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On October 3rd, Amazon officially banned incentivized product reviews. Unless you are using Amazon Vine, sellers can no longer provide a free or discounted product in exchange for customer reviews. You can read Amazon’s statement here.
Why did Amazon make this change?
Some people think it’s a response to the bad press Amazon has gotten from sites like Review Meta about incentivized product reviews. It’s also possible Amazon is simply trying to improve the overall integrity of the marketplace. They want to help shoppers hear from normal customers, not just those who’ve been hand-picked by sellers for leaving a favorable review.
If I sell a promotional product (with a coupon code, for example), is Amazon going to delete that review?
Amazon clearly states that sellers “may continue to offer discounts and promotions as long as they are not offered in exchange for reviews.” It’s obvious they will be watching things more closely now. For example, it looks like they’ll be paying closer attention to the amount of the discount, the ratio of reviews, and the frequency of reviews being submitted for a particular product. Most importantly however, Amazon seems aware that millions of products are going to be purchased with discount codes and many of them will get legitimate reviews.
What about incentivized reviews I’ve already received?
For now, Amazon says the reviews that were received prior to the policy change are only being retroactively removed if they are excessive and don’t comply with prior policy.
What does all of this mean for me, an Amazon seller?
Discounting products on Amazon is not going away. It is a very effective form of marketing and helps drive sales! We know that product discounts in exchange for reviews were clutch because it gave you listing sales (which improved your search rankings) and it gave you the social proof you needed to make organic sales (reviews), right? But before you start to worry — yes, this is a big change but we promise it’s not the end of the world.
To get reviews, you’ll simply need to increase sales and improve your chance of turning these sales into reviews with intentional customer follow up. More on that net.
Living in a Post-incentivized Review World
So with all of these changes, how can you keep getting positive reviews? Sellers will need to drive traffic to products using various marketing channels like:
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- Sponsored product ads
- Marketing platforms like Snagshout (note: Snagshout will no longer ask shoppers to leave reviews on Amazon to get deals)
- Tools like Feedback Genius that allow you to follow up with shoppers with excellent customer service, then asking them personally to review the product(s).
- Software like AMZ Tracker that could help boost your sales
- Use social media platforms like Pinterest drive traffic to your Amazon listing. Check out our recent webinar on this topic below.
We’ve also added a new module to our online course, Import Success Formula, that teaches time-tested strategies on maximizing marketing platforms (like the ones mentioned above!) to increase sales and favorable reviews from customers. Don’t delay! The sourcing and importing formula that can take your business to a whole new level is waiting for you here.
Want more tips on how to leave your competitors in the dust after this big change? Join our private Facebook group to join the discussion and stay in the loop with any other changes Amazon makes to their Terms of Service!
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