How Important Are Amazon Reviews??
So, you’re looking to buy something on Amazon. If we tracked your eyes they would first scroll through the main images, and then look directly to the star rating to determine if the product is worth your time. If the product had at least a 4 star review, you might read most of the one-star reviews and possibly a few of the reviews that were voted most “helpful” at the top of the list. Half of them would consist of perplexing complaints, some would levy real criticisms, and others would be extremely satisfied customers.
One thing is for sure – no matter how many times Amazon updates and changes their ranking algorithm, reviews will always be important – critical – to the successful launch of a private label Amazon brand. So how much should you worry about reviews and the social proof that the average Amazon customer has come to expect via golden stars? Are negative reviews all that bad? With so much going on as an Amazon seller, is it possible to keep up with all the technical details of a seller account while managing customer feedback?
YES! It’s important and possible to manage well. Keep reading.
WHY ARE AMAZON REVIEWS IMPORTANT?
I am the most efficient shopper on the planet. Log in, click the ‘buy-now” button, and wait 2 days for the product to arrive. However, that’s not the case for my wife or millions of other Amazon users who want to know that their purchase won’t disappoint them. Reviews give customers the best chance to avoid buyer’s remorse. Reviews have become a required attribute of successful listings that leads to a healthier brand presence, higher ranking, and better sell-through. While we have managed company accounts that have 3 star averages in a difficult category, positive consumer reviews are the foundation of a sustainable e-commerce brand.
HOW MANY AMAZON REVIEWS DO YOU NEED?
We don’t have a crystal ball that shows exactly how many reviews you need to attract that cursor to the orange button located in the buy box, but perhaps this trend graph will help us better understand Amazon customers regarding reviews.
Younger shoppers and those who are tied into the social world of likes and hearts expect more product feedback before purchasing, while the elderly require less peer confirmation. Let’s focus on the fewest reviews on this graph – 38. We might consider this the baseline number of reviews we want as a credibility floor for how many reviews each listing should be shooting for.
DO AMAZON REVIEWS HELP SALES?
Yes! Absolutely, you can depend on it.
Amazon wants customers to provide objective and critical reviews as a summary of a product’s features and functionality. Statistically speaking, more people buy from brands with more positive reviews than from brands with fewer and/or negative ones.
Consider these stats:
- Purchase likelihood of a product jumps 270% when it has over 5 consumer reviews
- When shoppers compare two similar products with matching ratings (say 4.5 star rating), they have a higher likelihood to purchase from a listing with more reviews.
- Reviews for high-priced items are twice as important in conversion rates than for lower price-point items. Think about how much time you’d spend reading reviews when buying a set of pencils vs. a smart TV! Reviews are an important part of research when buying higher priced items.
RATINGS VS REVIEWS
In 2019, Amazon introduced individual ratings in addition to reviews. Traditionally, when leaving a rating, a customer was required to leave a written review and a star rating. The change allowed consumers to simply leave a star rating without saying anything about it. It is easier and, as you can see in the graph below, it has made a difference in customer interaction. It also helped mitigate the “negativity bias” that comes with many online review platforms.
DO MORE REVIEWS HELP YOU RANK HIGHER ON AMAZON?
Ranking on Amazon doesn’t rest solely on the shoulders of hundreds of golden five star reviews, though it helps to lead your listing to stronger sales. Stronger sales is the match to the gas can, NOS to the turbo engine, fireworks for amazon product rankings and BSR (Best sellers rank).
After pulling sales and ranking information for over 30 companies that we manage on Amazon in both North America and Europe, we see some relatively consistent trends.
Products with more reviews generally have:
- A higher BSR (the lower number here, the better – you want to be ranked #1 in your category!)
- Dramatically higher revenue
- Consistently more sales
Keep in mind that all of the brands we manage on Amazon have sponsored ads running on them, meaning we are managing ad spend to have our client’s products promoted. Still, even without sponsored ads, the correlations above are valid!
Some things to keep in mind…
When we load a title, bullet points, and descriptions with the most important keywords, we find that consumers often naturally use these same words, which, help our managed listings rank higher. Amazon’s algorithm also rewards sellers who engage with their customers by actively responding to reviews and constantly answer questions.
If you think that sounds like a lot of effort, you’re right! We have an efficient method of helping you get reviews, manage them, and boost your sales. Shoot us an email or give us a call and we’d be happy to walk you through what we can do to maximize your brand on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, and all other European Amazon marketplaces.