How Reviews Influence Your Amazon Revenue
By nature, we are cautious when buying online. Everyone has a story (or knows a friend) about ordering an item on the internet and receiving something that is the wrong size, color, flavor, or product altogether.
Ratings and reviews have the ability to reduce those potential frustrations on the buying experience. It’s validating to know that others have had a good experience with the product and the seller, and is a welcome caution to read when others had a negative experience.
Reviews in Action
Amazon preaches that a product is “retail ready” if it has a 3.5 rating or above and at least 15 reviews. However, is this really enough? Unless you have a super niche product, a 3.5 rating and 15 reviews is typically not enough to stand out in a marketplace where products with 1,000+ reviews have become the norm.
When it comes to ratings, we’ve started to see an uptick in click-through-rates (CTR) once products hit a rating of 3.8. Why? The secret here is that Amazon visually rounds up or down around a 3.75. For example, a 3.6 will look like 3.5 stars, but a 3.8 will appear as a 4. The screenshot below is from an actual product that has a 3.8 out of 5 but shows as a 4-star item.
When analyzing one of our client's current Amazon offerings, we noticed ratings and reviews had a substantial impact on their performance. Products with a 3.7+ rating had a 15% higher CTR and a 33% higher return on ad spend (ROAS) than products rated below. Additionally, products with 100+ reviews had a staggering 92% higher conversion rate.
Added Benefits for a High-Rating Product
Amazon has always prioritized the consumer first, and they’ve taken an additional step to make it easier for users to sift through products with low ratings. Recently, Amazon has introduced a new sponsored placement ad on Product Detail Pages (PDPs) titled “4 stars and above”. In order to compete in this placement, your ASIN needs 4 stars or more and at least 100 reviews.
Why is this significant? It means that a high rating (4 stars and above) is more important than ever before. For starters, just as it says, you can’t enter this exclusive placement unless you have 4 or more stars. Additionally, it incentivizes brands to have PDPs above 4 stars; if you don’t, Amazon is basically saying “Hey, try out these other higher-rated products instead.” The screenshot below shows an example of this section:
The Amazon Vine Program
Now that we’ve shown the impact ratings and reviews can have, the logical next question any brand should be asking is, “How do I increase my ratings and reviews on Amazon?” The most common way to get reviews quickly is through the Vine Program.
It works like this: Amazon identifies members who are active within the review community and invites them to join the Vine Program. These users are selected not only by the number of reviews but by how helpful other members find their reviews. From there, Amazon will trade these members free products for reviews based on their interests and purchase history. (Side note: want free stuff on Amazon? Start writing impactful reviews!)
Essentially, a brand gives away free products to Amazon power users. These people know how to leave a thoughtful, quality review, and it is a great way to get reviews quickly. As a bonus, you can start the process before you even launch on Amazon in order to really hit the ground running.
However, there can be downsides. For example, if you have an expensive product, it can be costly to give some away for free. Additionally, just because you are providing free products, it can’t stop these reviewers from leaving a negative review. All brands must determine for themselves if it makes sense to participate in this program.
Ultimately, the number of reviews a brand has can be influential to your success on Amazon. The more reviews you have, the more likely you are to increase your overall rating, which will open up more advertising opportunities on the platform. These opportunities provide you with the potential for a significant boost in sales and revenue. So if you don’t have a review strategy, it’s time to get one.
For more information on the Amazon Vine Program and other tricks on how to increase your ratings and reviews, please contact Rise.
About Rise Interactive
Rise Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency, specializing in media, analytics, and creative & development. The agency is a strategic partner, helping marketing leaders make smarter investment decisions, grounded in data insights. Rise manages enterprise-level campaigns and analytics across all channels of digital marketing.