No doubt reviews are hugely important for your success as a vendor on Amazon. While Amazon handles a lot of customer service for you, it’s still key to manage your online reviews.

If you don’t, you’re missing out on a primary indicator of product performance. You’re overlooking customer reception and turning down free market research. Also, you may be putting your brand and sales at risk by not responding to negative reviews.

To say that people trust online reviews is an understatement. In fact, a product with just five reviews can have a 270% higher conversion rate when compared to one with zero reviews.

Effect of first 5 reviews on a 3% conversion rate

Since Amazon is technically making the sales, vendors aren’t able to contact customers outside of a few situations. As a vendor, you can’t reach out to a recent customer to ask for feedback. However, you can still communicate with your customers by managing online reviews and responding to them.

When doing so, though, there are a number of things that you absolutely can't do.

What you CAN and CAN’T do with Amazon reviews

You CAN respond to reviews

You can thank customers or offer apologies for the problems that come up.

You CAN use tools to monitor and manage reviews

Since Amazon doesn’t notify you when you get negative reviews, you can (or rather should) use tools that do. Some tools can also give you access to historical data, which isn’t available from Amazon.

You CAN remove inappropriate reviews

Keep in mind, this only applies to reviews that break Amazon’s community guidelines, like ones that promote another product or include swearwords.

You CAN'T remove legitimate reviews

If a negative review doesn’t break the rules, you can’t have them take it down.

You CAN'T solicit positive reviews

You also can’t offer products in exchange for a positive review.

Amazon claims to push for fair and honest reviews. Also, they have their own programs to help vendors get reviews.

For example, the Early Reviewer Program gives the first few people who buy a new item a small incentive to write a review. Another program called Amazon Vine utilizes veteran Amazon community members to create reviews for your product.

Both of these programs will cost you, and you aren’t allowed to influence or contact the reviewer. If they want to write a 1-star review, they can. In the end, it’s better to have a few negative reviews along with your positive ones, since they can establish credibility.

Definitely DON’T do these

Some things you should avoid altogether when managing online reviews:

Don’t ignore a negative review

The worst thing you can do for a negative review is to let it sit there. Ignoring a negative review is like ignoring a customer in real life. Actually it’s worst because all other customers can see that you’re ignoring them. The sooner you can respond to it, the better, so make sure you set up notifications to stay aware of new reviews on your products!

Don’t respond poorly

Of course, we all have our bad days. However, you should never be dismissive or disrespectful when replying to a review. Include an apology and take them seriously. If there’s an issue that needs to be resolved, direct them to the customer service contact info.

As a vendor, it might be hard to let Amazon handle the customer, but at least the customer service department can see you’ve done your best to help out on the listing page.

Don’t copy and paste

This one is the worst, and a lot of lazy vendors still do it. Whether you’re responding to a positive or negative review, never copy and paste a previous reply that you’ve used. They took the time to write a unique review, so you should do the same.

What are the best practices for responding to reviews?

Since it’s a bit harder for you as a vendor to get in touch with customers yourself, each review interaction counts. You don’t have to respond to every review, but make sure you’re responding to a good number of positive reviews with a polite and individual message for the customer. Good reviews are a good occasion to reassert

Also, you want to stay on top of the negative reviews that come up. When these happen, jump on them as soon as possible. Don’t let negative reviews damage the trust on your page without responding to them.

If someone sees an old negative review, they might think you don’t care about what the customers say. While Amazon handles direct customer service, it’s your job to reply to manage online reviews. Remember to be polite and fair in your response. Respond quickly, but without any anger or offense.

Finally, keep your brand image in mind. Ensure your manufacturer's account has your logo, and use your brand tone of voice. You can also leave a customer support URL to reach your own website or brand, and you can include links to troubleshooting pages on your site.

Here’s what a good response looks like:


Final thoughts

It’s important to have tact when managing online reviews. When you take care of negative reviews in the right way, you can build trust in your listing. Your customers are the lifeline of your business, and you should let them know.

Too many reviews to deal with? Too much confusion? Consider an e-retail intelligence solution for your business. Using monitoring software will help to collect your essential e-commerce data like Assortment, Price, Search Performance and Reviews.

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