Most people buy products on Amazon, depending on previous customer reviews. So, reviews have a prominent role to play for businesses on the platform. The better reviews a product gets, the better its ranking on the platform. Also, people tend to buy those products reviewed. However, you should know that Amazon product reviews are as legit as possible and help businesses improve sales.
What is the Amazon Early Reviewer Program?
The Amazon Early Reviewer Program lets buyers review products they purchase on the platform. There are options for both positive and negative reviews. Amazon selects at random which buyers write the reviews. It also rewards buyers for reviewing the products by offering them gift vouchers. So, the program is beneficial for both the buyers and the platform where buyers get to earn some money and sellers get more credibility and visibility for their brands and products.
The products you review as a buyer as part of the program are in the seller’s hands. So, this means that sellers can choose the products they want their buyers to review. Also, as a reviewer, you can rate the products at your convenience. It doesn’t matter whether you choose to give five stars or one star as long as you buy and review them.
How Does the Early Reviewer Program Work?
As a seller, to enroll in the Amazon Early Reviewer Program, you must have valid licenses for your brands or products. Under the program, buyers can review up to five products, after which you will be up for renewal. It costs $15 to apply for the program and $60 each for the software to register the products. Note that Amazon won’t charge you for one year after registering under the program or until you get at least one review.
What Products are Eligible?
The product to be reviewed must cost at least $15 and should not already have more than four reviews. When you list a product for consideration under this program, that product will last until it gets five reviews or for one year.
How to Enroll?
To enroll your products in the Early Review Program, you must first get them listed on the Amazon Brand Registry. The process can take anywhere between five and seven days. Once the registration is complete, you can list your products on the Amazon Early Reviewer Portal.
Also, when you submit your products to the Registry, the e-commerce giant will ensure that you accept and adhere to the terms and conditions. These terms also include paying the required fee and not letting buyers know that their reviews are part of the Early Testing Program.
Follow these steps to enroll in the Amazon Early Review Program.
1. Finding Suitable SKUs
When you list your products under the Amazon Early Review Program, you must ensure that the SKUs or the parent product categories have five or fewer reviews. You must also make sure that they cost more than $9, and each SKU you submit must be of the parent or stand-alone levels. Note that when you enroll parent SKUs, child SKUs are automatically enrolled as well.
2. Submitting the SKUs
To submit the SKUs, you can visit the Amazon Early Reviewer Program dashboard and place a request to list them. You can upload individual SKUs or in bulk, depending on the number of items you have. There is a dedicated bulk-upload feature that lets you upload multiple SKUs using the CSV template.
3. Monitoring Reviews and The Enrollment
The Amazon Early Reviewer Program dashboard not only lets you upload your products for review by your buyers but also allows you to track both the reviews and the enrollment status. Your Amazon Early Reviewer dashboard has dedicated links that let you see how many reviews you have got for your products, as well as the kind of reviews. Besides this, it also has a ‘status‘ link to learn about the status of your enrollments.
How to Choose Buyers?
You need to be following a set of guidelines to choose buyers who will review your products. When choosing buyers, you must make sure that they:
- · Adhere to the community guidelines.
- · Are already not sellers or related to a seller in any way.
- · Don’t have any history of providing false or illicit reviews with the intent to mislead customers.
Most buyers who review products are picked at random and are informed about the program and the fee that they will get.
Amazon Early Reviewer Program Guidelines
Before you enroll your products for the Amazon Early Reviewer Program, you must make sure that you go through the guidelines. In addition, you must carefully read and understand all the product reviews policies before uploading your products to the platform. So, here is all that you need to know about the guidelines of Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program.
1. Comply with the Guidelines
Amazon has guidelines for putting up some products. So, be sure to go through, and more importantly, stick to them.
2. Stay Away from Reviewing Competitor Products
As part of the Amazon Early Reviewer Program, you should also ensure that the buyers you select don’t review products they are selling on the platform or your competitors. So, ensure that your reviewers stay away from writing about competitor products.
