How to Get Reviews on Amazon and Improve Your Amazon Seller FeedbackAshley Kochans
Every eCommerce entrepreneur wants to get reviews on Amazon, and for good reason. Not only do reviews contribute to good rankings, but they are also a key purchase-driver. You can’t just stop at getting good Amazon reviews, however. In order to sell on Amazon, you need to use all customer communication strategically.
What does customer communication entail? Positive reviews are crucial, but you can’t neglect seller feedback. (Yes, there is a difference.) To make things more complicated, Amazon sellers must comply with strict guidelines on how, when, and what they may communicate to buyers to avoid fake reviews.
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In this article, we’ll tackle the difference between the reviews and feedback, and how to get more of both. Once you try these tactics, you can build a successful buyer-seller communication strategy while staying Amazon compliant.
CHAPTER I What’s the Difference Between Amazon Seller Feedback and Product Reviews?
Although they are often confused, seller feedback and product reviews serve two different purposes. Both help you build a brand on Amazon, but feedback refers strictly to the seller, while reviews refer to the product.
Amazon Seller Feedback
Seller feedback measures the quality of an Amazon seller.
Shoppers are encouraged to rate their experiences with a seller by leaving feedback on shipping, communication, and overall experience. Using the five-star rating system, buyers can leave their feedback after the purchase.
Sellers with higher Amazon feedback scores tend to win Buy Box more often.
Amazon Product Reviews
Product reviews measure the quality of an Amazon product.
Product reviews are a core element of eCommerce because shoppers can’t physically see or touch products. Reviews provide potential buyers with crucial information and help them make informed purchases.
Product reviews help an ASIN’s organic search rank, especially with a new product.
One big difference between product reviews and seller feedback is that reviews are displayed on the product detail page. Feedback, on the other hand, requires some deeper clicking to find.
As a seller, you can’t neglect feedback or reviews, but you can prioritize them based on your business needs. For example, seller feedback is especially crucial to third-party (3P) resellers, because they compete with others who sell identical products. If you’re listing a new product, it’s better to focus on product reviews as the first step.
Also remember, there is a difference between verified and unverified reviews. Hopefully, all of your product reviews will come from a verified customer. Our guide to verified versus unverified reviews will help you tell the difference.
CHAPTER II Communicating with Amazon Buyers: The Do’s and Don’ts of Messaging
Many sellers wrongly believe that Amazon no longer allows them to ask buyers for seller feedback and product reviews. The marketplace has certainly cracked down on incentivized reviews in recent years. However, sellers can and should pursue feedback and reviews for every order — they just need to do it in compliance with Amazon’s Guidelines.
Unfortunately, Amazon compliance is much easier said than done. To keep up with Amazon’s continual refinement of its messaging policy, we keep our Communications Policy Changes article up to date, but here are some basic do’s and do not’s.
Send one communication asking for seller feedback or a product review.
Send multiple requests to the same buyer.
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 a resolution.
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.
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 and review emails.
Use Buyer-Seller Messaging or Request a Review within Amazon Seller Central, or via a reputable third-party tool.
Promote other products, brands, websites, etc.
Only request seller feedback, or a product review, not both.
Solicit reviews from paid sources, friends, family, etc.
Mitigating Risk of Buyer-Seller Restrictions
How do you get product reviews AND avoid incurring restrictions on my Amazon seller messaging privileges? Follow the rules. Many Amazon sellers get restricted from Buyer-Seller Messaging for 30 days (not the same as an account suspension) when they don’t.
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. At the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to keep up with Amazon’s guidelines because 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
- Stay calm, remember that it’s just 30 days. While you will be temporarily unable to use Buyer-Seller Messaging, still able to get unsolicited seller feedback and product reviews.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Always be up-to-date on the latest industry news and best practices.
CHAPTER III How to Get More Product Reviews & Seller Feedback
When it comes to asking for Amazon seller feedback and product reviews, you have two options: Buyer-Seller Messaging or Request a Review. If you’re a new seller, you’re also eligible for the Amazon Early Reviewer Program. Assuming that you are not restricted, the choice is yours, but you must use one, not both.
Buyer-Seller Messaging is more comprehensive, but it’s also riskier. 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.
Buyer-Seller Messaging vs. Request a Review
– 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 (includes automation, 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 if you violate 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 (includes automation and your choice of send times)
– Single fixed message that cannot be customized
– Is sent by and from Amazon
– No templates, only one request written by Amazon
– No risk of restriction because the message contains no variables or options and is Amazon-built and sent
Create and Optimize Messages to Be Most Effective
It’s hard to know which messages will get 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. Try both methods to see what works.
With A/B testing, you can systematically determine which messages deliver the best open rates and most conversions. These message analytics provide a wealth of data to help you reach more people and inspire them to leave seller feedback and product reviews.
Deliver Proactive Customer Service at Just the Right Time
One important factor to test is your message’s timing. 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 requires assembly, the buyer might need additional instructions. In this case, you might use Buyer-Seller Messaging to send a PDF with directions. But you wouldn’t want that message to arrive at the moment that the order is placed. You’d most likely want the message sent as soon as the package has been marked as delivered. Sending timely messages will increase your star rating as a seller or for your product.
Save Time: Automate Your Customer Communications
Regardless of whether you use Buyer-Seller messaging or Request a Review, you’re going to have to do it manually. If you’ve got a big email list, manual communications take a hefty amount of time.
Sending automated messages to buyers is the most efficient way to build a strong reputation. You’ll save countless hours weekly, which frees you up to focus on innovation, advertising, all of the other important aspects of growing your business.
What does automating customer communications really mean?
- 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!
Seller Labs PRO vs. Amazon Seller Central
In addition to your choice of method, you also have your choice of tools. There is no shortage of third-party review software and services. 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 poorly designed tool.
To keep it simple, let’s compare features between two providers that are committed to communications compliance, Seller Labs, and Amazon Seller Central.
|Seller Labs PRO Buyer-Seller Messaging||Amazon Seller Central Buyer Seller Messaging|
|From Address Display||Your Brand||Amazon|
|Amazon-Compliant Pre-Installed Templates|
|Advanced Message Filters|
|Multiple Event Triggers|
|Automated Send Date Selection|
Seller Labs PRO Buyer-Seller Messaging clearly has more features than Amazon Seller Central. With A/B testing, review monitoring, and advanced analytics, it is clearly the best option for Buyer-Seller Messaging.
Seller Labs PRO also offers a Request a Review feature, but because of the Amazon’s limitations, there is less customization available. Nonetheless, Seller Labs PRO offers A/B testing and customizable text with automated send dates, while Amazon Seller Central does not.
|Seller Labs PRO Request a Review||Amazon Seller Central Request a Review|
|From Address Display||Amazon||Amazon|
|Amazon-Compliant Pre-Installed Templates|
|Automated Send Date Selection|
|Automatic Translation to Buyer’s Preferred Language|
CHAPTER IV Conclusion
The importance of seller feedback and product reviews cannot be overstated. In fact, little matters more than 5-star reviews. You can use hands-on strategies like product inserts and the Early Reviewer Program, but nothing will save your reputation more than solid customer communications.
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, Buyer-Seller Messaging is for you.
- Request a Review: If you’re just looking for seller feedback and product reviews and you don’t want any personalization (or you’re restricted from Buyer-Seller Messaging), Request a Review will serve you nicely and eliminate the risk of messaging restriction.
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.
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