Amazon Bars Sellers from Incentivized Reviews – Here’s how that’s Good for Startups
According to Tech Crunch, Amazon sellers can no longer give any kind of incentive for reviews, apart from those coming from Amazon’s Vine Program. This includes discounts and samples given to professional reviewers, too.
According to an update issued on Amazon.com, “Our community guidelines have always prohibited compensation for reviews, with an exception – reviewers could post a review in exchange for a free or discounted product as long as they disclosed that fact…Today, we updated the community guidelines to prohibit incentivized reviews unless they are facilitated through the Amazon Vine program.”
However, if you’re an Amazon startup, you don’t need to be disappointed by the new rules, even though we know lots of startups gathered reviews through these methods. Here’s how this is good for you.
There’s Still the Amazon Vine Program
You can still incentivize reviews by offering free samples to Vine users.
- Submit Products: Amazon sellers can submit new products to the vine program after which Amazon will refine and categorize your product.
- Get them Reviewed: Amazon will then submit your products to customers registered to their Vine program. These customers will then use your product and review it, accordingly.
- Honest Reviews: If you’re confident about the startup product you’re selling, this is the best way to get Amazon-approved reviews from real customers.
If you’re too used to incentivized reviews to let go, you can always return payments.
- Contact Professional Reviewers Off Amazon: Social media websites still give you the opportunity to contact professional sellers off Amazon and ask them to review your product by purchasing it through Amazon.
- Pay them Back: Once they write you a review, you can always ask for their bank account number, or other such details, and return their payments.
I suspect this is the method that’ll replace official incentives. Therefore, reviewers may be hesitant at first, but won’t refuse your startup product later on. As for the reviews, you can monitor these reviews easily through AMZInsight.
Offsite Review Generation
You can also generate honest Amazon reviews through offsite marketing.
- Buy Offline Reviews: You can buy reviews offline by professional product reviewers who publish in-depth and multi-dimensional reviews of products.
- Ask Professional Offline Reviewers to Review on Amazon: You can also ask professional offsite reviewers to purchase your goods through Amazon, write reviews, and make refunds later on.
- Social Media: There are also professional reviewers on social media who can write reviews for your product there.
SEO Your Amazon Product
Another way to get honest reviews is through marketing your Amazon startup product so well, that it takes an amazing head start.
- Onsite Advertising: The most obvious choice is through Amazon’s own onsite advertising system, which can generate the most clicks.
- Offsite advertising: Develop your own website that redirects to your Amazon listing. Market through social media, blog posts, video and podcast content.
Once you’ve generated enough reviews to take a head start, you can start monitoring your reviews via our Amazon tool.
It will get easier for you to contact buyers and make sure they leave with a great experience.