seller Messaging restriction given customizability and the resulting possibility of violating Amazon’s Communications Guidelines

Request a Review

– Available to ALL sellers, even those restricted from Buyer Seller Messaging

– Available in Seller Central (no options or automation)

– Available within Seller Labs Pro’s Communication Center Powered by Feedback Genius (includes automation and your choice of send times)

– Single fixed message that cannot be customized

– Black box (you see nothing, you control nothing, you get no reports)

– Is sent by and from Amazon

– No templates, only one request written by Amazon

– No risk of restriction because message contains no variables or options and is Amazon-built and sent

Chapter 4: Tools for Using Buyer Seller Messaging and Request a Review

In addition to choosing between Buyer Seller Messaging and Request a Review, sellers must also choose which tools they will use to best obtain seller feedback and product reviews. There is no shortage of third-party review software and services available today. Features and prices vary and some services are more reputable than others, which means that you will incur a higher risk of restriction if you opt for a tool developed without great attention to compliance with Amazon’s policies. To keep it simple, let’s compare features between two providers that are committed to communications compliance, Seller Labs and Amazon.

Buyer Seller Messaging Features Comparison: Seller Labs Pro vs. Amazon Seller Central

Seller Labs Pro Buyer Seller Messaging Communication Center Powered by Feedback GeniusAmazon Seller Central Buyer Seller Messaging
AutomatedYes
From Address DisplayYour BrandAmazon
Customizable TextYesYes
BrandableYes
A/B TestingYes
Blacklist (Opt-Out)YesYes
Amazon-Compliant Pre-Installed TemplatesYesYes
Advanced Message FiltersYes
Attachments AllowedYesYes
HTML/CSS RichYesYes
Multiple Event TriggersYes
AnalyticsYes
Automated Send Date SelectionYes
Marketplaces Served11All
Review MonitoringYes
NotificationsYes
Restriction RiskYesYes
Automatic Translation to Buyer’s Preferred Language

Request a Review Features Comparison: Seller Labs Pro vs. Amazon Seller Central

Seller Labs Pro Request a Review Via Communication Center Powered by Feedback Genius Genius
Amazon Seller Central Request a Review
AutomatedYes
From Address DisplayAmazonAmazon
Customizable Text
Brandable
A/B Testing
Blacklist (Opt-Out)YesYes
Amazon-Compliant Pre-Installed TemplatesYesYes
Advanced Message Filters
Attachments Allowed
HTML/CSS Rich
Multiple Event Triggers
Analytics
Automated Send Date SelectionYes
Marketplaces Served11All
Review Monitoring
Notifications
Restriction Risk
Automatic Translation to Buyer’s Preferred LanguageYesYes

Chapter 5: How to Get More Amazon Seller Feedback and Product Reviews — While Saving Time

Automate Your Customer Communications

Within Amazon Seller Central, you can email buyers asking for seller feedback and product reviews using either Buyer Seller Messaging or Request a Review. However, you’re going to have to do it manually regardless of which method you use. That is a lot of repetitive button pushing, copying and pasting, keeping track of messages, and worrying if you sent the right message to the right buyer. It works but it’s hardly the best use of your time.

Sending automated messages to buyers is the most efficient way to build a strong reputation based on seller feedback and product reviews. You’ll save countless hours weekly, which frees you up to focus on innovation, advertising, launching new products, sourcing, and all of the other important aspects of growing your business.

What does automating customer communications really mean? It means: 

  • Having a library of messages and workflows at the ready so that you can engage with buyers at every critical juncture — all without painstakingly repetitive manual actions. 
  • Meeting your customers’ needs every step of the way, getting more seller feedback and product reviews, proactively attending to any potential product or shipping issues, and building trust with your buyers. 
  • Not having to babysit every send!

That’s exactly what you get with Seller Labs Pro that you won’t find in Amazon Seller Central. Both Buyer Seller Messaging and Request a Review are fully automated in Pro. 

Deliver Proactive Customer Service at Just the Right Time

For Buyer Seller Messaging and Request a Review to be most effective, emails need to reach buyers at the right times. For example, if the product purchased requires assembly, the buyer might need additional instructions sent to them in order to get the most out of the product. In this case, you might use Buyer-Seller Messaging to send a PDF with directions. But you wouldn’t want that message to arrive the moment that the order is placed and you wouldn’t want to have to check the shipping status to know when the product is delivered. You’d most likely want the message sent as soon the package has been marked as delivered. With shipping integration, this is an easy automation and an easy win for both you and the buyer. You’ll find this feature in Seller Labs Pro but not Amazon Seller Central.

Create and Optimize Messages to Be Most Effective

It’s hard to know which messages will garner the best results. Sometimes a simple tweak to a subject line can dramatically increase an email’s open rate. But you can’t know unless you test. With A/B testing, you can systematically determine which messages deliver the best open rates and most conversions. Testing like this, coupled with message analytics, provides a wealth of data to help you reach more people and inspire them to leave seller feedback and product reviews. 

Conclusion

The importance of seller feedback and product reviews cannot be overstated. In fact, little matters more than these testimonials and ratings when it comes to the products customers buy and the sellers from whom they buy them

How do you determine which method and which tool is best for you when it comes to achieving your customer communication objectives?

  • Buyer Seller Messaging: If you’re looking to connect with your buyers, build relationships with them, deliver proactive customer support, and strengthen your brand identity — all in addition to getting seller feedback and product reviews — and you’re committed to adhering to all of Amazon’s Communication Guidelines (thus reducing your risk of communication restrictions), Buyer Seller Messaging is for you. 
  • Request a Review: If you’re just looking for seller feedback and product reviews on Amazon and you don’t want any personalization or bells and whistles in your messages (or you’re restricted from Buyer Seller Messaging), Request a Review will serve you nicely and eliminate the risk of messaging restriction. What will not be nice is having to go into each order in Seller Central and click the Request a Review button. Bypass that time-suck with the automated Request a Review tool in Seller Labs Pro’s Communication Center.

The easiest, most powerful, most efficient way to deliver rich communication is by automating your emails and using features like event triggers, A/B testing, and notifications. None of those features are available using Amazon’s Seller Central Buyer Seller Messaging, but you can get them all (and more) in the Seller Labs Pro. You’ll also find automated Request a Review. 

Try Seller Labs Pro free for 30 days and see how much time you save and how much more seller feedback and how many more product reviews you accrue.

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