Ah, those opening product reviews. The bane of every Amazon seller’s life. But, with adherence to the rules, reviews can be your best friend.
With this in mind, these elusive reviews can be tricky to come by. Especially for brand new products that you may be launching.
Here’s where the Amazon Early Reviewer Program steps in. And IO Scout is here to explain all about it. Read on, readers.
What is the Amazon Early Reviewer Program?
The Amazon Early Reviewer Program is a method to gather product reviews which are genuine, based on new products launched on Amazon’s Marketplace. The idea behind this scheme is for Amazon branded merchants to receive product reviews earlier than they would usually be able to, leading to:
- Improved customer experiences
- Page View Increases
- Product Sales Increases
- CTR Increases
A great idea is the Amazon Early Reviewer Program, as the result is two-fold: Amazon Merchants receive more product interaction and interest, and Amazon shoppers are compensated for their genuine product reviews.
There are, as with any scheme, a few caveats to be aware of:
- Currently, the Amazon Early Reviewer Program is just running in the U.S.
- In order to be involved with the Program, as an Amazon Merchant your online selling business is required to be registered with the Amazon Brand Registry Scheme.
- Eligible products for the Amazon Early Reviewer Program must retail for over $15.
- Eligible products for the Amazon Early Reviewer Program need to have less than 5 reviews currently.
- Amazon Merchants are able to select ASINs to register in the Amazon Early Reviewer Program, however no sway of content or star rankings are permitted.
- The reviews generated by the Amazon Early Reviewer Program are not modified or altered in any way by Amazon, except in cases whereby the received reviews do not meet Amazon’s review guidelines.
Amazon Brand Registry Scheme
It’s fairly straightforward to register with Amazon Brand Registry Program. This Brand Registry ensures your business has a professional platform, and offers you many perks, such as advertising tools and marketing features.
When you submit an application for the Brand Registry, you’ll need to go ahead and give these details:
- The name of your business brand
- The serial number of your business brand with the USPTO
- The names of the countries in which your items are produced and delivered.
- The picture of your brand name on an item
- The picture of your items’ label
- The picture of your item
Bear in mind that Amazon only register those businesses which have a registered trademark. These trademarks must be issued by the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) in these areas:
- European Union
- United Arab Emirates
Usually, the Brand Registry procedure takes from 24hrs to a month. Which is quite a wide timeframe, but being on the Amazon Brand Registry is a necessity, so this step cannot be skipped if you want to become an Amazon Store Seller. You’ll receive a code which you can use for verification purposes.
What are benefits of the Amazon Brand Registry Scheme?
- Enables accurate product listings
- Enables various product listings
- Enables product variants
- Enables protection of your brand
- Ensures more product sales!
- Removes bad product listings
- Ensures authenticity of products
- Delivers enhanced image searches
- Delivers shoppers accurate information about a product
- Enables complete management of your own brand at all times over your item listings
- Enables ASIN bulk search features to save time
When you have completed the aforementioned steps to get enrolled onto the Amazon Brand Registry scheme, you can view the Early Reviewer Program in your Amazon Seller Central dashboard.
How does the Amazon Early Reviewer Program Work?
- Amazon Merchants are charged $60 per SKU post initial review that was generated via the Amazon Early Reviewer Program.
- Each SKU in the Program will be solicited for reviews for a time period of a year, or five reviews obtained as a result of being registered in the Amazon Early Reviewer Program.
- The Amazon Early Reviewer Program chooses at random consumers who are registered with the Program to be asked for product reviews. Amazon do check however that these consumers have not left incorrect or insulting reviews in their past history before they are selected to obtain incentives as part of this Program.
- The consumers who are selected at random for product reviews are granted a token gesture as appreciation, and this can be something like a gift card of a few dollars.
How do I Register with the Amazon Early Reviewer Program?
- Join the Amazon Brand Registry Scheme (see above).
- After registering with the Amazon Brand Registry Scheme, bear in mind it can take approximately 3 days’ before accessing the Early Reviewer Program portal.
- Complete the Excel spreadsheet provided by Amazon with your SKU information (100 can be added at one time).
- Verify that the SKUs you are uploading have less than five reviews on the current listing
- Bear in mind that only stand-alone SKUs can be uploaded, with no variants allowed.
- Verify that your product cost is over $15.
- Once you are happy, go ahead and upload your template to the Program. The fee of $60 is payable per SKU uploaded to the Program.
- At such a time after one year or 5 initial reviews are obtained, that particular SKU is removed from the Program.
Key Thoughts about the Amazon Early Reviewer Program
In essence, the Amazon Early Reviewer Program exists to assist Amazon sellers in those early product days, and to reach more potential customers. It is very difficult indeed to get that very first product review, so this does offer this as a viable option.
In the process of gaining these crucial early reviews, you are also gaining customer trust, and it has been monitored time and time again that customer reviews are such a pivotal factor in driving customer engagement and sales, as consumers rely very heavily on like-minded consumers to offer their opinions on products.
And all this is a moot point if your product listings are not top-notch. You really do not want your prospective customers to all flock to your new product pages, only to have them let down as they didn’t find what they expected to find. Ensure your product titles, descriptions and features include your relevant, important, keywords, and then make sure that you satisfy that description, so you are giving your customers what they want.
Amazon’s focus is to match prospective buyers with the items that they are interested in purchasing, so make it super simple for Amazon to do this by matching up what you are selling with the product descriptions.
Ensure that your detailed product listings include:
- Related words to their keyword search
- Valuable features for your potential buyer
- Text and content which encourages and tempts your buyer into, ahem, buying!
A product listing which converts, and converts astoundingly well, looks like this:
- A thorough explanation of the item
- Item pictures which are high-quality and professional (this includes videos, too)
- Qualified for Amazon Prime and all its elements
- An appealing title, which is also accurate and relevant to the item in the listing
By incorporating this invaluable content on your item pages on your Amazon Store, you will be compensated by Amazon, as the result of this will be buyers who are networking with your page, and experiencing lower bounce rates.
Once Amazon appreciates that your merchandise page description is correct, and reflective of the product, and the price is appropriate, conversions will happen.
Be forewarned, however, that enrolling in the Amazon Early Reviewer Program does not mean that your first reviews are going to come flooding in after a day! It can take a fair amount of time for them to be received, according to fellow Amazon merchants. In some cases, it can take two to three months to receive that initial product review from a customer.
Also, there is no guarantee that the very first product review you receive for your brand-new product is going to be a positive one! If its negative, then this is surely a bad start to the life of your new product.
Are there any other ways to get Amazon customer reviews?
Absolutely. Amazon Sellers can investigate an automated email campaign post product sale to encourage your customers to leave that all-important review. And this really does not take too long to set up, so its worthwhile following this method too, as well as investigating the Amazon Early Reviewer Program.
This email encouragement has another benefit: you can check any problems with the review before it is posted! Something which, if you use the Amazon Early Reviewer Program, is not something you have control over. Just bear in mind not to incentivize your consumers into leaving you a good review, as that is behaviour which is banned from Amazon.
At the end of the day, if your product ticks all the boxes in terms of a wonderful product, a product listing which is completely optimized, great product images, and you are a responsive and polite Amazon Sellers, chance are you will get those elusive initial reviews from your shoppers.
Wishing you the very best of luck with your Amazon business, and sourcing those new reviews on your brand-new product lines!