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Amazon Vine Program – What is it?

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Amazon Vine Program – What is it?

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Amazon Vine Program – What is it?

28 Jul, 2020

Product reviews are big business, especially on Amazon. A reported staggering percentage of 93% of buyers are influenced by positive or negative product reviews!

Product reviews are the element of Amazon selling businesses that are cited as the most troublesome by Amazon sellers.

IO Scout will tell you about the one method of acquiring product reviews, especially for brand-new products which have just been launched, is the Amazon Vine Program.

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What is the Amazon Vine Program?

An incentive program, designed to produce product reviews. The enticement is given in the form of the product to be reviewed free of charge to the reviewer. The program works for new and yet-to-be-listed products, with the aim being to provide Amazon shoppers with truthful reviews in order to make a buying decision.  

A collective group of reviewers on the Amazon Vine Program are known as Vine Voices. Reviewers who offer genuine, brutally honest product reviews in return for the free product. 

Who can be a reviewer in the Amazon Vine Program?

Reviewers in the Amazon Vine Program are welcomed to offer their reviews as a result of their status on Amazon. If their reviewer rank is high, Amazon considers these reviewers to be trustworthy and honest, and the best people to ask for reviews.

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How to become an Amazon Vine Reviewer

There is no precise art behind this Program, however there are some hints you can try if you are interested in being part of this scheme:

  • Amazon membership held for a period of six months or more
  • Have a “specialist” niche or category 
  • Try and leave a product review weekly on Amazon listings…
  • …and these product reviews should be comprehensive
  • Reviews should be detailed, and describe the honest use of the product
  • Reviews can include comparisons of other similar products, and information on why or why you did not rate this product

Is the Amazon Vine Program open to all Amazon Sellers?

Your business has to meet Amazon’s requirements to be eligible for the Amazon Vine Program. These requirements are:

  1. Registered with Amazon’s Brand Registry Scheme
  2. ASINs with less than thirty existing reviews
  3. Products that do not come in a package
  4. Products which are not samples 
  5. Registered with a business trademark
  6. Not categorized in the Adult classification
  7. The product listing in question must be in plentiful stock, with an image and narrative 
  8. The product listing in question must have a buyable FBA new offer

If these requirements are met, and your business has a new product to launch in need of a bit of a kick-start, the Amazon Vine Program can help.

Amazon Sellers using the Amazon Vine Program gain the following incentives:

  • More reviews on their product listings
  • Better quality reviews on their product listings
  • Enhanced product sales
  • Enhanced understanding of products which are not initially successful
  • Reliable product reviews from reviewers who are genuine

Expected Amazon Vine Program Reviews

Reviews from this Program will be genuine, of the highest value, and authorized. They are reviewed first by the Program before they are published, and must adhere to the reviews guidelines Amazon provide (not defamatory or abusive, for example).

The amount of reviews each ASIN can obtain by the Amazon Vine Program is thirty, with the number of available ASINs in the Program at any one time is five. 

How do I register a product in the Amazon Vine Program?

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  • Locate the Seller Central Main Page
  • Click on the Advertiser section, then Vine
  • Add the number of the ASIN you wish to register into the empty field

Once this is done, the ASINs registered in the Amazon Vine Program can be monitored over time using the enrollment details portal. 

Do Amazon Vine reviews look different? 

Yes, they do. They are displayed as Vine Customer Review of Free Product , ensuring other buyers know they these reviewers were given the product in question for free as an incentive for a review. Reviewers of the Amazon Vine Program are not obliged to leave product reviews, however it is in their best interest to do so, based on the free products they can receive!

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Is there another method of obtaining product reviews?

Absolutely. Especially at this present time during COVID-19, as the Amazon Vine Program has been temporarily suspended.

The alternatives are:

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:

  1. Currently, the Amazon Early Reviewer Program is just running in the U.S. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Product must retail for over $15.
  4. Products need to have less than 5 reviews currently. 
  5. 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. 
  6. The reviews produced by the Amazon Early Reviewer Program are not altered in any way by Amazon, except in cases whereby the collected reviews do not meet Amazon’s review guidelines.  
  • 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?

  1. Join the Amazon Brand Registry Scheme 
  2. It can take approximately 3 days’ before accessing the Early Reviewer Program portal. 
  3. Complete the Excel spreadsheet provided by Amazon with your SKU information (100 can be added at one time).
  4. Verify that the SKUs you are uploading have less than five reviews on the current listing
  5. Purely stand-alone SKUs can be uploaded, with no variants allowed.
  6. Verify that your product cost is over $15.
  7. Upload your template to the Program. The fee of $60 is payable per SKU uploaded to the Program.
  8. At such a time after one year or 5 initial reviews are obtained, that particular SKU is removed from the 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. 

Be forewarned, however, that joining 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. 

The requirements before are that you will need to register with Amazon Brand Registry Program. This Brand Registry confirms 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:

  1. The name of your business brand
  2. The serial number of your business brand with the USPTO
  3. The names of the countries in which your items are produced and delivered. 
  4. The picture of your brand name on an item
  5. The picture of your items’ label
  6. 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:

  • USA
  • Brazil
  • India
  • Japan
  • France
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • UK
  • European Union
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Australia
  • Italy

Generally, 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. 

Some of the advantages of the Amazon Brand Registry Scheme are:

  • Correct product listings
  • Different product listings
  • Product variants
  • 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

Amazon Feedback Requests

Amazon Sellers can investigate an automated email campaign post product sale to encourage customers to leave that all-important review. And this really does not take too long to set up, so its worthwhile following this method.

This email encouragement has another benefit: you can check any problems with the review before it is posted! Just bear in mind not to incentivize your consumers into leaving you a good review, as that is behaviour which is banned from Amazon.

When is the right time to ask for a product review?

2 days post-product delivery is a nice window of time. The product is still very relevant in your buyers’ mind, and hopefully, the level of enjoyment is still nice and high!

You can then send an additional email template approximately 1 week post-delivery if you are yet to obtain a product review generated from the first email you sent out. This email serves as a gentle nudge to your customer, and remind them to (pretty please with a cherry on top) leave a product review and feedback. The second email is usually less successful than the first, due to the fact that a week has passed since they took delivery of the product in question, and therefore are potentially experiencing a reduction in the emotive investment of the product!

Create a Business on Amazon with IO Scout

Find out how IO Scout can help you build a successful business on Amazon.

Get our Amazon Chrome Extension

With IO Scout Chrome Extension, you can instantly perform product analysis without any need to leave Amazon. Go ahead and find your bestseller!

Why Amazon Sellers Choose IO Scout vs Jungle Scout

Why Thousands of Sellers are Switching from Jungle Scout to IO Scout