More merchants than ever before are taking steps to launch their own brands on the Amazon marketplace. The benefits of doing so are obvious: greater profit potential with less Buy Box competition.
Of course, launching a successful brand on Amazon doesn’t just happen overnight. Having served tens of thousands of sellers over the past decade, our team at eComEngine has noticed a common thread among the most successful brand owners on Amazon. In short, they tend to be laser-focused on building healthy product reputations through proactive management of Amazon reviews.
In this article, we’ll explore the correlation between Amazon reviews and successful private-label brands.
Reviews and Amazon Visibility
It’s a safe bet that product reviews play an integral role in Amazon’s A9 search engine algorithm. In fact, Amazon’s guide for helping customers find your products explicitly mentions product rating as a key factor that impacts listing visibility. According to Amazon’s video tutorial within the guide:
“Positive feedback can encourage a buyer to click on your listing, and the conversion rate for products with positive reviews on detail pages is much higher than for products that have no reviews.”
Given the clear connection between reviews, search engine visibility and conversions, many Amazon sellers realize that they should be asking customers to rate their experiences. But what’s the best way to do that?
For starters, Amazon automatically sends review request emails to some customers, but it’s unclear what percentage of buyers receive the notifications. Sellers are also permitted to send their own review requests through the Buyer-Seller Messaging service, provided that they do so in accordance with these rules. Packing slips can be another medium for requesting ratings.
Prior to requesting reviews from buyers, sellers should read and understand Amazon’s Community Guidelines. Note that Amazon prohibits any compensation or other incentives in exchange for reviews.
Enhancing the Effectiveness of Ad Campaigns
As has been well documented, Amazon’s advertising platform has exploded into a multi-billion dollar business unit. Flexible ad placement options paired with a unique blend of search and transaction-based targeting makes Amazon’s ad platform a one-of-a-kind solution for advertisers of all sizes—especially private labelers.
Despite the many benefits of leveraging Amazon’s advertising platform, simply running ads on Amazon is no guarantee of a successful product launch. Remember, Amazon buyers are conditioned to think in terms of social proof. They’re accustomed to purchasing products that have been thoroughly vetted by other like-minded people.
To the Amazon enthusiast, a typical product should have dozens—if not hundreds or thousands—of detailed and genuine reviews. And, they don’t just buy the first item that shows up in their product feed. Rather, they spend time evaluating different solutions, reading reviews and weighing their options.
In short, Amazon ad campaigns can serve as a very effective catalyst for building brand awareness, especially when paired with a rock-solid product rating. All things being equal, a Sponsored Product campaign for a top-rated listing should outperform a similar campaign that promotes a lower-rated item. Of course, this presents a “chicken or the egg” situation for the merchant, thereby elevating the importance of review solicitation throughout the entire product life cycle.
Monitoring Buyer Satisfaction
Reviews aren’t just important for gaining a competitive advantage in Amazon’s search engine or creating brand awareness among new buyers. By their very nature, Amazon reviews provide direct feedback into the satisfaction of real customers.
Buyer satisfaction data is certainly useful for continuously aligning product performance with buyer expectations. As the owner of an ASIN or family of ASINs, a private-label seller is particularly motivated to ensure total satisfaction by quickly resolving any product or service-related issues. After all, a few bad reviews can quickly undo an otherwise solid track record of buyer satisfaction.
Smart sellers also understand that Amazon reviews can be tremendously valuable for their own businesses, helping them to make tough decisions about:
- Product revisioning
- Parent-child relationships
- Product development opportunities
- Pricing and promotions
- Inventory and restocking
It’s therefore understandable why Amazon encourages sellers to “monitor reviews regularly and reach out to customers to resolve product or service issues.” Paying close attention to recent reviews accelerates the seller’s ability to adequately engage the unhappy buyer. Responding promptly and in a measured fashion (via a public reply to the review) demonstrates your commitment to making the situation right.
In some cases, after resolving the issue, the customer may even decide to update the original review. However, it’s worth noting that Amazon prohibits sellers from asking or pressuring buyers to update or remove reviews.
Achieving Sustainable Order Volume
At the end of the day, buyer reviews are an important component of a private-label seller’s success or failure on Amazon. From creating brand awareness to launching successful ad campaigns and building lifelong customer relationships, reviews are a constant thread between the buyer and seller relationship on Amazon.
eComEngine provides software that helps merchants manage feedback, inventory, pricing and other tasks on Amazon.