If you have started a new online business or know someone who has entered the e-commerce realm, you must have seen and understood the struggles of convincing the first few customers to leave a friendly word or two about their experience and your products.
We all know the pressure that comes with the threat of an unsatisfied customer leaving a ‘bad review.’ However, as the online retail industry continues to boom, some customers even exploit the opportunity.
While the years’ adage of ‘the customer is always right, has been around since the 1900s, the advent of social media has just made things trickier.
Now, the highly informed consumer can not only readily find out about someone else’s experience with a product or business but can also share their own, just with the tap of a finger. With the rapid growth in online retail, most online businesses now compete for the same pockets, and this is where customer reviews seem to be making a difference.
How Customer Reviews on Amazon Work?
Amazon pays a lot of importance to customer reviews and encourages online buyers on the platform to share their experiences with honesty. Both favorable and unfavorable reviews are equally welcomed as long as they are genuine and reflect the true feelings of the buyer.
What happens if a customer leaves an ingenuine bad review for whatever reasons? What if a Karen gives a one-star rating just because the seller did not meet her unnecessary demands? Being aware of the misuse and exploitation that can quickly ensue with product ratings and customer reviews, Amazon has a strict zero-tolerance policy for any misleading or manipulative reviews.
Amazon removes any review falling under the following categories:
- Multiple negative reviews by the same person for the same product.
- Review of anyone financially involved with the product.
- Thought of anyone closely and personally related to the seller/owner.
- Any review was done in exchange for monetary rewards or bonus in-game credits.
- Review of a manufacturer on their listing as an unbiased shopper.
- Any negative review by a seller on competitors’ listings.
- A positive review from an artist on another artist’s album in exchange for a positive review from them.
Are Customer Reviews Important?
The straightforward and short answer is yes. About 75% of U.S consumers look for products with the best ratings and reviews when shopping online. Customer reviews become so crucial in e-commerce that they make up for the absence of a sensory tangible product experience that a potential buyer would have gotten in a brick-and-mortar store.
In addition to that, a customer review further adds a layer of ‘testability.’ It is very much like taking the product home, testing, and using it for a while to see if it is good, without having to pay for it. These reviews help people figure out the product quality, features, and other attributes and allow them to decide if the product is even right for them.
However, these are why product ratings and customer reviews are important for potential buyers and product seekers. The following section covers why these two things are crucial for you as a seller on Amazon and how they help your business in more than just the obvious ways.
How Do Reviews Help You as a Seller on Amazon?
By now, it is well established why you may want to have more and more positive reviews on your Amazon page, but you may not be aware of how you can use all of them to your benefit (even the negative ones). Of course, some ways are more obvious than others, but needless to say, it is important to have a thorough understanding of them all if you are planning to begin or have already started your journey as an Amazon seller.
Customer reviews build credibility.
This is a more obvious but long-term benefit that positive or even negative customer reviews will give you. Any customer review alongside a product rating serves as the social proof of whether your product is worth buying or not. The more customers are satisfied with your product quality, the higher your credibility in potential buyer’s minds.
More importantly, negative review and promptly respond to the issue in a sensible and caring manner – it speaks tons for your business values. Even a dissatisfied customer can be won back when handled wisely. This consistently earns your business the long-term asset of credibility.
They allow you to improve as a brand/business.
Believe it or not, negative reviews are not as bad as you may think. While it is true that some make no sense at all and unnecessarily blame your product or business, those written carefully can reveal serious problems with your market offering. For example, it is possible that despite the great design, your production team missed out on a component that is important from the user’s perspective.
On the contrary, it is also possible that the problem lies not in your product but in how you have presented it. For example, a negative review may lack clear instructions or guidance on the description page or reveal the need to phrase something differently. Taking critique for what it’s worth and improving upon your shortcomings will make your Amazon business go a long way.
Amazon Review Analysis tool provides you with valuable insights.
As an Amazon seller, it can be challenging to make your mark and differentiate yourself from established competitors. You may want to venture into a new product category or extend your portfolio, all of which require thorough market research.
What if your product launch failed not because there was something wrong with the product but only because it did not fall in line with the interests of your current target market?
This is where the Amazon review analysis tool can help you see which products are doing well, what people like about them, and their areas of interest. These important market insights can help you understand your customers’ pain points before introducing something new and help you tailor your current market offering following those insights.
Amazon product reviews can improve your ranking.
This may come off as a more obvious benefit of bagging positive reviews on your products, but given how strict Amazon is regarding the authenticity of all reviews, they can also be hard to get. However, if you manage to prove yourself as a great seller with good quality products, Amazon’s algorithm does help your product rank higher than that of the competitors’.
Amazon does for itself as the algorithm searches for popular and positively reviewed items to attract more traffic to its site. It benefits you as a seller because more positive reviews can get you higher up the Best Seller Rank (BSR).
This helps your product appear in more Amazon searches, potentially leading to more clicks to your listing and eventually getting you more sellers for your product.
More positive reviews = more potential conversions
Your ultimate goal as an online business is to convert, and from a seller’s perspective, this translates to selling your product. Therefore, the main purpose of your PPC strategy is to bring more traffic to your page so it can lead to more conversions.
This traffic alone is not enough to increase sales of your product. Just because you are attracting many viewers to your page by having an effective PPC strategy in place does not mean that those viewers are converting.
Statistics reveal that 95% of consumers read reviews before purchasing a product and that 73% of customers do not take any buying actions until they have read reviews. Meaning positive reviews not only shape their intent to purchase your product but also influence a purchase decision they may have already made.
Reviews help you establish your business in complex product categories.
While positive reviews are generally helpful in building credibility and a good reputation, this is especially important if you are selling high-involvement products or are serving a niche market. It is human nature to look for something to rely on when making a big purchase or buying something that is not widely used.
This is why people look for assurance in reviews to ensure that a big chunk of their money will not go to waste. For example, suppose you manage to get the ball rolling with the first few positive reviews. In that case, you will see your business growing much faster than you would have anticipated, given your difficult product category.
Customer reviews are your free marketing tool.
No matter how much content you create for your market offering and how pleasant you make it look, at the end of the day, it will still be seen as sponsored content, if not a marketing gimmick altogether. Blowing your own trumpet only gets you so far when it comes to marketing amongst competitors, even if your product is great.
This is why the best type of marketing comes directly from the users of your product. On Amazon, customer reviews are similar. When people click on your listing, they already know what they want; they go straight to the reviews for information that your product description does not and cannot provide.
This does not just include checking if you delivered what you promised but also looking for relatable experiences concerning the usage of your product. Not everyone buys a product for the same purpose. Therefore, a positive customer review life is longer than any piece of content you create for your product.
Reviews help you build customer engagement.
You can use several techniques and strategies to build customer engagement if you have a well-established social media presence for your business. In addition, there are courses and classes dedicated to how to increase consumer engagement in the world of e-commerce which shows how important of an asset it may be.
When you are just another seller on Amazon, there are practically no methods of establishing that intimate interaction with your customers. So people are essentially buying from ‘Amazon’ and not you. This is where customer reviews come into play.
They offer you the only chance to frequently respond to and interact with your customers and develop an online community where potential buyers often go to find answers to their questions.
From the points discussed above, it can be safely concluded that customer reviews, both positive and negative, are supremely important for your Amazon business. They are one of the most effective ways of boosting your overall online presence on the platform and your credibility and conversion rate.
However, as a seller on Amazon, it is more important for you to focus on creating high-quality products and delivering the customer what you have promised instead of chasing after positive reviews. As important as customer reviews are, they respond to what you have offered, and positive ones will follow only after you have done your job right.