The Problem with Inauthentic Reviews
Trust is a major factor why customers shop on Amazon.com. Trust that when the customer shops they will find what they are looking for, trust that when an order is placed they will receive the product in a timely manner, and trust that when customers are buying a product they are receiving a true representation of the product.
Unfortunately, many sellers use unauthorized tactics to “game the Amazon search algorithm” in order to have their product listing show higher in the search result and convert to sales such as offering an incentive in exchange for a review. This is in clear violation of the Amazon community guidelines regarding promotional content.
In recent months, Amazon has been cracking down on fake reviews and for good reason: if customers are reading inauthentic, fraudulent reviews, they are not getting the true social proof that reviews provide. This is where the Amazon Early Reviewer Program was born.
What is the Amazon Early Reviewer Program
The Amazon Early Reviewer Program encourages customers who have already purchased a product to share their authentic experience about that product. Amazon provides the customers who have purchased your product a small Amazon gift card ($1 – $3) in exchange for the review. These reviews are deemed authentic and not in the form of a promotion because these customers have already purchased the product. The program works with product listings with less than 5 reviews. If enrolled, the program will stop once the product receives greater 5 reviews. Each product listing costs $60 to enroll.
Who is Selected to review for the Amazon Early Reviewer Program?
Amazon selects at random from all customers who have purchased products participating in the program as long as they have no history of abusive or dishonest behavior in the program. Amazon employees, participating sellers and their friends and family are not eligible to participate in this program.
Type of Seller This Program Works Best With
The Early Reviewer Program works best for brands and manufacturers that have sold several units but are not gaining traction with customers organically leaving reviews. Since the program works with customers that have already made purchases, it does not work with products that have zero sales.
SKU Enrollment Eligibility
There are several eligibility requirements to be a part of the program:
- Product Listings must have fewer than 5 reviews at the time of enrollment
- The offer price must be greater than $15
- Enrollment is for Parent level listings or stand-alone products. Child SKUs are automatically enrolled with the parent
Each SKU enrollment is $60 (plus any applicable taxes). You are charged the $60 fee once you receive your first review. If your product does not get 5 reviews you will not receive a refund.
Is the Amazon Early Reviewer Program Worth It?
At a $60 price point for 5 reviews that translates to $12 for each review. Just by looking at the cost it may seem that this program is not worth it. However, if your product is enrolled in the program and happens to generate 5 5-star reviews, the value of the social proof showing that these customers had an amazing experience could convert future “on the fence” potential customer to actual customers. Getting reviews at the onset of a new product listing is both difficult and vitally important so brands and manufactures should consider the cost/benefits of the Amazon Early Reviewer Program.
This guest blog post is written by Will Tjernlund from Goat Consulting (www.goatconsulting.com), a premier Amazon Consulting Agency. Will can be reached at email@example.com if you are interested in this program and want to learn more.