3. Respond to Questions
Since the Amazon Early Reviewer Program helps other customers get to know the products better, you should respond to queries they may have for you. You can post your answers using the dedicated Question and Answer feature. However, it would help if you refrained from posting questions and only answer customer queries.
4. Don’t Ask Customers for Positive Reviews
You should never ask customers to post positive reviews about the products in exchange for monetary or other such rewards. What you should do instead is ask them to write honest opinions about the products they purchase.
5. Don’t Incentivize Reviews
Another thing that you must stay away from is offering incentives, monetary or otherwise, to customers for reviewing your products. You should also not ask a customer to remove or modify their reviews even if they are negative. Remember that asking customers to delete or alter negative reviews is just as bad as making them write positive ones for incentives.
6. Don’t Reach Out to Buyers
Don’t reach out to your buyers, asking them to buy other products after they have written a review. Also, don’t offer them refunds or reimbursements for writing a review about your products. This kind of behavior could be worse than abusive or dishonest reviews on the platform.
7. Heed to Warnings from Amazon
Lastly, if you have defaulted, and are receiving warnings from the e-commerce giant, make sure that you don’t ignore them, for you could risk the closure of your account. If there are issues with early reviews, you should get started.
So, follow all the guidelines laid down by Amazon as part of its Early Reviewer Program and make the best use.
Why Did Amazon Stop the Early Reviewer Program?
To boost sales, you need reviews for your products. However, for that to work, you must first promote them so that customers will buy your products. So, this means that you need to make some sales before you can get reviews for your products.
For years, sellers dealt with the problem by offering discounts to get the initial few sales. However, when that didn’t work, they resorted to another tactic to pay their customers to write the initial few reviews. However, this was against the program’s policies.
So, it led Amazon to scrap the Early Reviewer program. However, to help sellers promote their products, the e-commerce giant came up with the Vine program.
Is Amazon Planning to Implement the Program Again Soon?
Amazon recently did away with its Early Reviewer Program. The e-commerce giant has closed all the seller accounts and products that were a part of the program. It has also promised to refund the program fee after three months of the closure. Furthermore, Amazon has no plans of restarting the Early Reviewer program anytime soon and urges its sellers to use the Vine program instead. However, we might see Early Reviewer Program Reviews in another form.
What are the Differences Between Early Reviewer and Vine?
The Early Reviewer Program by Amazon has ended, and the Vine program has taken its place. As per the e-commerce giant, Vine is a more versatile program since it gives room only for trusted reviewers. The program will have buyers (Vine reviewers) review products depending on their insights from other reviews or hands-on experience.
Also, to get the initial few reviews, Vine uses a select group of buyers who get to test the products for free. So, this means that the first few reviews come from a preselected group that experiences the effects hands-on before writing their opinions.
The introduction of an initial testing phase serves as one of the significant differences between the Early Reviewer Program and Vine. The Vine program helps sellers build a solid reputation on the platform over a period by assisting customers to become more aware of their products. It also allows customers to make sound buying decisions since they would already know more about the products.
Also, note that only professional sellers can be a part of the Vine program and that you must enroll your products into the Amazon Brand Registry, just as in the case of the Early Reviewer Program. Once you do this, you can request their reviews.
Getting those initial reviews was a significant problem not only for sellers but also for the e-commerce giant. So, Amazon introduced the Early Reviewer Program. Most customers who buy from Amazon do so only after reading the reviews and convincing themselves.
However, that was not the only reason the eCommerce platform introduced such a program. It also did so to curb malpractices, such as incentivized reviews and other methods, including those shoppers only being able to review products if they purchased an item worth at least $50.
So, with the Early Reviewer Program, Amazon hopes to achieve three things.
First, the e-commerce giant wants to help sellers gather authentic reviews for their products. Second, Amazon also hopes to do away with the follow-ups that most sellers resort to by sending spammy emails to those customers who have reviewed their products, asking them to review them or buy those products positively. Lastly, the program enables Amazon to gain control over the reviews and help them curb malpractices better. So, there is no doubt that the Amazon Early Reviewer Program is versatile and has gained prominence over the years.