There is no doubt that Amazon product reviews have a huge impact on product rankings, traffic, and sales conversions. However, it can be really hard to get enough quality reviews for a new listing. You have to sell a certain amount in order to even get a review, but without reviews, you can’t make good sales. It's a vicious cycle. That’s how the Amazon Vine program can help.
What is the Amazon Vine Program, and what does Amazon Vine do?
Amazon Vine program is designed to help sellers obtain early reviews on newly listed products. To participate, a seller needs to pay a fee and send products to an Amazon Trusted Reviewer. Each Amazon Vine reviewer - or "Vine Voice" - will then share their thoughts about the products they received. Each Amazon Vine reviewer is chosen because Amazon has verified them as informative review writers so that you will receive detailed ratings and reviews. Amazon Vine program and Amazon Early Reviewer program have been helping brands to get early reviews for years. However, Amazon Vine becomes more important since Amazon has phased out Amazon's early reviewer program. Amazon has a strict policy against incentivized reviews. Participating in the Vine program is one of the few ways sellers can “legally” improve their reviews without concerning Amazon's ever-changing guidelines.
How to qualify and join the Amazon Vine program?
The Amazon Vine program is only available to sellers that sign up for Amazon's brand registry. Products need to meet certain criteria:
- Fewer than 30 reviews
- Fulfilled by Amazon
- New condition
- In stock
- Adult products, and large items, are not eligible.
What is it like to be part of the Amazon Vine Program (Benefits)
There are many benefits to getting more product reviews from consumers - especially positive reviews:
1. Greater Visibility
New Amazon listings don't have any reviews or sales, which affects a product's search ranking because 70% of Amazon consumers never look beyond the first page of search results. Fortunately, programs like the Amazon Vine program and sponsored ads can jumpstart your listings and build awareness for your products at the very beginning.
2. Positive reviews can increase trust and sales
Reviews bring trust and credibility to product listings. Consumers rely heavily on reviews when making purchase decisions. 91% of them will read at least one review before making a purchase. Vine reviewers are certified reviewers who are trusted to provide genuine reviews and additional information to reassure consumers to make a conversion.
3. Quality and in-depth reviews
Each Amazon reviewer is verified by Amazon because they have a history of writing high-quality reviews. This means that each Amazon Vine reviewer will provide you with clear, detailed, and insightful reviews. When consumers can gather additional information through reviews, they are more likely to be satisfied with the purchase and your products will have fewer returns to deal with. Shulex offers powerful Amazon review analysis, and this detailed review can actually be used and analyzed by marketing and product managers to improve product descriptions, targeting and future design.
4. Consumers trust Vine reviews as genuine
67% of consumers are concerned about fake reviews. That's why Amazon is strictly against fake and incentivized reviews. Through the Amazon Vine program, every review left by an official Amazon Vine reviewer has a unique green stripe. This makes consumers know that the review is genuine.
The biggest disadvantage of the Amazon Vine program is that sellers may receive negative reviews.
Vine reviewers are not obligated to highlight the positive aspects of your product. In fact, every Amazon Vine reviewer is encouraged to be honest and unbiased. This means you could end up paying for an unfavorable review.
How to make sure that you succeed in Amazon Vine Program and get honest positive reviews?
Nothing else but to provide the best products that satisfy the demanding Vine reviewers. To build the right products that customers really need and Vine reviewers satisfy with so that they will give you in-detailed positive reviews, you need to study your competitors and customers so that you can have a clear picture of what customers want and don’t want, which products you should carry. An excellent way to do this is to go through the customer reviews and understand what they are complaining about and what they love. This process will reveal the inefficiencies in specific product types and the exact expectations that customers have about their go-to brands. Once you know how to improve or innovate your products and have the right products and right messaging delivered to them, the success rate will definitely go up. You can check out Shulex’s product research tool with the best-in-class review analysis to get the insights you need to be successful in the Amazon Vine program.
How do you get invited to Amazon Vine?
To get started with the Amazon Vine program, sellers need to be enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry. If you have a registered or pending trademark, you can register it through the Brand Registry portal.
Once the seller's brand is enrolled, you can access the Vine program in the "Advertising" section of your Seller Central. Then, you simply select the parent ASIN you want to join, and the number of units you want to offer to reviewers.
Once you've signed up, reviewers will be able to request your products. Brands can choose to offer variations of their products. This is a good idea because if each Amazon reviewer can choose their favorite color or design, this can improve your chances of receiving positive feedback.
What is the cost of Amazon Vine?
When you receive your first review, you will be charged a registration fee. This fee is $200 in US marketplace and £140 in the UK marketplace. The fee will be charged once per parent ASIN, seven days after the publication date of the first Vine review for that product.. However, if your product does not receive any reviews within 90 days, Amazon will waive this fee.
This can be annoying, especially when sellers have no control over which reviewers receive their products. So, before you register your product, make sure your product images and descriptions appeal to the right target audience. Reviewers will only request items that appeal to them.
Another disadvantage is that you can't control the time it takes for reviews to appear. In fact, there is no guarantee that you will receive any review. While Amazon reviews and monitors its reviewers, they do not have any deadlines. If a Vine reviewer doesn't actively review their products, they will likely lose their spot in the Vine program. However, they do not have to send the product back.
It's also worth noting that you can only list a product in the Amazon Vine program once.
3 Other Ways to Get More Amazon Reviews
While the Amazon Vine program is a useful program for launching new listings, there are many alternative ways to get more reviews on Amazon.
1. Use the official 'Request a Review' feature
Amazon's 'Request a Review' feature allows sellers to send review requests to customers within one month of delivery. Brands can send requests manually from their Seller Central account with a single click. Or, they can use some seller tools that provide the feature to automate the process.
2. Actively monitor reviews
If you want to increase positive reviews, it's always a good idea to closely monitor the reviews you already have and those competitors have. This allows you to be aware of any problems that past customers have experienced. Tools like Shulex can monitor ratings and reviews for you and can automatically collect granular data and analyze the review for you. Then you can take action to improve the consumer journey for future customers. Simple changes, such as an innovative feature update to a product, a product description modification for accuracy, or a more protective packaging upgrade, can make a big difference.
3. Provide top-notch product and customer service
If your customer service team can wow customers, they will be more likely to leave a positive review. So, whenever a prospect or existing customer contacts your customer support, make sure to engage them with a great customer experience.
Simply put, more reviews mean more sales. Therefore, sellers need to do everything they can to generate positive reviews, such as providing the best products and services that customers really want. Using powerful product research tools and Amazon review analytic tools such as Shulex, you can make sure that you have a clear picture of what customers want and don’t want, which products you should carry, how to market them, and whether a listing optimization could produce better results, and how to deliver the right messages to the consumer. An excellent way to do this is to go through the customer reviews and understand what they are complaining about and what they love. This process will reveal the inefficiencies in specific product types and the exact expectations that customers have about their go-to brands. Once you have the right products and the right messaging delivered to them, the success rate will definitely go up. You can check out Shulex’s product research tool with the best-in-class review analysis to get the insights you need to be successful on Amazon.