How to Use Product Reviews to Cut Your PPC Costs on Amazon

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It’s the struggle all merchants face when launching new products: no matter how many clicks you pay for, barely anyone is buying.

To make matters worse, if shoppers search your keyword and buy from your competitors instead of you, Amazon’s algorithm will determine that the competitor’s product is more relevant for that keyword, and they’ll win more of the ad share for it.

Your Sales Affect Your Search Rank, Even for PPC 

Typically, the issue in this situation is that of a low Conversion Rate, meaning your orders per click is too low. When determining if you’ll win the bid, your conversion rate is a major factor for Amazon.

 

Thankfully, when you improve your listing’s Conversion Rate, your product becomes more competitive at auction. Because Amazon determines that your product is more relevant to this keyword, this higher rank helps you get better placement and more impressions.

So How Do You Get More Conversions Per Session?

The higher your Conversion Rate, the easier your life gets as a merchant. So what can you do to increase it?

 

Your first guess might be to optimize your product listing, which is true, but that’s only part of it.

 

Another important way to maximize the number of shoppers who buy your product is your review count. Your star rating itself is important too, but having two hundred 4-star ratings is going to help you out a lot more than having twenty 5-star ratings.

 

Before we go any further, it’s important to note that you cannot buy or trade reviews. Amazon banned this practice years ago, and violating their terms of use can result in an immediate ban.

 

That said, here are several ways you can get more legitimate reviews without violating policy.

 

How to Get More Amazon Reviews Without Violating Amazon’s Policies

There are a few major ways to get reviews, especially for new products.

1. Amazon Early Reviewer Program

If you have less than 5 reviews, there is no reason not to use this. When you enroll, Amazon offers your buyers a small cash incentive to review your product once the sale is done.

 

Plus, it barely takes a minute to set up, and only costs about $60 per SKU.

 

To get started, click Advertising in your Amazon Seller Central account, then click Early Reviewer Program. From there you can enroll any of your products with a low review count.

 

2. Amazon Vine

Another great way to generate early reviews, Vine works like this: first, Amazon recruits some of the top reviewers on the site to sign up – people whose reviews are honest and frequently voted as helpful by other shoppers. Then, you give them free samples of the product in exchange for a review.

 

The big perk of this is that you’re basically guaranteed to get reviews. Plus, rather than having a 5-review maximum, they cap you at 30 reviews.

 

The downside however is that Amazon Vine is invite only, and you need to have Brand Registry to qualify. Go to the Advertising section of your Seller Central account and see if there’s an option for Vine. If not, you haven’t been invited yet.

 

If you’re Brand Registered and haven’t been invited, you may want to call Seller Support to see if there’s anything you can do to get access.

 

3. Request Reviews From Customers on AMZ and Social

This isn’t a program so much as it is a tactic. Oftentimes sellers don’t get as many reviews as they want because they don’t bother to ask for them!

 

There are countless ways to request reviews, and sometimes it’s all a matter of how creative you get.

 

For instance, having a strong Facebook following is a great way to get reviews. One advantage of this is that if the customer likes you on social media, their review is more likely to be positive.

 

But there’s a way better option too: the Request a Review button. It’s quick, easy, free, takes almost no effort, and is proven to be very effective at getting more reviews. Plus, it’s right there in your Seller Central account!

 

The downside is that once you’re getting more than a few sales, going into your Seller account and clicking the button for each order can get really annoying.

 

The Massview team actually got so sick of clicking it all the time that we developed an “Auto-Request Review” feature and added it to our Chrome extension, Monocle.

 

4. Offer Rebates to Get Quick Sales Before Following Up 

We almost called this one number 3.5, because it’s more of a full ranking strategy. You need to make sales before you request reviews, and then you need to maximize the chances that each sale leads to a review.

 

That’s where rebates come in. While Amazon has an option for coupon codes to give discounts, these don’t get marked as full-priced sales, so they aren’t worth as much to the algorithms.

 

With a rebate, you get more sales because customers are saving money, and you get a full-priced sale for every order, so when the shopper leaves a review, it has a Verified Purchase badge.

 

When you pair review requests with rebates, there’s another advantage: the reciprocity principle. Customers are getting a big discount from you, so they’re more enthusiastic about leaving you a review afterward.

 

Review-boosting websites like Snagshout are perfect for this. Aside from having hundreds of thousands of engaged shoppers to promote products to, Snagshout’s messaging is optimized to encourage customers to leave reviews.

 

Remember, requiring a shopper to leave a review in exchange for a discount would be considered buying or trading reviews, and would violate Amazon’s policies for reviews. Snagshout’s policies are always updated to stay compliant with Amazon’s terms of use, so you don’t need to worry about an account ban.

 

 

Summary and Final Notes

The more you do to improve your listing’s Conversion Rate, the cheaper your PPC costs will be.

 

To get more reviews, you have a few options: the Early Reviewer Program, Amazon Vine, and requesting reviews (via the Request Review button in Seller Central, or on other platforms).

 

Remember to always abide by all of Amazon’s policies and Terms of Services. Never pay for a review, and never ask specifically for a positive review.

 

If you found this article useful, you may want to read Massview’s Ultimate Guide to Increase Your Amazon Sales. It has actionable advice and provides other free resources to improve your online business.

Mike Zagare

Founder, PPC Entourage

Michael Zagare is a serial entrepreneur, a recovering physical therapist, and the founder of PPC Entourage.

Mike has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge in all things Amazon, and loves sharing that knowledge with other sellers to help them take steps towards personal and financial freedom.
Mike Zagare